The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Today I tried 2 different doughs to begin understanding the feel of dough.   Well, 75% hydration and I are like mud and gum.  I should video this poor attempt.  I am so visual.  I wish I could watch this recipe on you tube. 

They did have good crumb, but I forgot to use the lame.  The 75% hydration does not hold shape like txfarmer's does in her photos.  I wonder if baking in Hawaii has a higher humidity and I need to increase my flour.?

The regular dough sticks and if I were calculating up numbers I bet it is a higher not quite 75% hydration.  I used extra flour to function.  I did remember to use the lame.  I forgot to add the water on top. I did get a little ear.  

I am doing so many things wrong that I am a book of errors. However, I know if I keep doing this I will learn from it.  I just want the dough to hold some tension.

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I attempted txfarmers tried and true baguette recipe.  I am way above my scope.  However, bread is a spiritual process that truly stretches you to develop your skills both literally and figuratively.

 A three hour recipe began at 1pm took me till 7:40pm.  The recipe was fine.  I realize that for me I read a recipe very literally like walking 1 step at a time In baby steps. This wet dough is a  challenge for my amateur skill set.  Perseverance is my motto in the process of creating A baguette.  

I am looking to develop my ability in artisan bread.  I would like to be able to use my lame accurately to help my dough to rise and release the steam etc.  I would like a good crust and crumb.  I want to see some holes in a pattern. I would like to learn how to handle a high hydration dough with skill.

  As a funny note, I survived a dog attempting to eat my proofing dough, a finger cut by my new lame, melting children, soccer practice, and I have boys. I  think being a mother of boys says it all.

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     I thought a baguette would really be a nice true first foray into true "baking" for myself.  All of the time I hear! I don't bake from people.  I am a little shocked at how loose the term bake is used.  I can make cookies, banana breads, and other recipes in the oven. I wanted more depth.  I mean baking that requires thought, technique, and skill.  I love the beauty and texture of good bread.  It is like art.  Perhaps, this is a way I can be creative and artistic to create something pleasing to both the palate and the eyes.  

     Little did I know, the science and knowledge to get a good crust and crumb.  Don't forget technique!  The ability know to slap the dough, how to slap it, fold, turn, and make it.  Baguettes are an adventure.  I was struggling just to roll the dough out.  I am thankful for videos and detailed explanations.  I have watched a few videos.  Thankfully, people share their techniques.

     Things  I want to remember as I begin my adventure:  the giddy excitement of waiting for the dough to rise and  the timer to finally be done.   This is exciting.   I feel like singing Anticipation by Carly Simon.

     I want to conquer a wet dough like a poolish.  My husband would love a sour dough or Pain Au Levain.  First, I am starting with Ana Bousaba's baguette recipe from here and Steve's Breadcetra's post..  I am way out of my element.  I would not be surprised if these just don't make it.  

Today was a good baking day! 



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