The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes as hard as a brick

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lstamatov's picture
lstamatov

Baguettes as hard as a brick

Hi guys,

I am not sure if I am posting this into the right category, but I didn't see baguettes labeled anywhere.

First, a little introduction. I have been successfully baking breads with my own sourdough starter for a year now and I am fairly advanced. Yet, when a few weeks ago I bought a baguette pan and tried making baguettes, they were a real disaster. Tried several times with different flowers and tried to increase the hydration a little bit but the result was the same - the bread crust is awfully hard that you can barely chew it.

Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks!

Ford's picture
Ford

Perhaps they were overdone??  What were the temperatures and the timing.  The baguettes will not take as long to bake as loaves in a loaf pan, nor as long as a boule.  The greater surface area relative to the volume of the loaf makes for quicker heat transfer and thus faster baking.  Or is this too simple an explanation?

Ford

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

I don't know if it is the "pan's fault" but the last 2 times I tried to make baguettes using those pans, loaves came out hard as a baseball bat, with a gray, pale crust. Maybe it is because the pan is room temp when it is put into the oven and keeps the dough from heating? When I did not use the pans and put the loaves directly on the baking stone I got much better results.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

For a thin, crisp crust, spritz loaves with water just before going into the oven and use higher heat than you would for loaves that are larger in diameter.  The smaller the loaf (i.e., the less time it takes heat to penetrate to the center), the higher your oven temp needs to be to get the right amount of crust browning by the time the center is done.  500F might do the trick.  I agree that skipping the pan might help as well.