Yesterday, I decided to venture into batards. I shaped one, and a loaf. Both were Sourdoughs with a 24 hr old liquid preferment. The final dough undergone its first proofing in a refreigerator for 24 hours (i was out). Yesterday, i deflated the cold proofed dough, and knead it until it became somewhat warm.
I left the dough to rise for 3-4 hours, and cut it into equal halves. I shaped one as a batard. and the other into a loaf.
However, this time i had bought an oven thermometer! When i preheated the oven, i was striked by the misconception i had about my oven temperature. It turned out that i often baked at lower temperature than recommended for Home-made artisan breads, i.e. 425 - 470F.
Therefore, i swung the dial into no.7 or 400F and waited. The breads cooked well, crackled when done, and had an eye pleasing golden finish to them.
THAT IS WHAT I WANTED and have missed all along in my previous loaves. THANK GOD.
The crust is the best i have ever achieved so far.
Next target... 70% Rye bread adventure.. be on the lookout. :P