The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Accidental Baguette

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louie brown's picture
louie brown

The Accidental Baguette

The Accidental Baguette

I had a build going for a bread I am working on, but realized too late that I had forgotten to prepare an ingredient. So when I opened my eyes at 5am on Friday morning and stumbled into the kitchen, I looked at my beautiful levain, ripe and bubbly with nowhere to go, I couldn't just throw it out. The easiest thing was to mix up a straight dough, which I did by feel, with no regard for measurements. I threw in a favorite addition from the fridge, some wheat germ. The dough was way too stiff. It was tearing after just a couple of folds. I just didn't feel like fighting with it. So I made up a couple of baguettes and proofed them in the fridge.

As much as anything, I was interested in another trial of my latest steaming method, using two hot towels, per Sylvia, although not microwaved, with a preheated brick between them, all in a roasting pan. Boiling water is poured over the brick and the towels, which produces very good steam for the entire ten or fifteen minutes. The slimmer one was baked cold from the fridge; the fatter one after about 90 minutes out on the bench.

These are the results. I'm liking the torn crumb shots these days so I include one. For a dough that was so dry, and for a process that was made up as I went along, without formula - or discipline - the results were acceptable. More to the point, the form and the taste were pretty good. The wheat germ is a nice addition. It would have been a shame to waste the levain.


 



 



 



 


Comments

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello louie, My "mistakes" are never this beautiful! Regards, breadsong

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I admire the bakers here who readily admit to things that go wrong. After all, we're doing this at home, a loaf or two at a time, not in the controlled production environment of a bakery.


 


As others have reported, my loaves are really responding to the wet towel steaming method. Next we'll all be using ph meters!

JerryW's picture
JerryW

How much wheat germ do you add?  Raw or toasted?  Thanx.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

per pound of dough, Jerry. Toasted. 


 


Clearly, the wheat germ absorbs water, accounting for the stiffer dough in this case.