Sunday, 13 May 2012

Levain de Campagne - errata

Most author's will give a recipe for their version of this French-style sourdough loaf. I decided to follow Hadjiandreou's recipe as he said it had won a Great Taste Award. I had refreshed my starter several times yesterday and it was bubbling nicely this morning. I weighed out everything carefully using digital scales and then used a scraper to bring it together... but...

I looked at the recipe again... this can't be right... the mixture was very dry. I assumed I had made an error somewhere and decided to add more water, but I didn't quite trust my instincts and the dough I make is a little stiffer than I am used to. However, after the folds and stretching and leaving to ferment the dough is manageable and I place it in a cane banetton, well floured with rye. I leave it for 3 1/2 hours and it rises well. The razor slashes the dough nicely and into the oven it goes.

45 minutes later the loaf comes out and it looks okay with a distinctive oven spring and a great crust, but a disappointing crumb..

So what went wrong? Well, I suggest that there has never been a bread book produced that did not contain some errors within them and a number of authors have produced errata sheets as and when these mistakes have been uncovered. Some authors are better than others in making these available to the reading public.

I remember that Jo at Zeb Bakes had written about this so I went to her blog and found this page - Published Errata for baking Books which in turn pointed me to the blog Farine where  an errata page for How to Bake Bread can be found. And there it is, a correction to the recipe I have just baked, where the printed 150g warm water is corrected to 250-300g.

My loaf turned out good enough to eat. Nice crust and quite rustic!

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