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San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

April 1, 2013

My San Joaquin Sourdough originated in Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which had won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008. Bouabsa's baguettes departed from convention in utilizing a 21 hour retardation after bulk fermentation and before dividing and shaping. Jane Stewart (Janedo on TFL) and I initially modified Bouabsa's formula by adding a bit of rye flour and some sourdough starter for flavor. I then omitted the commercial yeast altogether and began using the modified formula to shape as bâtards. Over time, I have tweaked the formula and method in various ways, but have settled on the current one as providing the best product.

Today's bake takes the San Joaquin Sourdough back to its roots, so to speak. I used my current formula and method to make San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes. I am very happy with the results.

 

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

479

89

WW Flour

33

6

Medium rye Flour

29

5

Water

392

72

Salt

10

1.8

Liquid starter

17

3

Total

960

176.8

9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented

Liquid Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

29

70

WW Flour

8

20

Medium rye Flour

4

10

Water

42

100

Liquid starter

17

40

Total

100

240

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour

450

WW Flour

25

Medium rye Flour

25

Water

350

Salt

10

Liquid levain

100

Total

960

 

Method

  1. Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

  2. Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.

  4. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Bulk ferment for 3-4 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.

  6. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

  7. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.

  9. Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.

  10. Shape as baguettes and proof for 45 minutes, covered.

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. Transfer the baguettes to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves and load them onto your baking stone.

  13. Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. (Note: After 10 minutes, I switched my oven to convection bake and turned the temperature down to 455ºF.)

  14. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

 

When tasted about 2 hours after baking, the crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft. The flavor was complex, with a caramelized nuttiness from the crust and a sweet, wheaty flavor from the crumb. There was some mild acidity but no discernible acetic acid tanginess. These are among the best-flavored sourdough baguettes I have ever tasted. Very yummy fresh baked and with great sandwich, crostini, toast and French toast potential.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My oven is nowhere near as fancy as the one you are buying! I know nothing about it. Mine is an in-wall KitchenAid convection oven.

When you get your oven going, please let us know how you like it.

BTW, writing messages using all capital letters in online messages is called "shouting." It is used for single words or very brief phrases occasionally for emphasis. Otherwise, it is regarded as rude. Please find the Caps Lock key on your computer keyboard, and turn it OFF.

Thanks.

David

SLKIRK's picture
SLKIRK

DAVID,

I HAVE HEARD THE RULES ABOUT CAPS BEING SHOUTING ---- I KNOW WHERE THE CAPS KEY IS --- I HAVE NO INTENTION TO BE SHOUTING --- I LIKE READING ALL CAPS AND WILL CONTINUE TO USE THEM --- NO DISRESPECT INTENDED --- I HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND MY CHOICES --- I HOPE YOU WILL CONTINUE TO RESPOND TO MY QUESTIONS AS I RESPECT YOU AND HAVE FOUND YOU RECIPES AND SUGGESTIONS VERY HELPFUL --- I USED THE OVEN FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY AND SO FAR I AM VERY HAPPY WITH IT --- IT HAS A MANUAL STEAM INJECTION BUTTON --- PUSH BUTTON AND YOU GET STEAM ---- THERE ARE ALMOST NO INSTRUCTIONS WITH THE OVEN AND SO I DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY TIMES TO PUSH  ---THE BUTTON (SUGGESTED TIME IS 2 SEC. PER PUSH) --- I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKING THESE BAGUETTES IN IT SOON ---

 

TONYK

SLKIRK's picture
SLKIRK

DAVID,

I RECENTLY MADE THESE BAGUETTES AND GOT RAVE REVIEWS FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS --- I RECENTLY GOT A VOLLRATH CONVECTION STEAM OVEN AND REALLY LIKE IT SO FAR --- IN THE ABOVE YOU CALL FOR TEM MINUTES OF STEAM --- AS MY OVEN IS A MANUAL STEAM TYPE --- HOW WOULD I USE THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF STEAM TO MATCH YOUR TIMING --- THE RECOMMENDED STEAM INJECTION IS A TWO SEC. BURST PER SHOT ---- HOW OFTEN AND FOR HOW LONG --- I KNOW I WILL HAVE TO EXPERIMENT BUT COULD YOU SUGGEST A STARTING POINT --- AS ALWAYS, THANKS YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP ---

 

SKLIRK

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

you will have to experiment, but the manufacturor's recommendation is certainly the best place to start, imo.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Forgot to press the start button on my timer for the post-steam part of the bake, so they are a half shade darker than intended.  Still have some work to do on improvements.  One step at a time.  But I am pretty happy with the results.

