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Baguettes made with liquid levain

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguettes made with liquid levain

 

I had thought that, when I retired, I would tackle more complex breads and pastries. So far, my inclinations have been otherwise. I have been working on simpler recipes that can produce good breads with lesser time demands. Go figure.

This bread is an example. A baguette sur poolish is a classic bread. It can be produced in 5-6 hours (not counting the overnight fermentation of the poolish) and is at its peak of quality as soon as it has cooled. Yesterday I baked a sourdough adaptation of this classic bread, starting in the late morning to have fresh-baked baguettes with our dinner.

Liquid levain

Baker's %

Wt. (g)

Flour mix

100

100

Water

100

100

Firm starter (50% hydration)

40

40

Total

240

240

Notes:

  • The “Flour mix” is 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour.

  • I used my stock starter to feed the levain. It is kept at 50% hydration. Adjusting for this, the actual levain hydration is 89%.

Mix the levain ingredients and ferment for 8-12 hours. (My levain quadrupled in 6 hours and was refrigerated overnight.)

Final Dough

Wt (g)

AP flour

294

Water (80-90º F, if cold levain)

164

Salt

9

Liquid levain

240

Total

707

Note: The final dough hydration is 66%, accounting for the water and flour in the levain.

Procedures

  1. Dissolve the liquid levain in the water.

  2. Add the flour, and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Autolyse for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Add the salt, and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Bulk ferment at 75º F for 3 hours with stretch and folds at 30, 60, 90 and 135 minutes.

  6. Divide into 3 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs.

  7. Rest for 15-30 minutes, covered.

  8. Shape as baguettes and proof on a couche for 75-90 minutes.

  9. Transfer baguettes to a peel and score.

  10. Bake at 450º F with steam for 22-25 minutes. (I baked for 12 minutes with steam at 450º F then for 10 minutes at 425º F convection bake.)

  11. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

The crust was thin and crisp – as close to a classic baguette crust as I have produced with sourdough. The crumb was moderately open and chewy. The flavor was moderately sour – more sour than I expected. It was very nice with our dinner of soup (krupnick) and salad (lettuce with pecans, dried cranberries and Point Reyes blue cheese with a mustard vinaigrette).

 David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

linder's picture
linder

Those sure look good and probably taste even better!  I'm going to be practicing baguettes for a while and this is definitely going on my must bake list.

Thanks for posting it.

Linda

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Those are some gorgeous baguettes David!  Great scoring and nice crumb.  You've inspired me to try with my liquid levain. 

- Sjadad

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Your scoring always leaves me in awe. I got a new Japanese knife for the kitchen. It is like a razor blade it is so sharp .  I used it the other day to score some boules and got the ears I wanted by angling lower..something you have pointed out before. The curved blade on my lame is just impossible for me to use. 

I will be trying your baguettes soon! Your SJ is a staple in our home. I will also be giving intro lessons in baking with Wild Yeast in the New Year. Lots of new things on the horizon. Glad retirement is so agreeable ...I find it to be also. c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Those are beauties David. Are you using a gas oven or an electric one? 

Ray

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have an electric convection oven.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Super looking baguettes David!

Crust, crumb, slashing and shaping, it's all great, and I really like the pointy ends you put on them. Now that I  have a convection oven to work with I'm hoping I'll be able to finally achieve that patented bold bake of yours that I've always admired. 

 Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know how much the convection setting contributes to my crust color. I'll be interested to hear and see what you find with your new oven.

Happy baking!

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

David.  The ears, crust and crumb are all first rate. Do you think having the small amount whole grains in the poolish only makes for  more sour or better flour?

They look terrific as usual.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

There's no question in my mind that the whole grains - particularly the rye - add to acid production. They also speed up fermentation. It's the minerals in the bran, as I understand it. 

David

Yippee's picture
Yippee

especially the first one on top, and it reminds me of how impressed I was with your baguettes, which were being showcased on the front page of TFL when I first stumbled upon this site years ago. To this day, that feeling hasn't changed a bit, David, you're the best!

Yippee

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

<blush>

Nice to hear from you!

