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.