Thanks for the inspiration...

Alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks for letting me know how they turned out.

How was the crumb? What did you think of the flavor?

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A bit disappointed that the crumb on the portion that I cut into wasn't a little more open.  I pre-shaped and rolled these a little tighter than my typical, so I wonder if that had an effect.  My kitchen is running about 77-78 this time of year (So. FL so what does one expect!), so what I proof tends to prove a little faster than, for example, in Portland.

The flavor was delicious, quite delicate.  My wife is more a fan of the sweet baguette flavor, more along the lines of the Bouabsa taste, so I'll have to alternate bakes.  Gee, what a penalty to have to endure!

alan

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A little over dramatic on my response to the crumb.  It is fine, as you can see.  It's just that my expectations are always high, thanks to me and you-know-who.  Keeps me striving...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think that's a pretty nice crumb. You know, how vigorously to degas and how tightly to shape varies from bread to bread.  Maybe from batch of dough to batch of dough.

My SJSD baguette crumb has become increasing open over time. This was certainly not a conscious, planned modification of technique. It just happened unconsciously.  I imagine this is a common experience among bakers.

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

hummed to the tune of "It's Getting Better All The Time".  I like to work something until I can be consistent bake after bake.  I'm discussing this affliction with my shrink ;-) .  I figure that I'll be ready to move on by 2016 or so...

This time I decided to go back to a three baguette bake instead of the four demi-baguettes, although the formula and TDW remained the same.  I also adhered to dabrownman's dictum of placing water for steam into my lava rock pan when the oven is first turned on so that the oven is already steamed by the time the baking surface has heated up (~45 minutes).  I follow that by pouring very hot water into the pan just after loading the baguettes.

Although my levain starter is mature at this point, it still doesn't display the tang notes that I am after.  It is still too "soft" although it is certainly potent enough to provide an appropriate rise and prove.  I queried dbm on his 3 stage build, and he provided a beautiful detailed report on his philosophy and methodology, which I plan on employing the next time that I refresh my starter.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/287377#comment-287377

I love the results of this bake although I'd like the crumb to be more open (familiar cry?).  I'm trying to find the right balance between a tight baguette with sufficient surface tension vs. a softer touch where the scoring seems to be poorer but the crumb is perhaps a tad more open.  The journey continues...

alan

breadesky's picture
breadesky

Next time you bake can you show what the dough looks like before you bake. I seem to have smaller sizes but similar crumbs. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can certainly (try to remember to) take a photo before loading the loaves in the oven, but I am quite confused about what information you are seeking. Can you explain?

Regarding size: My baguettes are generally around 240g prior to baking. They are shaped to about 14-15 inches long.

David

breadesky's picture
breadesky

I'm making mine closer to 100g. I need to bring up the size so they come out wider. Mine are also 14-15 inches long. I'm getting decent oven spring as well. 

recent bread

alfanso's picture
alfanso

breadesky,

I found these in my collection.  I will make the assumption that you are looking for something like this:

 1. preshaped

2. couched 

3. hand peeled ad ready to score 

4. scored with a razor blade lame 

5. as posted in early March, the finished product

alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Terrific scoring!

The crumb is showing progress, I think. Most would be very happy with it as is, you know.

