Friday, November 07, 2008

Levain Baguettes

Dan Lepard once made 3 different styles of baguettes for comparison and his verdict was that the levain baguettes was the best. My starter culture has been neglected in the fridge lately as a result of my busy work schedule. I have had no time for anything lately as work at the office has been piling up this month. 

Strangely, despite the hectic schedule, I found myself working at a new level of efficiency and creativity,  gaining insights which helped to solve some long festering quality problems. One of the insights I had was to realize that the polar effect of solvents could be the root cause of a problem which some co-workers had been working on. I used to demonstrate this effect in science experiments for my kids in the kitchen and it was ironic that this should come in handy at work. 

I had been waiting for the week-end to make some levain baguettes but since I had run out of bread, I had to do it earlier. Unfortunately, the starter was not properly refreshed and that affected its power.  Coupled with the longer than optimal fermentation period as I had returned home late, I was certain that the baguette would be a disaster. Fortunately, it worked out better than I had hoped. 

I am undecided if the flavor and taste of these levain baguettes beat those poolish baguettes that I had been doing for the past weeks. The levain baguettes while having a complex flavor and taste, lack the clean refined flavor of my regular poolish baguettes. Hopefully, I can improve on this the next time round.

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