With warmer weather comes a warmer kitchen, and with a warmer kitchen comes more vigorous levain. Once the loaves hit the 500º oven, a number of them expanded to the point of bursting on top (see pictures below). It's a nice effect, though not necessarily something I planned for. Maybe next time I'll curb the vigor by making deeper cuts (scores) in the dough.
The flavor of the French Country Levain this week hit its peak – definitely my favorite loaf thus far. I gave the shaped dough some extra time in the fridge (12-14 hours, rather than the usual 8-10). The extra time, with the addition of warmer temperatures, allowed for a more thorough fermentation and a boost in subtle sour flavors. And to make it better, Megan and I's friends David and Eileen helped us knock out most of a loaf when we made grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch this afternoon. So good. So good.