As promised, pictures of the pain rustique.
My verdict: meh. Though it smelled great baking, I don’t think it developed enough flavor or enough structure. It might benefit from an overnight cold ferment, or perhaps another rise. Mostly this bread reminded me of my early rustic breads, which didn’t develop very much crust or crumb, and were lacking in a nicely developed wheaty flavor. This wasn’t bad, mind you, toasted with butter. But I prefer the Team USA ciabatta and the rustic sourdough. When I taste this bread, it seems immature to me. Whereas the sourdough is a real grown-up bread, with strong flavor, crust, and beautiful crumb. Since there are tons more recipes in Hamelman’s book, I can’t wait to try out more. This weekend, though, will be all about the sourdough again. I’m hooked.
P.S. Yes, I know I've blatantly ignored the directive on the cutting board. I should go back with a sharpie and add that bread is okay too.