Sometimes when you are trying to get good at something, and really excel, you have to start over and re-evaluate everything, a return to basics if you will. I decided to re-read the instructive sections in Tartine and bake my next loaf as if it were my first.
That said, I couldn’t completely start from scratch of course, but I’ve left out a lot of “experiments” I’ve done recently and went straight to the basic ingredients. One thing I kept from my experiments is my percentage of increased levain: 25%. This is only 5% higher than Tartine’s formula but due to the cold weather we’ve been having a little extra levain helps offset this somewhat. If you’re interested in reading more about dough temperature and how important it is, head over and read through my guide on The Importance of Dough Temperature.