I’ve been putting this BBA bread off for awhile just because the picture in the book bored me. From the picture you can’t tell that it’s baked as boules or that you get to mark it with a pretty design. Now if the picture had shown me that instead of boring looking slices next to some grapes, I probably would’ve gotten to this one a lot sooner.
Like most breads in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, it wasn’t difficult but it did take 2 days. Day 1 was mixing up a biga and after fermenting for a couple hours, it’s refrigerated overnight. Day 2 involved a little mixing, a little folding, and a whole lot of waiting.
This bread isn’t kneaded at all. It’s stirred vigorously and, like I mentioned, folded a few times. The only issue I had with that is that when I went to shape them into boules I degassed them way too much which gave me a fairly tight crumb instead of big, beautiful holes.
Right after these came out of the oven (and I sliced into one to make sure it was edible), I took a loaf over to my grandparents house because I know my grandfather is a huge fan of bread. He told me that the bread was terrible as he sliced his second piece. ;)
When the loaves first came out of the oven the crust was very crispy and delicious but overnight it definitely softened up and is more chewy than crispy. The book mentioned this would happen but I’m still a little disappointed.