The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes not expanding between scoring cuts

JoeBaguette's picture
JoeBaguette

Baguettes not expanding between scoring cuts

Hi All,

As the title says... Whenever I make the multiple score that are done on traditional baguettes, the loaf stays tight between the scores.

In this photo, it's the loaf on the top with the two scores that I'm troubleshooting. As you can see, the bottom single scored baguette has opened pretty decently. But the loaf above does not rise well between the two scores.

I seem to have this problem every single time I make a baguette with more than one score. I am definitely scoring properly (at least I think so!), i.e., scores are over lapping each other about 20%.

Could it be the protein content of 12% that's causing this issue? Is that too high?

The recipe is 67% hydration, 2.1% salt with "Bread & Pizza" flour (12% protein), it's on this page: https://www.lighthousebaking.com.au/products.

 

Thanks in advance!

Joe.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

If the top baguette were a batard, a bit fatter and shorter, would you be happy with the scoring?  I would like to think so.

But onto the real question.  There is nothing that I see wrong with the way the baguettes opened up.  12% protein is not too high, as it can be anywhere from lower to even this high and perhaps beyond.  I've been there so I'm speaking from experience.  

A 1/5th overlap on the scoring is insufficient as the recommended amount is a 1/3rd overlap.  I'd suggest three scores down the length of the dough instead of two with the greater overlap.  And you will see a difference..

Review these two comments for scoring suggestions and techniques:

alan

kendalm's picture
kendalm

The challenge of getting baguettes to bloom had a lot to do with the ratio of surface body volume. There's a lot more crust to push open with only a little bit of interior volume, you probably noticed that batards and boules bloom more frequently. If you can get good oven spring just about any score you make on a baguette will explode open. In my experience the key to maxing out spring is as simple as injecting as much heat as you can in 5 minutes - after 5 minutes and the surface has now harder and your opportunity window has passed. So the best advice would be to jack up the temperature of your oven :)

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

Like Alan I have to ask if your example is closer to a batard than a baguette. As a batard it is quite nice looking.

From my perspective scoring baguettes first begins with the proper dimensions of a baguette, because how they bloom is a combination of many things. Due to the size of my oven I scale my baguettes around 320 g. and shape them to a length of around 560 mm. Here is an example of the end product:

 

 At 560 mm. I typically make 5 score marks. I really cannot say how much I overlap the scoring since it is mostly done by feel. Let's just say the scoring does overlap - maybe 25 - 30%. Another key is to score parallel to the length of the baguette, not perpendicular. As the baguettes bloom the parallel scoring lines will be displaced and the end result will be somewhat more perpendicular.

If your dough is proofed well, all of your dimensions are correct and your scoring has been done right, you should expect the results you see in the picture above. Good overlap control will provide consistent bonded dough between the score marks. Scoring that is too close to the previous score will burst through and make one, big bloom point. Scoring that is too far away makes a baguette that is one bubble connected to the next bubble, and so forth. They are very bumpy and not uniform in shape.

Practice, practice, practice. No matter the shape they still taste just as good :-)

 

Jim

alfanso's picture
alfanso

and then practice some more.  

Jim, those are fabulous looking breads.  I think that it was Bike Prof who recently also posted some A-1 Baguettes on TFL.  Love to see the craftsmanship on these.  I hadn't seen an oven peel as long as yours.  Are you able to bake this whole batch on a single deck?  Superb.

JoeBaguette - it can be done!

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Is that all done in a home oven ? Amazing and very professional consistent loaves - how many loads is that ?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Is that all done in a home oven ? Amazing and very professional consistent loaves.  Its impressive,you can stretch 56cm - the longest I can do is 56cm but need to start placing on a angle - comfortably i,cam get to 54cm without any funky placements and the max number so far is 12 loaves in one bake.  This is really pro - how many loads is that ?

