Another rustic bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. According to Peter Reinhart, this is the classic country bread of France and can be made into all kinds of different shapes and sizes. It usually is made with a small amount of either whole wheat or rye flour to give a denser crumb. And although so many of the other folks who have participated so far in this challenge had chosen to use a more interesting shape, I thought I would just make plain old batards and celebrate the simplicity of the bread. You should know that this is a two day bread starting with a pate fermentee, and If you don't have the book you can find the recipe here.
Here is the finished dough being left to rise until it doubles in bulk. This dough was actually pretty easy to handle, even with the use of my wild yeast, "Adam". I chose to use a touch of whole wheat in mine, since Adam is a whole wheat starter.
The loaves were shaped into batards, and I covered them to let rise a second time until they rose to 1 1/2 of it's original size, before scoring and putting them into the oven.
This bread was really delicious. It had a nice earthiness from the whole grain, and the crust was wonderfully hard and golden brown. The texture was chewy and the flavor from the pate fermentee was so complex. I see why so many other bakers have experimented using different shapes. Maybe next time I will give more attention to forming a different shape. I can definitely see myself making this one again.