Not a Pretty Sight


Being in France with no scales has given me the bug for experimenting and improvising.

Beginners particularly are forever asking what to do with excess starter. Ditch it, I would say. I probably use more flour for dusting than a lot of people use for baking. Most of this ends up in the bin anyway so I can’t get too upset about the small amount involved in scrap starter. Younger people seem to think this will destroy the planet but (as I always say) can’t imagine life without a car or two.

Anyway yesterday I had an ecologically sound moment. After I had refreshed my starter I found I had 320g spare. It hadn’t been touched for a couple of days and looked a bit watery and sad. What can I possibly do with 320g of fading starter I was thinking when I had this BRILLIANT idea. I know, I thought, I’ll make some bread!

As it was a bit knackered I decided to use the starter at 100% so I added 320g flour. 68% hydration sounded OK so in went 218g water + 5g salt. Short kneads into oiled box. Stretch every hour for four hour fermentation. Proved it in the box for 3.5 hours. Tipped it out onto a baking sheet fairly heavily dusted with semolina. Cut it into four strips, eased them apart a little and straight into a hot oven. 25 minutes later they might not have looked very pretty but made a fantastic breakfast this morning.

Light, airy, thin crust good flavour. Would have won the meilleure baguette de tradition in Bordeaux with a bit of attention to appearance.

3 thoughts on “Not a Pretty Sight

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