XXIII – Here at Last! ; The First Experiment with T65
All the experiments I’ve done with T55 since I got my hands on with the flour was to get used to the temperament of much softer French flour than we are used to in UK…..to make baguette with T65. After the initial disaster of ciabaguetta incident and subsequent trials & errors with playing with formula adjustments, I felt I was gradually getting a hang of dealing with soft T55 flour to incorporate in my regular formula, though it’s faaaaaaar from perfection.
And now that I’ve finished two bags of T55 (still one left in the freezer!), it’s time to brush with my dream flour, T65. ……Well, maybe I should’ve continued my experiments with T55 until I can make a decent baguette with 100% T55, as I suggested in my last blog on the baguette obsession quest, but to be frank, I just got bored!! Needed a new toy to play with. :p
So I stepped into a new territory of T65 now. Reckless, perhaps, but here I come!
T65 I used was one of 6 bags of flour my daughter was forced to bring brought back for me from Paris. (3 x T55 + 3 x T65) It’s again probably a bog standard one from the supermarket shelf as the T55s, but at least it’s organic this time. The protein level id 10.8%, so it’s a tiny bit stronger than the T55 earlier (=10.5%). It has distinctive yellowy tint, just like T55.
The formula I used is exactly same as my new revised formula of my regular Hamelinet poolish baguette, which you can find here, with 1/3 of flour used for poolish. As in the base formula, I used strong flour with small amount of rye for poolish and all the flour for main dough was replaced by T65. No added WW this time, because the whole point of adding WW was to emulate T65. Everything stayed the same.
It was easier to work with, less sticky and the dough got good strength. With the previous experiences with T55, I sometimes felt like giving it a set or two of letter-folds after cold retard to give it more strength, but with this flour it was nice and firm, yet supple, after the cold retard. Not sure 0.3% difference in protein was responsible for it, or the difference in the ash contents between the two flours. But it’s easier flour to handle, nevertheless. And here’re the results. (Excuse the weird colours. Taken under night lights.)
(yeah, I know….my same old crossed-baguettes picture….:p)
And the flavour? ….Not bad. Definitely had more depth and complexity than than T55, and was slightly sweeter, too. The crumb got more sheen, as well.
If I’d made very basic baguette without pre-ferment like poolish nor long fermentation, I’m sure the difference of flavours between the ones made with T55 and the ones with T65 would be more apparent. But with my formulae both of them benefit quite a lot from the combination of both pre-ferment and long, cold retard, the difference in the flavours may not be standing out as much. Still, this one definitely taste better than T55. I’m now really intrigued how better tasting better quality T65 would be….
btw, the title 'At Last!' means just 'at last' I reach the first step on T65 journey. It'll be another hundred years until I can reach anywhere near the perfection and proclaim 'at last!'.....if I'm lucky.....