The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes

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JIP's picture
JIP

Baguettes

My first try at baguettes I got the recipe from Artisian Baking across America.  I had a little trouble because I ran out of all purpose and had to use about 1/2 bread flour and also I did not use instant yeast.  All in all they came out decent for a first try considering what all the books I read say about baguettes being the hardest shapes to master.  I thought they would be a little more airy but I guess that was a yeast problem I'm gonna try again with instant yeast and all all purpose flour.

 

zolablue's picture
zolablue

That recipe is my current favorite!  They have the most intensely delicious flavor and the crust is to die for.  But I'm mad about the scent of the raw dough - heavenly. 

You did an excellent job!  I really found those not at all hard to make beautifully and I'm also a very new baker.  I want some right now!

NinaJane's picture
NinaJane

Your baguettes look beautiful!!

 Can you post a recipe?

NinaJane

JIP's picture
JIP

Well as I said I got it from Maggie Gleezer's Artisian Baking across America I got it from the library the recipe is somewhat involved to be typing it up but that's where you can get it from.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Yes, that recipe is several pages and would be quite a task to type plus it includes some very good photo instructions that you would miss out on.  It is worth the price of the book to buy it.  The book recently came out in paperback for just over $15.

JIP, again, your baguettes are really gorgeous!  Please come back and post after you try the recipe with the changes in flour type. I'd love to know if you can detect a difference in texture and taste.

KNEADLESS's picture
KNEADLESS

I believe the same recipe is also in the Bread Bible.  It's involved, but if you follow it exactly, it is excellent!

 

George 

JIP's picture
JIP

Working on it right now and it already seems better but still the final mix of the dough seems way too wet to the point that I have had to add lots (2-3 T) of extra flour to make it clean the mixing bowl as the recipe says to do.  This happened last time to so I guess it's not a huge deal.  will post back later.

JIP's picture
JIP

Well everything started great, the pre-ferments were lots more active than before the dough almost puffed out of the bowl lots of air in the early stages but it all seemed tho end up the same in the end.  I guess all in all it came out good but I still am not getting the crumb full of giant holes like I expected.  As far as I can tell I am having an oven-spring problem the loaves I made this time started out larger than before but still did not get any bigger while baking I made 4 the first 2 I went exactly by the book

 As you can see not bad but not great.  The second 2 obviously got some more time proofing and I decided to try adding a pan of hot water to try and add a little steam am I correct in assuming that this will delay the crust formation a little to give time for a little spring? Here's a pic

 

See they got a little bigger but not the 50% spring that I expected.  One problem I also think I might had is, as I said in a previous post I added a little extra flour because the dough seemed a little gloppy and was not cleaning the bowl so I figured it was a little too wet.  So does anyone have any advice? What is a good way to promote more oven-spring?  

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I also made those this week, although mine weren't beautiful at all (let's just say they weren't too keen on leaving the peel).  The crumb and holes were excellent, however.  I don't have a KA, so the "clearing the bowl" phrase doesn't apply, but my dough was pretty dang wet.  And I let them proof to the point that I thought was too much.  Hope this helps.

BTW, do you normally get 50% oven spring? 

 Also, how do you get such a lovely golden tone?  My breads only are that color if I brush them with egg or egg white.  Otherwise, it's straight from white to darkish brown for me, even though I steam the oven.

JIP's picture
JIP

On the color I wouldn't use the last one as a judge of the color of my bread I overdid the color correction in photoshop a bit on that image but the others a pretty much true to life but I'm not sure how the color gets that way.  I know one thing I have a great oven I purchased it for $75 at an estate sale here in Pgh and it is the best bread baker very consistent heat albeit a little hot.  It is an old white porcelan job I think it is from the '50s btu it was in almos new shape when I bought it I guess that is a testament to how things used to be made and how people cared for things.  And I guess as far as oven spring I was reading in well I have gotten so many bread books from the library recently so I'm not sure what book it was they said loaves like baguettes should have a very large ovenspring up to 50% while others have alot less I have had probably that much on some loaves I have made but I guess that says more for my oven and the tiles I use because when I open the door I do not loose alot of heat.  And as far as "leaving the peel" did you use parchment paper? I used a cookie sheet makeshift peel with parchment paper and the paper slid right off my sheet.

