The Fresh Loaf

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Tried photographing some baguettes

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jamonation's picture
jamonation

Tried photographing some baguettes

Well, I tried making baguettes with 80% hydration and got a soft and chewy crumb, but without large holes. It was still quite airy, but not what I was after. Searching around for the cause of said lack of holes and discovered this site. Quite impressive, I think I'll have to continue vistiting now.

As a way of introduction, and of saying thanks for the site, here's a photo of my baguettes.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I don't know the limits, but shaping a baguette with 80% hydration is well beyond what I would attempt.  To me that is ciabatta territory.  From your photo there is just a hint of gluten development, but I don't know how you mixed it, with what, what the flour was, how long it fermented, if and when you did stretch and folds, what your divide and shaping routine is, or how long the final proof was.  The oven temperature looks to be OK if the crumb came out the way you like it. There is just a hint of blisters but it is hard to tell on a loaf of that hydration whether that indicates a shortage of steam or not. My suspicion would be either under or over mixing, or insufficient gluten to begin with. I got this result yesterday after doing a poor job of degassing one loaf (this was a 75% hydration ciabatta with no shaping at all, just divide, rest, and bake):

 

 

jamonation's picture
jamonation

Interesting result, that looks quite tall for a cibatta, perhaps I'll try that instead of baguette shaped loaves. Along those lines, I think most of my problem was too much handling while shaping the loaves, perhaps too many stretch and folds, and not having a proper peel. The hardest part to troubleshoot is only changing one thing at a time to figure out what the problem was :)

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

If you don't have a wooden peel, try a piece of double thick corrugated cardboard. Cut it to fit your oven plus a little to spare.  Mark the boundary where you don't want to put bread.  If you want a long handle, just staple or glue it to a piece of 1x2 (or bigger). Compress the front edge to enable you to slide it under a finished loaf. While that is generally not necessary for bread, it helps with pizza.  Keep it dry and dust it with semolina or cornmeal. It will last for months even if you are using it a couple of times a week. Cheap, disposable. Hard to beat.  The next step up is a piece of 1/4" maple or birch plywood cut so that it includes a 3" wide handle, just laminate the handle area with some of the scrap to be 3/4" thick and run at least one layer as a spine (to make the peel plus spine be 1/2" thick) most of the way to the front edge.  Sand it smooth and leave it as raw wood.  I have one of those I made over 30 yrs ago and it still looks like the piece of scrap paneling that I made it from.

 

MIchael_O's picture
MIchael_O

Looks nice. You might want to consider crumb photos.

As far as photos:

breadbakers want photos of the crumb (inside the bread)

the general public tends to like the complex outside texture that you have shown. Maybe showing the  scoring would be good to. 

 

Good job

jamonation's picture
jamonation

Thanks, the scoring wasn't great, hence the macro. My razor needs replacing - got stuck and tore the loaves with each slash. Unfortunately they didn't last long enough to get photos of the crumb, next time.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jamonation,

You get points from me for dramatic macro photos and beautiful lighting. Very nice indeed.

Eric

jamonation's picture
jamonation

Thanks Eric, maybe I'll get the extension tubes out and try a closeup of the next overly dense crumb. That way no one will know the difference..

Glad you like the lighting - I bounced the flash off the bottom of my cupboards and it filled things in nicely.

jamonation's picture
jamonation

Here's an attempt from today, this time using 25% levain (25%/75% rye & unsifted bread flour respectively) and 25% poolish (both overnight fermentations), and 50% AP.

The flavour is much improved with the rye & unsifted bread flour, though I know they aren't helping with gluten formation.

I haven't had time to make a peel even, so a quick flip was all that I could manage onto a piece of parchment paper. Getting there though, the fold & stretch was much better today, along with the plumpness of the dough before shaping. Slightly more AP or sifted bread flour, practicing fold & stretch technique, and a proper peel and I'll be able to pull off what I'm after.

In a bit of a rush, so only camera phone. Still relatively desnse crumb, but improved from last week.

JoeV's picture
JoeV

Looks like you have it dialed in. Now I'm Jonesing for chunk of that with some butter. LOL

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

are your way - that is some nice bread -  and welcome to TFL.