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  1. Wow both those loaves look amazing - better-looking baguettes than most of the ones I had in Paris over New Year!
  2. Well the weight definitely isn't it. I've actually been having a spreading issue since I've started trying out their shaping methods last week... If I were smart, I'd go back to the way I was doing it before but I'm trying to give their instructions a chance. @Chris Hennes how do you shape your batards? You always seem to have nice tall loaves (like that amazing-looking ancient grain loaf!).
  3. I just managed to get Vol. 2 & 3 from my public library (thank you!). Very helpful for informing some assumptions I had made from just Vol. 4. But it has also raised some questions I was hoping someone could help me with. I capriciously bought some (expensive) calcium ascorbate thinking it would work the same as ascorbic acid as it had vitamin C labelled all over it. Does anyone here know if it should work more-or-less as well as ascorbic acid? I'm not good enough at chemistry and I'm not sure how to conduct an experiment to check that it is doing it's job. I have made their ancient grain bread and daily bread which use it but I had no control, and I'm not sure how pronounced its effect is supposed to be on the dough either. Does anyone else find the batard preshaping and shaping instructions confusing? I can't even understand their preshaping instructions on 3.154, and the shaping instructions that follow on both pages are also relatively complicated to understand. I seem to end up with a much longer batard than in their pictures. Has anyone managed to make a food processor work for the lean doughs from vol. 4 that are higher than the hydration from the Van Over formula? Every time I've tried mixing another dough formula (including ones that they have food processor instructions for), I've ended up with a batter that stops mixing properly and overheats my Magimix (and rides up the inside of the blade and makes it really annoying to clean). Does anyone have any experience with higher (than Van Over) hydration doughs in the fp?
  4. When Myhrvold was talking about taking pictures of the cut-in-half wok for Modernist Cuisine and how it kept lighting on fire, he said "it only has to look good for 1/1000th of a second!" The problem I had with my crumb was that it seemed tougher than the crumbs I got on other sourdoughs prior to working with Modernist Bread. Your crumbs honestly look very good though, and I'm sure they taste excellent! I think Instagram has spoiled our appetite for open crumbs... What size loaf are you working with? I generally bake 700-800g loaves for batards. I started to move towards it because that seems to be the right size for my banneton, but I have also found that if I go for 1kg, I tend to lose a bit of volume.
  5. Whenever I bake using their sourdough formula, I find I get very similar crumbs to yours. These were the same dough (though it has something like 6-10% rye flour) which I vacuum mixed, bulked for about 2.5h. One got popped rye as an inclusion and the other nothing. One was proofed for 24h and another for 36h at 4°C (I can't remember which is which though they were fairly similar). The flavour was excellent but I found the crumb to be tough and meaty and not particularly open (still a pleasure to eat). I find this dough much drier than I'm used to so the easiest solution for me is to increase the hydration as I haven't found extending the proof from 12 -> 36h to have much of an impact besides scheduling convenience. To be honest, I have had more open crumbs than these using the Van Over method (which has a lower hydration) despite their numerous warnings (I think just about every time they mention the method) that it will produce a tight crumb.
  6. Crumb shot of vollkornbrot And the rugbrød
  7. As I have just moved to Denmark, I thought it would be appropriate for me to make the MB rugbrød (and seeing as rye in all its forms is so cheap and readily-available here, vollkornbrot). I made the rugbrød with the optional instant yeast. According to the Danes who tried it, it had little-to-no relationship with the rugbrød they buy and eat (from the supermarket). They seemed more inclined to call it a country/farmer's bread and that it was like how their grandmothers made rugbrød... It seems that even Northern Europe's sacred rye breads are being tainted by supermarkets and industrial processing. Vollkornbrot on the left, rugbrød on the right. But, my German and Austrian taste-testers said the MB vollkornbrot was exactly what they would have back home! It is a very time-intensive bread to make though - I started soaking the rye berries on a Sunday night and could finally cut io it on Thursday morning... Both built to last - about 5 days without noticeable staling and were perfectly edible for about 8 days.
  8. Have you tried mixing by hand to see if you get very different results? I have made this dough by hand several times with no problems. Just for experiment's sake you could try making the dough by hand to help see whether your stand mixer is playing a role in the problem. In my experience, I find that if I use the finger-poke test too early during the final proofing, I tend to get false-positives. I am not exactly sure what is at play there but I suspect that there hasn't been enough time for gases to form and expand the dough enough to spring back against the poke. For me, it takes about 30 minutes for hand-mixed commercially yeasted breads to stop giving these false-positives and hand mixed sourdoughs can take over an hour before the poke test starts to help me. Otherwise, a positive poke test that early on in a commercially yeasted bread could be over-extending initial bulk fermentation (the dough being too gaseous after shaping) and the fact that your boules are 'flat' suggests to me that the dough over-proofed.
  9. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some more info regarding vacuum autolysing/kneading/mixing. I've only been able to read volume 4 through a former local library so I haven't been able to read their text in vol 3 on their vacuum technique beyond what was included in their modernist French lean bread recipe. But, alas, I'm a uni student poor on both time and money so I'm very keen to see if I can improvise a cheap setup for making bread with a faster bulk ferment time than hand mixing can offer. I have already bought a brake bleed pump which can generate nearly -25inMg which I believe holds up (at least in theory) against a FoodSaver. But, several jars and Ikea container lids, and a hole heap of hot glue later, I have been unable to hook my brake bleeder up to any container with a satisfactory seal. My new idea was to buy a FoodSaver accessory (canister or mason jar sealer) and find a way to attach it to my brake bleeder to generate the vacuum with a good seal. But ChezAndré mentioned earlier that he was unable to get particularly conclusive results using a FoodSaver canister. I don't understand why it didn't work for ChezAndre but seeing as it didn't, I don't want to spend more money on something that might not work. Has anyone else tested (or is anyone else able to test) using any FoodSaver accessories to vacuum mix/auto/knead the dough?