David

Brokeback Cowboy's picture
Brokeback Cowboy

Thank you David for this well composed and thorough recipe. It has been so long since I've tasted a baguette like this. After leaving Toronto to move back to rural Ontario the quality breads I'd come accustomed to in my student days have long surpassed near memory.The texture, aroma, appearance and philosophy of baking. Well done, a thorough piece.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hi breadesky,

When you say smaller sizes, do you mean that your baguettes are smaller?  I vary my bag bakes between 3 or 4 bags with the same amount of total dough.  The length of my bags is generally about 14"- 15" due to the limitations of my oven depth and the baking deck.  The girth of them is dependent on whether I get 3 or 4 out of a bake as well as the consistency of the oven spring.

Being a relatively new home baker I would venture that the crumb should be consistent in the openness regardless of the baguette size.

I will try to remember, but it may also be good to get the input of the OP as well.

breadesky's picture
breadesky

Thank you for posting the photos from shape through bake. That helps in understanding the sizes and expected spring I should be getting. I'm also not cutting as deep, so I need to improve that. 

sarakaun's picture
sarakaun

All that needs is some brie, red wine, and lack of self control.

trangha2201's picture
trangha2201

Hi,

I'm making this bread right now and doing the bulk fermentation. I've S&F in the bowl for 2 hours alr and now it's resting, but what worries me is that the dough doesn't seem to rise an inch. The instruction said that the dough should somewhat be at 50% at the end of fermentation but I see no trace of it at all. Is this because of starter (although I assume it is not the case since I've been feeding it regularly for 2 months with good rise and pretty bubbles all the time)? Or is it the flour for i'm using local one? Should sourdough be rising this slow? Thanks.

Trang

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your dough  rising an inch doesn't mean much to me. The dough should increase in total bulk by about 50% before you retard it. In my kitchen, at around 70 dF and with the dough in a 2 qt batter pitcher, this equates to an increase volume. of 50%, but I've never measured the height. If you think about it, you will realize the rise in height depends on the shape of the container. Moreover, the time it takes to achieve the desired state of fermentation depends highly on the ambient temperature. For me, it generally takes 2 1/2 to 4 hours. If your kitchen is cooler than 68 dF, it may take an hour or so longer. If it's 75dF or warmer, it may be faster. I do folds every 30 minutes, usually 4 times.

Realize that the S&F process also degasses the dough somewhat.

The pitcher I use is glass, and I use the appearance of small gas bubbles throughout the dough to judge fermentation as much as the increase in volume.

I'm not at all sure you have a problem. If the dough is increasing in strength and it feels pillowy/gasses - like a partly inflated balloon - when you pat the surface, it is probably ready to retard. I don't know any objective way to measure this. You need to get a feel of how the dough should feel by experience.

Good luck with your bake. Let us know how it turns out. 

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hello Trang,

Dave Snyder is the resident master of this formula, but I'll take a shot at it. 

A few notes:

  • I follow Dave's 70 AP / 20 WW / 10 Rye /100 Water / 40 Stiff levain starter percentages for the levain starter, although I'm not yet comfortable with a 50% stiff starter, mine hovers somewhere around 60%.
  • After 30 minutes autolyse and hand mixing (pinch and folds), I do 300 French Folds to start the gluten development.
  • my kitchen is a bit warmer than the average kitchen, therefore I do 5 sets of S&F letter folds at 25 minute intervals and then it goes into the refrigerator.  Total bulk fermentation time therefore is ~125 minutes before refrigeration.  I never see the bubbles that Dave refers to, but I do see the change in volume.
  • I do all S&F's on the bench rather than in the tub. 
  • I use nothing but Gold Medal or Pillsbury "best"  brand unbleached AP flour (if you do not know, in the US these are about as plain vanilla as can be).   So a special flour may work better, but I'm happy with the results as is.

Below are some visuals which I hope help you.

1. This is the first S&F on the bench (again, they all are), at 25 minutes after French Folds complete.

2. Continuing my first set of side to side folds...I will then do a letter fold from "top" to "bottom", and then another letter fold side to side again, the final kinda having to roll it .  I'll do this for all sets of S&F's but as the dough ferments, the final (5th and 6th) letter folds (within the S&F) are difficult or impossible due to the rise.

 

3. This is what the dough looks like at the end of the first S&F.  It is already silken and still very extensible and has a sheen.  Note on pictures - these first three are actually pictures of Dave's Gosselin/Bouabsa SJSD dough.  It is a slightly bigger mix than the pure SJSD dough.  But one can expect the dough to look and act the same as this.

 

4.  The SJSD after bulk fermentation in the tub.  This is 25% larger by weight than the standard SJSD formula weight, but should give you an idea of what to anticipate.  BTW, it's "boyfriend" just below is a Bouabsa style baguette dough after bulk fermentation has completed. 

 

 The rise was quite obvious, if for no other reason than because with each succeeding S&F , the dough was demonstrating its growth.

Best of luck seeing if this helps,

alan

trangha2201's picture
trangha2201

Hi alfanso,

My dough after fermentation looks nothing like yours so i'm guessing i'm not doing the S&F enough. It has a shine but it's not stretching all the way up and still a bit tough to handle. the flours i'm using is only 9% protein so i tweaked a bit by omitting the ww flour all the way and adding 50g of Diamant rye flour (type 1150) instead (hoping it will compensate for the loss of protein). My kitchen too is a bit warmer than normal kitchen, definitely over 75dF. It was a bit late over here so i gave up and retarded my dough (even it was not fully developed) and went to sleep. I was wondering if I could continue the S&F after retarding and still get nice result. Thanks a million.

Trang

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I'm not sure about continuing S&F's after a long retardation.  I would be suspect that you could disrupt the gluten structure and even more so, a post retardation S&F could act as a punch down and deflate the dough without intending to do so.

As far as the S&Fs, in general, you don't need to handle with "kid gloves" (as opposed to a ciabatta dough for example, where you do!) and too much over-care.  That is not necessary IMO.  But you also do not want to manhandle the dough.  Maybe treat the dough as if you were caressing a puppy - just to give you an idea.  In those two pictures of the first S&F, the dough virtually extended on its own.  Just about zero effort.  However, with each subsequent S&F there is more resistance as the dough rises and the gluten strengthens.  And definitely do not retard the puppy overnight!!!  Just the dough ;-) .  

With 9% protein, I'd think that the extensibility of the dough would be overt, just the reverse of what you're reporting.  That may be a case of over development of the gluten and it is too elastic and springing back?

Aside from the enjoyment of hand mixing, my understanding is that it is virtually impossible to over mix the dough.  You don't say whether you are using a mechanical mixer or not.  And if so, then how.

And most importantly, have patience.  Expect to have a few failures, the key being to try to analyze what went wrong and correct that one thing to see what the next run looks like and what the change is that you effected.  It gets frustrating at times, like now, but that is a part of the journey.  Don't worry, though.  Once you figure this out, something else will come up from behind to bite you!

 

trangha2201's picture
trangha2201

 

I was impatient to wait for your reply so I wrestled with the dough for another hour or so. Boy i was silly.

After letting it rest for 30 min, it turned into a big bowl of levain. Big. Bowl. Of. Levain. :-(

Please have a look:

This surely is a failed attempt. However I'd love to know what have caused the dough structure to become somewhat a mix bag like this. I can't even decide whether it was under or over done. I mean with insufficient development and early retard, the dough should've been more tough (right?) but instead it became sour and liquid-y, like a SD starter. I don't really get it. 

 

And how am i going to save this one? Extract some of it to make another batch? Thank you.

Trang

alfanso's picture
alfanso

When I was just starting to learn how to home bake, I understood neither the autolyse nor the process, and there was no TFL for guidance.  (quick history - I home baked for a ~ year back in 2003, then worked part-time in a bakery for a few, then nothing for > 5 years until the end of last summer again.)
  
So I'd mix flour & water, manhandle the $#!+ out of it and when it was too "dry", I'd add more water and then continue to wrestle with it.  Then it was too wet, so I'd add more flour.  And so on.  Until the thing was a monster taking on a life (or death is more accurate) of it's own.  And then I'd stare it down, as if that would help anything, and sometimes leave the mess on the kitchen counter to "show-off" to my wife when she came home.  I also didn't understand the punch down concept, and if you can't guess the rest, I'd literally punch down the dough!  So you can see where my efforts were taking me.  Which was to Nowheresville.  Until I bought the BBA and it was still close to rank amateur.  Okay, enough with the horror story to scare the wits out of the little children ;-) .

The point here being that failure is part of the success (boy, if that doesn't sound backward!).  But it is important to know when to take the dang thang and just toss it into the refuse bin, and start again.  Which I was initially slow to learn.  One shouldn't have to "fight" with the dough, nor knead it for a half hour.  That's first hand experience talking.  In reality, the minute you get to that stage, there is something already wrong that is probably uncorrectable.  Maybe the lesson to take away from this attempt is to understand when to give up and throw in the towel and try again.  As unsatisfying as that may be, considering that you just spent the past x amount of time on it.

Quick history, part II.  I am not a skilled home baker yet and still learning the ropes.  I'm usually better at execution than at problem analysis.  At the bakery, where I was a fill in and adjunct, I had the true pros around to figure out what I was doing wrong to help me "self" correct.  And that was now a number of years ago.  So I am still sometimes left scratching my head when something goes wrong after I followed all of the steps.  I can hardly figure out my own issues, no less diagnose someone else's on the internet.

Okay, next part.  And this doesn't necessarily pertain to you since I don't know you nor your baking background.  So this is nothing personal, just my general observation while lurking around on this website for the past few months.  What I sometimes see is that folks get themselves in over their heads trying sophisticated things prior to "mastering" the basics.  Some of the calls for help on the website indicate as much.  And rather than getting down the foundation and spending adequate time analyzing and understanding the simpler aspects of the world of baking, they are understandably impatient to get to step 8 before getting steps 3-7 down.
  
I've been led to believe that the baguette skill set, however simple it may look, is actually one of the harder ones to get down.  Which is part of why I like doing them pretty much exclusively.  It will take me until just short of doomsday to feel like I've mastered that skill.  Okay, now add to that the world of levain and starters and myriad ways to get it right - and wrong.

In summary, I hope the above acts as both a guide as well as a pep talk of sorts.  I'll leave the more sophisticated on-line analysis to the guys who have been doing it a lot longer, and better, than me.

Good luck, toss it out and try it again.
alan

trangha2201's picture
trangha2201

Bread making is a long path and mistakes indeed are unavoidable. We all at some point  stare hopelessly at a fail dough but at the end of the day, we all learn something regardless how small it is. Thank you again for your encouragement and inspirational stories. I am going to carry on my practice until I achieve better understanding of the basics and of course moving on to other advanced ones. Good luck to you too with your delicious breads! :-D

Trang

P.S I definitely going to make SJSB again next time and post the result.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hello David,

As I continue to switch between commercial yeasted bags and levain bags, the outcomes have also been improving.  Sometimes two steps forward, one step back, but overall in the right direction.  Below are two recent SJSD bakes.

For the more recent bake, yesterday, I decided to divide the dough into three instead of four (the rebel in me!), shape a bit longer and score four across the length of the baguette instead of my typical three scores.  I also tried the Sylvia boiling towel steaming method in addition to the lava rocks.  I'll stick with that to see if over time there is a consistent difference in the outcome.  So far the book is still out.    A few tweaks here and there, but basically sticking to plan when I make these.  So far, I'm happy with what emerges from the oven.  But until I can approach your scoring skills, I consider that I still have a lot of work to do...

The second has that "rustic" look because the baguette surface was still a bit tacky as it was being transferred from couche to peel, so I floured them to avoid tearing the skin.  Not by choice, rather by a bit of necessity.

 

Lucca was such a wonderful place, although we were there 12 years ago now.  I hope that you had a  chance to spend some time in Viareggio.  We have acquaintances in Massarosa / Piano di Conca who insisted on hosting us at two wonderful restaurants on consecutive nights.  We hope that you had equally wonderful experiences.

alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

We really liked Lucca. Among the Cinque Terre, we went to Manarola twice. We did not visit Coniglia nor Viareggio. We ate very well indeed.

David

vstyn's picture
vstyn

how do you make liquid starter

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Vic,

You have been asking the same question, more or less, for four years. Please, get a bread baking book and read the section of developing a sourdough starter. I suggest one of Peter Reinhart's books or Jeffrey Hamelman. Or, search TFL for "The Pineapple Juice Solution."

