The Fresh Loaf

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Baguettes Made with King Arthur Flour

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Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

Baguettes Made with King Arthur Flour

Here is my second effort at making baguettes.  These baguettes were made using King Arthur bread flour.  It is very different from the Gold Medal bread flour that I had used just a few days ago.  I used the same amounts of ingredients in making both batches.  The KA dough was stiffer from the get-go.  I even broke my Pyrex silicone spatula kneading it.  Initially it appeared to be a wee bit more gray in color, but by this morning it was a lovely creamy white color.  The KA dough also had greater gas bubble production, and I was very careful to use exactly the same amounts of sugar, salt and yeast in both batches.  When I sprinkled the poppy seeds on one loaf I was in for a big surprise.  The poppy seeds did not want to stick to the KA dough.  I had to gently press them in with a finger, but even then that didn't work too well.  The seller states that the bread pan is 18" long.  I find that the screen measures 17-1/4" in length.  If you add in the frame I guess that you could call it an 18" pan, but that other 3/4" is not useable.  I made the dough loaves 15" long so as not to expand to where they were drooping over the edges as happened to me the first time that I used the pan.  15" was just the right length.  The big surprises though were when the baguettes were finished baking.  Lo and behold I had a "blow-out at the side of each loaf!  You can see the start of it in the first photograph.

The second photograph shows more of the blow-out.  It occured at the top of the pan in spite of my slashing the top of the loaves 5 times each with a razor.  Hmmm, and here I thought that the razor cuts were to contol this type of issue.

The baguettes made with the KA flour are a wee bit tastier than that baguettes made with the Gold Medal flour, in my opinion.  In addition the KA baguettes have more chew to them, including the crust.  Now, the KA crust is not quite as well-developed as the Gold Medal crust - not as thick or as crunchy - but the KA baguettes were baked for 5 minutes less.  I started using the recommended times in the recipes and have been cutting back on them as I've found that the internal temperature was over 200°F at the 20 minute mark at 375°F.  For those who don't recall, that's also after 15 minutes of baking at 400°F.  Also, the original recipes were written for a single loaf which I found didn't fit into this bread pan.  I ended up making 2 baguettes instead of one.  So I'm still kinda feeling my way around this recipe.

Anyone have some thoughts and/or suggestions about the blow-outs?  Anything else?

I'll post some comparison cross-section photographs of the GM baguettes and the KA baguettes later.

Cliff. 

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

The KA flour absorbs more of the water .... so your dough will be firmer if you used exact the same weight units. That may also be the reason why your seeds did not stick to the dough ... just moisten the surface ligthly with a sprayer and the seeds will stick.

About your spatula ... try the 'odd' king arthur dough whisk. Very sturdy, easy to clean and perfect for working the dough before your hands take over on the bench.

(http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?select=C74&byCategory=C88&id=5568)

BROTKUNST

p.s. You can also order your flour there ... the prices are lower and the selection is by far greater then in the grocery store. And if you consider tax, gas and time savings, then the shipping is basically 'free' (actually somewhere from $6-12). I had a quite large and heavy order shipped for $15 .. came in two huge boxes.

Sign up for their newsletter and use the shipping and discount specials.

 

P.S.S Try being more assertive when you slash (score) the baguettes .. then they have an outlet to expand and will not burst to the sides or top.

JIP's picture
JIP

To me I think you have 2 problems with the blowouts 1. I don't think you totally sealed the side that blew yuo probably need to press it more 2. as was mentioned previously your cuts definately need to be deeper from what I see they look pretty shallow almost like surface scratches you really need to get in there and slash them.  So what shaping method are you using that may help answer the sealing question.

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

...on the bottom of the loaves, not on the sides where they blew out.  That's what surprised me.  I pinched the edges together between my thumb and forefinger.  Both blew out right at the top edge of the screen of the pan.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

These baguettes make exceptionally delicious toast!  It crisps up nicely, and the flavor is excellent.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

JIP's picture
JIP

Then it must be your slashing.  Personally when I slash my baguettes (and I am also fairly new at baguettes) I vut them very deeply and I make my cuts at an angle so I kind of go under the dough instead of just making a slit.  I posted this image in another place on this forum but I thought you might like to see it.  I did not use a baguette pan and I used the Acme recipe I mentionde in another post on your thread but I think it is a goos illustration of slashing that works although my crumb did not have nearly as many holes as yours did but I did get alot of oven spring.

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

...thank you for posting your photo.  I see what you did very clearly.  I obviously didn't cut deep enough.  How deep would you say that you cut?  1/2", 1/4" or???  Very nice looking baguettes!

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

JIP's picture
JIP

I would say 1/4 to 1/2 is about right.  All I know sometimes it seems like I have cut too far almost to the bottom and my dough collapses but it always comes out right when I do.  Experimentation is the best way to figure it out and the best part about that is the failures taste almost as good as the successes and if you fail you jus have to make more bread for me that's not a problem.

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

...and yup, I eat my way out of most of these situations too :-)  I appreciate your information.  This was only my second batch of baguettes - the next one will be....well, delicious as usual...time will tell about the looks.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay