The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

evening's blog

evening's picture

I tried my hand at baguettes again following (more or less) a traditional recipe.


500g AP FLour
500g Bread Flour
680g water
3.5g yeast
11g salt

Mixed w/ 4 folds and retarded overnight. The next day I left it out for 3 hours @ room temp then shaped and proofed in couche ~75 min. I then transferred the loaves and put the form into preheated 500F covered steam tray w/ 6 oz water I rotated the tray at 10 minutes, uncovering the loaves 5 minutes later, and baked 'em for another 20. I guess I used too much water for a covered tray. The cuts didn't open up like I expected and the loaves developed a pretzel-like crust. I thought all was lost until I cut them open. My best crumb yet!


A day or so later I tried again in my home oven which is too small for a hotel pan. I used the "old dough" technique with a 25%WWF, 25%APF, 50% BreadFlour and 70% hydration recipe (same salt and yeast ratios as above). This time I shaped the loves after a 4 hour bulk rise and let them proof in the fridge overnight. Sadly they loaves looked awful and deflated the next morning. Sleepily I forged ahead and placed them directly on a 500F stone, splashing a 1/2 C. water on the oven floor. After checking on them 10 minutes later I realized that forgot to cut the loaves! I was forgiven by the bread gods - the crust was thick and nutty, the crumb very open. I gave two to my co-workers. People get all sortsa happy when you hand them a "still warm from the oven" loaf....





evening's picture

I got this idea from another post on TFL but can't seem to find it again - props to whoever you are.

Anyway, the idea is that since you can't use the DO method with a baguette, you use a covered steam tray which can accomodate a 3 loaf baguette form.

I used a basic lean dough formula (100% bread flour) and standard forming routine. The oven was pre-heated to 500F with the uncovered pan on top the stone. I place the loaded baguette form in the pan, added 6 oz of water, and covered it. 10 minutes later lowered the oven temp to 450F,  rotated the covered pan 180 deg.  The last 10 minutes the loaves were left to finish uncovered.

I gave two away to the nieghbors since I've been eating WAY too much bread - the last one was for breakfast:

Looks good, tastes good. The crumb was tight due ( I imagine ) to using 100% bread flour and perhaps some overworking and impatience on my part during the rise. ;-)







evening's picture

I tried my hand at the 25% whole wheat recipe

Bread Flour: 375g, WW Flour: 125g, 370g water, 7g salt, 2.5g instant yeast.

The poolish was just bread flour and water and a little yeast.

I did 3 folds@ 20 minute intervals and left it to  bulk ferment in the fridge for 12 hours, then let it proof for 75 minutes in my new bread form.

I preheated the oven to 475, then turned it down to 425 once the loaf was in. 20 min in the DO, and 20 more on the stone. internal temp was 207F when I took it out.

The boule slipped on it's way into the DO so I ended up with a lop-sided design.

Despite trying the DO to stone technique the bottom still scorched.  I'll have to experiment more with oven temp and time in the DO. Fortunately it's a very thin layer.

The crumb was decent but I'd like to see it more open -  It tasted great though.

Lastly, here's a pic of the interior of a fruited ciabatta roll that I made using the Jason's quick recipe and a berry mix.

Very festive. It made an excellent vehicle for ham and melted brie. 

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Baked at midnight! 12 hour pre-ferment, 2.5 hour bulk ferment, 3 folds in the first hour, 1 hour proof.  425 oven * (see below):  30 minutes covered, 15 uncovered .

The aroma after 30 minutes in the oven was incredible! - like browned butter.  I almost slept in kitchen.


I exercised great restraint and waited until morning to try it. The crust is more on the chewy side, as is the crumb.

The taste is mildly more complex than the Saturday white bread - it's a noticable, but not a huge difference

I think the crumb is just OK on this one, the loaf could have benefitted from more folds and maybe a longer proof.

It's also been raining here and I didn't adjust the hydration to account for the increased humidity - details.

This was baked in a Staub coquette. The Staub has a black enamal interior which can make things brown (or burn) faster than you'd expect.

I've learned to keep the heat down a bit. 425 instead on 475. I may need to start the normal temp and lower it after 5-10 minutes and increase the baking time accordingly.

This time the the rack was too low in the oven so the bottom got a bit scorched - not a deal breaker but I need to remember to take these things into account.

evening's picture

So good I came back for more!

Made in a different oven. I wanted a more boule like shape so I also applied a single stretch & fold and shaped it before the 45 minute rest. Slightly denser crumb and height but nothing dramatic. The crust was just slightly chewy while still crisp, and the crumb was tender. Not quite the same as my previous attempt (owing to no stone, bigger oven, less moisture, etc.) but by no means unedible. This recipe will be in rotation for a while.



evening's picture

Questing for a random, open crumb I found this gem on TFL.

Semolina recipe, mixed in a food processor and baked on parchment over a stone.

A well-steamed oven made the crust thin and crispy but left the inside shiny and creamy.

I was so pleased that I used the remaining dough for pizza. I expected the weight of the topping to deflate the pie more, but it held up well. Double Yum!

evening's picture

I rec'd Ken Forkish's Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast as a holiday gift.

LeCruset Coquette, Glick's High Gluten Bread flour.

1st attempt at this recipe - not too shabby.



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