David

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Those baguettes look like they could be featured in A Taste of Bread (Calvel), and would be a huge improvement over the planned cover for the new printing of Bread (Hammelman).  Really nice looking, your scoring and shaping skills are great.  I'm imagining the flavor must have been a wonderful sourdough-classic baguette hybrid, yum.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

They are tasty.

David

varda's picture
varda

David,   I am always so impressed by your technical mastery.    What did you use for scoring?    I can so rarely get such nice ears like that.    -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I use a double-edged razor blad mounted on a metal lame for scoring. But, as I'm sure you know, the blade is just one variable influencing the results.

David

varda's picture
varda

In fact I believe you once wrote out the list for me.   Can I ask what the metal lame is?   I have only seen those disposable plastic ones, that I feel are too weak for the job.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This is what I use: Baker's blade holder

The lame is relatively thin metal. This allows it to be bent, so you can adjust the curve of the blade. The other source of these in the US is Breadtopia. Theirs is installed in a plastic handle. See: Bread Lame I had a third source, but I just checked, and they don't list it anymore.

David

varda's picture
varda

David,   This looks perfect.   I have tried that with a coffee stirrer and a pencil and duct tape and a stick but none of those worked properly.    Thank  you so much.  -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

I recently bought the one from Breadtopia and love it.  I highly recommend it.

Oh, and great looking bread as usual!

Best.

Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Gorgeous baguettes David, as always. 

Simple, regular bake.. Yet, a staple of life, This is what bread is all about, David. Would you happen to have a sunlit patch in your house? kitchen lighting isn't doing your beautiful breads justice. I would love to see the color on those lovely baguettes' crust and crumb under natural sunlight.

Khalid

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This time of year, it's dark by time the bread gets baked. In any case, the photos are pretty accurate in color on my screens.

I hope your back is doing well.

David

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I like the flour mix. I'll bet they were as delicious as they look.

I also find myself returning often the the simplest formulae. In a real way, they are the most demanding.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

David,

Very nice loaves.   There is indeed something about simplicity that rings true for me too....actually it is more of my being drawn to it over and over again.  Simple ingredients that, handled right, create a kind of magic.

I assume you know about Dan Leopard's book The Hand Made Loaf but just in case you haven't.......It is one of the first books I actually bought when I began baking a couple of years ago.  What drew me to it were the ingredients and the traditional methods he uses coupled with the fact that most of the loaves are ones baked by home bakers in Europe.  Nothing other than ingredients, a pair of hands and an oven are required.  Many use commercial yeast but all can be adapted to using wild yeast - or at least the ones I have baked thus far have turned out just fine with my conversions.

End of plug....Disclaimer: I do not know Dan Leopard nor do I own stock in any of his publications  :-)  

Take Care,

Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I actually have Dan Leopard's book, but I have never baked from it. I did enjoy reading it.

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Those baguettes are just gorgeous, David.

I haven't tried baguette formulae other than Pat's bearguettes and Hamelman's poolish for a long time.  I will try this one.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let us know how you like this formula.

David

jarkkolaine's picture
jarkkolaine

Making baguettes is something I still need to practice a lot before getting to your results. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Jarkko

dalaughlin's picture
dalaughlin

David, I have the liquid levain working now and your beautiful photos show three baguettes--about 235 g. or 8 plus ounces each. Seem awful small. I think I'll try for two and may they resemble yours.

David A.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The size of my baguettes is limited by the width of my baking stone. The stone is 16 inches. I generally shape 14 inch baguettes. If you can accommodate longer ones, go for it!

David

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

David - I baked this formula today.  The result was a very delicious baguette with a cool, creamy crumb and a thin, crispy crust. At first it tastes almost sweet. As you chew, the character of the sourdough is detectable.   My liquid starter is 100% hydration, so I made adjustments to your formula to achieve a final hydration of 66%. 

I also found the size of the loaves to be a bit on the small side, but that has its advantages, especially if you're having a romantic dinner for two :)

Thanks for sharing. 

Sjadad

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm glad you enjoyed them!

See my message above regarding the loaf size. 

Years ago, we had a French exchange student from Paris. He told us that, in his family, each person eats a whole baguette with dinner.

David