I had some left over bread flour so I thought I would make a loaf of bread that was just flour, water, and salt. The hydration for this loaf was 67% since I wanted to use my plastic proofing basket. I heard that dough that is higher in hydration sticks to the basket so I figured that maybe 67% would be the secret to making this work.
The resulting bread ended up being so good that I was left wondering why, I really hadn't done anything that seemed that much out of the ordinary. I started looking in books trying to figure out what all the strange bread names mean since I have no understanding what they meant. That is when I stumbled across a couple of things that I did to this dough that just made it wonderful.
First off it is winter here and gets down to about freezing most nights, we don't heat the house at night. The water is cold too. I made the bread with cold water and left it out on the counter all night. When I had gone to bed it looked like it hadn't started fermenting at all. The next morning it had fully risen. This is like the Pain a l'Ancienne from BBA.
Next thing I did that impacted the bread is I ran out of bread flour so I put in some home ground whole wheat flour to get the flour up to the amount that I needed, around 10% to 15%. I looked in BBA at Pain de Campange and it is made with bread flour and some whole grain flour.
I shaped the dough and place it in my proofing basket for a couple of hours in a warm spot. When I turned it over to bake the bread the dough just fell right out. The bread was baked for 45 mins at 460°F and it is just great. I ate a slice and found myself craving another slice right away. The crust is nice and crisp and crackly. The crumb has nice big irregular holes in it and even three days latter is still a moist. I'm loving it a lot. I have to try this again it is so good.