The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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fredsambo

 

OK so I decided to try this recipe from The Village Baker, which was the real reason I made plain ol' baguettes the other day. It calls for either whole wheat or rye flour or both in the recipe, but I had some KA organic whole wheat lying around so I just used that.

Pain De Campagne

 

So I first got the yeast going and then I cut my piece of old dough up into little chunks.

Yeast

Pool

 

I mixed the two together and then added the flour and put it on the mixer. After a 20 minute autolyse I added the salt and mixed it for about 8 minutes, then I rolled it out and folded it on the bench for a while followed by an hour first rising, then a punch, then another hour. Here it is after the second rising.

Bowl 1

 

Then I flattened out all of the air and shaped it into a boule!

Flat

Boule!!!

 

I have no round baskets, so I improvised as I do so often when baking at home. This is just a small mixing bowl with dinner napkin liner.

not a basket

 

After two hours of proof time we were finally ready to go!

Ready

 

In my ongoing quest to keep my crappy oven hot, I preheated the big pot that I use as a cover along with the oven. I kept it pegged at 550 degrees for an hour before I put the bread in. This is a very hot oven temperature to be working with in a conventional kitchen, if you try these methods, please be careful! I quickly off loaded the boule onto the stone and then gently put the cover on. Then I closed the oven quickly, turned it down to 450; after ten minutes I removed the cover and finished it off.

Cover

 

Once it was at the desired color I shut the oven off and let the boule sit in there for five minutes to crisp up a bit.

peek-a-boo

 

And now for the glamour shots. The taste was just lovely, overall I am quite happy with my two day adventure!

side

top

crumb

 

I guess I'll make some sourdough next!

 

Happy Baking!!!

 

fredsambo's picture
fredsambo

So it has been a while since my last post, I guess it was a busy summer, LOL.

 

I made some simple baguettes today. I did a 4 hour poolish and then mixed up an ordinary french bread recipe (water, salt, flour, poolish). I then put the dough in the refrigerator, since I wanted to go to bed (9pm). My wife took it out at five this morning and this is what it looked like at seven, when I got up:

 

First Rising

 

I cut the dough into four somewhat equal pieces and shaped them into logs; I set aside the fourth piece for my next batch.

Preshape

 

Then I let them sit on the "bench" for an hour.

Covered with a dish towel.

 

After pacing around drinking coffee for the longest hour ever, I flattened out all of the air...

Flatten

 

...and rolled them into baguettes.

Baguettes!

 

Now, I usually cover my french bread with a big pot, to emulate steam injection, but alas, these baguettes were too long! My solution was to start off at 550 degrees preheated for an hour and then carefully pour 1/2 cup of water into a small cast iron skillet, closing the door quickly. I think the key is keeping the oven above 450 degrees the whole time, since the evaporated water will make the temp drop dramatically. My water never stopped boiling and the steam cloud upon opening the door was impressive. CAUTION: A lot of steam comes out of the oven when first opened up, don't go sticking your face down there!

Skillet

 

After proofing for another hour I scored and then brushed them with plenty of water. Once they hit the stone I turned the temperature down to 500 degrees for four minutes, then removed the skillet and turned the temp down to 450 for the remaining time.

Ready to go!

 

I am pretty happy with the results, although they could be darker, but they taste wonderful!

Baguettes

 

I am making a country style next, with the old dough I saved from this batch!

 

Happy Baking!

fredsambo's picture
fredsambo

Well I finally went ahead and signed up, I have been a reader for quite some time. I am a professional baker by trade, but love to mess around in my conventional kitchen as well. I needed some old dough for my next adventure, so I decided to make a nice straight yeasted bread. I also noticed that some of the bakers cover the loaves in the oven to simulate injected steam, so I decided to try it!

 

The formula for the dough is pretty simple and based on Joe Ortiz's Direct-Method Compagnon:

 

1/4 ounce active dry yeast

 

1 3/4 cups cold tap water

 

3 2/3 cups King Arthur Bread Flour

 

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

 

I mixed the yeast with a little bit of warm water and then poured the rest of the water into the wet mixture. After adding two cups of the flour, using my Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer, I mixed with the paddle on first speed for two minutes. Then added the salt and the rest of the flour, graduating to the hook. Then I mixed on first speed until the flour was somewhat incorporated, and then 12 - 15 minutes on 2nd speed. The doulgh was velvity and somewhat slack when it came off the mixer.

Next I cut three small pieces out and shaped them into little boules. I set all three boules in the fridge, in glass bowls, coverd with plastic wrap.

 

About four and a half hours later I grabbed two of the boules from the fridge (the other is my old dough for tomorrow), flattened and reshaped them, and then covered them with a cloth, on a floured board, for about 45 minutes to an hour.

 

I scored them and put them right on the stone in my oven at 450 degrees, covered by a large cooking pot. I prepped this "cover" by pouring hot water out of it right before I put it in the oven, being careful not to touch the boules with the cover. After 12 minutes I carefully removed the cover and then baked them for another 15-17 minutes.

 

So here is the result:

 

 

 

I am pretty happy with the look of the crust, the crumb is dense as I expected from such a short proof time. Overall it is dense and chewy but with zero taste:

 

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