After two failed attempts, I finally have an active levain, or sour dough starter - the secret to authentic, yeasty, artisan bread. It's amazing how some little bubbles and a slighty sour, but wonderfully complex, smell can make a girl so happy.
Yesterday, I used the levain for the first time to make a rustic, dark, thick-crusted pain de campagne. The dough turned out beautiful and was quite easy to shape into two small rounds. Here they are ready for their second rise in the bannetons.
The rounds did take quite a bit longer to rise than the wheat sandwich bread I usually make, but once I carefully placed them onto the peel, I couldn't wait to bake them off in the hot oven. In my excitement, I actually forgot to score the loaves before baking.
Thankfully, even without scoring, they still rose nicely and looked pretty authentic. Wish I could send you all a slice, because it truly was scrumptious.
recipes from Local Breads