And timing is everything.
I always like to tell people new to bread baking to choose something simple. Something that won't fail. There is nothing more fantastic than pulling that first perfect loaf of bread out of the oven. It's the one thing, the only thing that will keep you baking. My father used to say: 'You need some successes so you have a reason to keep moving forward'. Daddy was always right.
So, with this wisdom ringing in my ears, I decided to bake up two loaves, one done my old-school way with a higher levain percentage, for old time's sake, yeah, and because I think it works really well with new starters so it's easy for people new to baking. I call it my Tartine Country Bread with training wheels...
Training Wheels grew fabulous ears, and La Bella Luna left my friends moonstruck by her beauty. Both were fabulous in flavor with a light crumb texture, and each yielded an uber shattery crust. Hooray!
Oh how we struggled at the start but today we can do this one with our eyes closed. Damn we're good.
P.S., you don't have to be a newbie to make these two loaves. They are equally as fabulous for bakers with lots of loaves under their belts.
Have a look.
Tartine Training Wheels Loaf
This formula makes one loaf
You will need:
50g 100% hydration dark rye starter (mine is made with BRM home-milled dark rye flour)
50g Community Grains hard red winter wheat flour
50g KA all-purpose flour
100g room temperature water
Mix the levain ingredients together until you reach a paste. It will be thinnish, like this:
Mine fermented for 7 hours and 20 minutes. You will know when it's ready, because it will look like this: