This bread is very similar to last week's bread, pain palladin. The only difference is the ratio of flour to starter, and the omission of olive oil. They are free-formed, with no shaping. According to the book, this is the bread served at the French Laundry. So even if we can't get a reservation, we can still enjoy this tasty bread at home.
After last week's difficulty, I was wary of handling this dough. Fortunately, it wasn't nearly as sticky as the pain palladin. It was much easier to work with, which was a relief.
I find it interesting how all these breads we've made are essentially the same ingredients: flour, yeast or starter, and water, but the results are so different. It's all about the ratios of ingredients, fermentation time, proofing time, and shaping.
These loaves baked up nice and golden, and like last week, the crust softened considerably after cooling.
The taste is very subtle, almost verging on bland. This bread definitely needs something to go with it. Perhaps a toasted peanut butter and maple syrup sandwich? Or served alongside a rich stew or hearty bolognese, used to sop up the sauce.
Overall, I prefer the taste of the pain palladin, but this dough was much easier to work with.