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

My oven is a Blodgett 911 that I converted to a 911-P by changing the thermostat and drilling out the propane orifice to a larger size. I can now run the temperature up to around 650. The deck is 33"W X 22" D X 7"H and I am able to bake 6 to 8 baguettes at a time. The picture above shows two bake runs. I guess I'd label myself as a serious home baker that is trying to make the jump to a small commercial baker.

I also added a steam manifold that Blodgett lists as an accessory for the oven and purchased a used Reimers steam generator to pump a constant 3 to 5 psi. of steam when needed.

Here is a link to the peels:

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=794&categoryid=0

These are 16" wide so what I do is put down parchment paper on each peel, place 3 to 4 baguettes on each one, then slide them into the oven one peel at a time. I use two peels so that I can get a single bake run prepped before starting steaming the baking chamber and load the oven quickly.

Before I made the jump to the deck oven I was baking 3 baguettes at a time in my home oven at 500 F, and using a cast iron pan and boiling water for steam. Dimensionally speaking the baguettes were much smaller, 14 inches if I remember correctly, because of the length of my stone. The home oven was where I worked out all the bugs before making the commitment to a deck oven and steam generator.

My formula combines a levain, poolish and yeast because I like the flavors that this mixture provides. This formula creates challenges with oven spring and an open crumb, but my small group of customers prefer the taste to a more visually-appealing baguette. The baguettes still look nice but not as nice as many of the examples you guys have posted.

kendalm's comment on an earlier post was most prophetic in that baguettes are very unforgiving. My experience has shown that once the ferment starts I have to keep a critical eye on the dough because 15 minutes here or there can make a big difference on the end result. Those of us who learned to first bake baguettes and then transition to different rustic breads find the rustic breads much more easy to manage, in my opinion.

Recently I have been experimenting with bulk cold fermentation which will permit me to bake more baguettes in a shorter period of time. I have a summer order that will require a lot of fresh baguettes by mid-morning. So far the cold fermentation (40 F) is challenging.

I have been very impressed with both kendalm and alan's baguettes too. Thank you for your positive affirmations!

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I love,the fact that you have outfitted your equipment like that and its amazing you can pump out so many. Just a question about weight - 320g cooked right ? I am assuming so much based on the girth. I think that final weight is what is expected in America - I will usually shoot for a 250-275g loaf only because I want to mirror the traditional specs. Do you start out with about 400g each before they go in ?

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

No, I start with 320 to 330 grams and shape from there. Having done the research on the truly traditional and regulated French baguette I decided to replicate the more American version, since that is what the public is more used to seeing where I live. I may start out at 320 g. X 56 cm. but I probably end up with more like 290 g. X 46 cm. after they are baked - far from traditional but acceptable around here.

I am planning a kitchen renovation and will likely change over to a Haussler INO 2004 deck oven. The baking chamber is around 70 cm. deep and that will permit me to bulk-up my baguettes to 400 g. X 60 cm. I could do that now and bake the baguettes horizonally but I'd only be able to produce 3 to 4 at a time and that isn't realistic right now.

In America I see "baguettes" in all shapes and sizes. We are not regulated on these factors and the public is used to a wider, shorter version. Our baguettes are often more like batards on steroids.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

You are really getting serious - I think wed all love a deck oven and so I just want to express some extreme jealousy. I always thought of American baguettes at least the ones that most closely resemble the real thing to be bigger and more muscle car-ish. The other variations which might be dubbed baguettes are indeed completely different loaves. For the reduced size that you spec'd you have some great volume - super ! Bravo !

Martin from KAF's picture
Martin from KAF

They are under-steamed. Blade angle, heat, level of proof, use of the lame, these are all very important...and, if steam is low the surface of the loaf will not expand as well as the portions where moisture exists (such as the interior of the loaf which the blade exposes. The solution to this issue is unique for each oven. I guarantee you that if you scored and loaded this loaf into a standard deck oven with good steam the issue would disappear.

Good luck!

Martin