Where are you now? In the past, you have had a rye sour. Have you kept it active? Or are you starting again from scratch?

David

cow biscuits's picture
cow biscuits

Hello ---  these look absolutely fantastic!

Would love to try these this weekend. I see you use AP four, do you think strong (bread) flour would be OK? Has anyone else tried? I prefer to use as can get organic bread flour but can't get organic AP flour here

Maybe I will just try it and report back next week....

Thanks

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

As you may be aware, there is no standardized definition of "all purpose" or of "bread flour." The AP flour I use has 11.5 to 11.7% protein. Your "bread flour" may be very close to that or 1% more. 

If you use a higher protein white flour, it will absorb more water, so the dough will seem drier. It may take more mixing to fully develop the gluten. The resulting bread may have a chewier and less crisp crust and a chewier crumb.

I have never used "bread flour" for this bread or any other baguette, but I bet some one has. There is no rule that says you can't use stronger, i.e., higher gluten, flour. Just be aware of the results you may get.

David

KQBui's picture
KQBui

Hi! New to this website. I think that I have a good palate, but when it comes to bread, I rarely ever discern the flavor of the grain, or detect any differences between bread that use more rye or more whole wheat, etc...

But this baguette changed it all! It introduced me to the world of bready-flavor! I made the best baguettes I've ever made using this recipe, thank you so much! I'll post pics of the bread soon. 

 

Kevin

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I look forward to seeing your photos.

David

KQBui's picture
KQBui

"Holey" Moley it took a while to figure out how to upload pics. Well, anyway, the shaping was clumsy, coloring was uneven and quite pale in some areas, but I finally got ears and a nice crumb. Will definitely be doing this recipe again!

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your shaping doesn't look so bad. I'm guessing the minor irregularities may be due as much from how you are loading the loaves. Are you using a flipping board? A peel?

The scoring looks very good. The crumb looks outstanding.

The light and uneven color may be due to oven temperature and how you are spacing the loaves in the oven.

If the baguettes are baked too close to each other, the steam each lets off as it bakes is trapped between the loaves, cools their sidewalls and results in pale loaves, especially the sides. Remember, at atmospheric pressure, the temperature of steam can't be above 212 dF. That's not high enough for a Maillard reaction to occur.

I can't be sure, but your baguettes look like that could be a problem.

Please note that the "problems" are pretty minor. We're fine tuning here. 

While I think the Anis Bouabsa baguettes are the best tasting I've had, the SJSD baguettes are the ones I make regularly because of their versatility. They make good sandwiches, panini, French toast and regular toast. These baguettes and the bâtards made with the same dough are probably the breads I have made that are the best after freezing and thawing. I'm glad you like them too.

David

KQBui's picture
KQBui

Unfortunately, I don't have a flipping board. I just use my hands to transfer the baguette from the cloth to the pizza peel. It freaks me out! I tried txfarmer's parchment paper couche method but I didn't know how to "scrunch up" the middle like she suggested, so I gave up. Ugh.

I will try spacing them out farther next time and see what happens. Because I've made baguettes in the past with darker color, but using a lower temp than 480 f. And my boules usually have a nice crust. The pale problem happens sporadically and is accompanied by well aerated crumb and nice oven spring, so it probably isn't over-proofing but indeed a lack of attention to spacing. Thanks for the advice; I'll use it for round two next week. 

Kevin

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you are going to be making baguettes frequently, a transfer peel would be good to have. I made a video demo on their use, FYI. See Flipping Board (Transfer Peel) Demonstration

You can buy on from The SFI for about $15. You can make your own, as I did, from a relatively thin wood slat of some sort.

The issue is, you want the baguettes as straight as possible as the bake.  When you use a flipping board, this is easier to achieve. In any case, on the peel, before you slide them into the oven, is your last chance. Even professionals who use a "loader" to get their loaves into the oven will straighten them out, as needed, on the loader. The transfer peel is also used as a loaf straightener for this operation.

David

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