I cut the recipe in half this time and the night before the bake, I prepared my liquid levain build with 1 1/2 Tbsp of culture, 1.9 oz of bread flour and 2.4 oz of water. At the same time I also made the soaker. Hamleman doesn't tell exactly what grains to use, but gives the weight as 2.9 oz or 82 g for half the recipe. I chose to use 20 g of cracked wheat, 42 g of rolled oats, and 20 g of coarse cornmeal (Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits). I like to use the coarse cornmeal in breads because of the teeny golden nuggets deposited throughout the crumb, and the subtle sweetness it lends to the bread. Since I used the cracked wheat (a harder grain), I used boiling water to cover the grains as opposed to room temp water.
After ~ 14 1/2 hours my liquid levain appeared to be ready. Definitely showed more signs of activity than the levain from last week. These looked like the tiny soap bubbles, described by Hamelman, that should cover most of the surface:
and my soaker was ready to go
As usual my sous chef, Tucker, was plopped on the rug right behind me in case he was needed for tasting or to catch some stray bit of ingredient that happened to fall his way.
I shaped the dough into a batard, thinking I might use this bread for sandwiches and here it is ready to go into the oven:
Once again, I wasn't happy with how the scoring went. I imagine this is an area that baker's struggle with all the time, trying to get this right. I was only able to find an inexpensive tomato knife at the store, and as I didn't think it was very sharp, its going to be returned. I wish I could find just a plain old-fashioned straight razor blade, but henceforth my search hasn't turned one up.
I had no gaping holes open up from the bottom of the loaf and my interior crumb structure didn't look too bad this time. There's an occasional "bite" from a bit of cracked wheat in the bread, you can see golden cornmeal flecks in the slices and it tastes smooth and tangy.