I made this first bread in the Czech chapter last weekend, and made it as per the recipe (including the yeast), docked the loaf instead of slashing . . and was very disappointed with the result. The docking didn't allow for the big oven spring I usually get, so it split as well as being hampered by it's tight skin. It tasted just fine, just didn't look very interesting. So I decided to revisit it this weekend, leave out the yeast and slash to my heart's content! And yes, I got a much better result!
So to the recipe:
Fed my rye starter at 10.30pm Friday night - 50g starter + 100g water + 75g rye flour. Left it at room temperature overnight, and it ended up sitting there all day as well, as I left house to go for a walk with the dog at 10am, but didn't end up getting home until 8pm! No I wasn't walking the dog the entire day, but ended up visiting friends, staying for dinner etc. so into the fridge the rye starter went at 8pm.
150g rye starter, 300g tepid water, 400g bread flour, 100g rye flour (fine), and about 14g salt (recipe also calls for 5g yeast, but I gave that a miss) - mixed this all together in a bowl until formed a rough dough, then covered with a plastic bag and let sit for about 30mins to autolyse.
My day got interrupted yet again by a walk around Panmure basin with friends and dogs, so the dough only got a couple of 10sec kneads before I had to head out the door. It rested about 15mins between kneads. And got to relax in a bowl inside a plastic bag whilst I was out getting some air and exercise.
(Theses photos are from the first take making this bread last weekend. Only the last couple of photos are from today.)
The oven was heated to 210C an hour prior to baking. I slashed the loaves in a circle around the "shoulder", just for something a bit different. I haven't yet found the ideal way to slash round loaves. Last weekend I slashed a pain de champagne doing a sort of branched pattern down the loaf, but the slashes weren't big enough as the loaf burst through, and ended up a really ugly shape, so didn't want to try that again. I have only slashed around in a circle when I made an Auvergne couronne, so was expecting a similar result.
The loaves were baked for a total of 40mins (with 5 ice cubes thrown in at the beginning for steam), with a rotate at half time. This time around I got a fabulous oven spring and my loaves completely popped their tops! I think they look super cute.