Baguette surprise and a challenge.
I baked the second best tasting baguettes ever tonight, to my surprise. I would like to invite other baguette questing members to test my hypothesis as to why they are so good tasting.
This afternoon, I had the urge to have fresh baked baguettes with dinner. I've been out of town and very busy since returning. My starter needed feeding. I hadn't made a poolish or pâte fermentée. I was stuck with making a straight dough baguette that could be ready to eat in 4-5 hours.
I looked at the formulas in several books and decided to use Leader's formula as a basis, but with a different mixing approach, slightly higher hydration and different flours. Here's what I did:
Giusto's Baker's Choice flour 450 gms
KAF White Whole Wheat flour 50 gms
Water 350 gms
Sea salt 10 gms
Instant yeast 4 gms
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until the flour is hydrated.
2. Let rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes. Repeat 2 more times at 20 minute intervals.
4. Transfer dough to an 8 cup glass measuring cup, cover tightly.
5. Stretch and fold once at 45 minutes.
6. Proof until 1.5 times the original volume (another 45 minutes).
7. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces, pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered with plasti-crap, for 10 minutes.
8. Shape into baguettes and proof on a linen couche until 1.5 times their original size.
9. Bake on a pizza stone at 460F with steam for 20 minutes.
10. Turn off oven but leave the loaves on the baking stone for another 5 minutes with the oven door ajar.
11. Cool and eat.
The crust was nice and crunchy. The crumb was not real open. But there was absolutely no smell of yeast, just a wonderful, wheaty aroma. The flavor was delicious! Not the sweet flavor I look for in baguettes with longer fermentation. There was no recognizable flavor of whole wheat, just a deeper, more complex flavor than I generally get with an all white flour bread.
Why was it so tasty? The only thing I can think of is the flour mix I used. I would love for some one else to try this combination and let me know if they get extraordinary results. I will be trying this again myself, of course.
Oh. What was the best tasting baguette I've made? Gosselin's "original" formula (not Reinhart's revision). But this involves an overnight cold retardation and secondary mixing of added ingredients afterwards. Not a 4-hour project.