Ron Berg's picture
Ron Berg

New to this forum and first post. I have been attempting to make perfect baguettes for many years that have great flavor as well as  a thin, crisp curst and soft, chewy crumb with lots of irregular holes. While not yet perfect, I have come a long ways in my quest.  I believe the key to great oven spring is proper steaming which lowers the temperature of the oven for the first 6-10 minutes allowing the yeast to do its thing one last time.  Proper steaming, I believe, also contributes to a thin cracker-crisp crust due to delaying caramelization of the sugars in the crust (this also affects color, I believe).  I recently sprang for the steambreadmaker steamer and 6" cover.  While initially skeptical (I didn't open the box for several days debating whether on not to send it back unopened), I have become convinced that it has done more to achieve my baguette quest than any other single factor.  It is hard to achieve the amount of steam with cast iron pans and hot water, misting with spray bottles, etc.  Here is a picture of my last baking.Baguette CrumbBaguette Crumb

blberman's picture
blberman

Great looking bread Ron. I wanted to share my experiences with everyone. I too have had trouble in the past getting good oven spring with an old, poorly insulated gas oven. In our new home we have a newer electric range, and I'm getting much better results. I place an old cookie sheet on the bottom rack, then place the baguettes in their perforated baguette tray on the top rack just one rung above the cookie sheet. Before popping them in the oven, I pour about 1 cup boiling water on the cookie sheet. I do this again 5-7 minutes into baking. I also cover the one burner which doubles as the oven vent with a domed stock pot lid to better trap the steam in the oven.

Recipe: 2C hot water, 5-6C Bob's Red Mill Organic unbleached white flour, 1Tbs active yeast, 2tsp sugar, 1Tbs salt. 1st rise 2 hours in the evening, punched down, folded over, let rise again overnight. Next morning, shape into loaves, put in pan, cover with towel, rise 2 hours. Bake 450-475 25-30 min. Eat for lunch.

I still need to work on my shaping (they both blew out the sides, which is common for me), but the taste and texture are a ok to me. I should have left them in about 5-10 min longer to get a deeper bronze color, but I couldn't wait. This bread is so good I can't stop cramming it into my mouth! BTW, this is my first post on this site; I've been a member for about a month and I really enjoy it. I can tell everyone here is having as much fun as I am!

april 24 2007 baguetteapril 24 2007 baguette

JIP's picture
JIP

Well I have about as much chance of getting one of those as I have of getting a professional oven with steam injectors $200 seems a little steep but if you got those results I guess it's a good product.  One question is the bread in your photo a baguette it seems a little on the large side or is it a closeup but great crumb whatever it is.  I guess this will have to be an on going quest to get it right but I guess the fun of this is the failures taste so good.  So can anyone recommend a good baguette recipe I currently do not have a starter so that is out right now but anything that does not use one.

Ron Berg's picture
Ron Berg

Sorry for the confusion. The picture is a close up of a baguette. I agree the steamer is very expensive. A recipe I have had good success with is Hammelman's recipe for baguettes made with a poolish. A poolish is made from equal parts water and flour with a bit of yeast. It is left to proof overnight from 12 to 16 hours before getting mixed into the final dough. This long fermentation of the poolish adds great flavor to the bread. There are other ways to develop similar great flavor, but the poolish method gives the bread a flavor I like. Another good recipe for baguettes made with a poolish is on the steambreadmaker website. www.steambreadmaker.com/bread_maker_recipe_free_bread_recipes.htm

You can bake any of these baguettes using whatever method of steaming you are now using.

JIP's picture
JIP

So after reading about this Steambreadbaker I decided to look around and for the budget minded that want to try something like this I found the steam generator that is used in this product on amazon for $41 http://www.amazon.com/STEAMFAST-STEAM-CLEANER-900WATTS-MIN/dp/B000M470I4/ref=sr_1_54/103-9350429-6777424?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1173490192&sr=1-54 and on Ebay fro as low as $19 http://search.ebay.com/STEAMFAST-STEAM-CLEANER_W0QQfkrZ1QQfromZR8QQsubmitsearchZSearch if you can find a source for a lid for a chafing dish and mabye even a used one.  This might be a little harder to find but you still can get away with something like this deal for $50-$80 still a little steep for me right now but mabye someday.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I too bought the steamer and cover and am thoroughly pleased with the results. Yes it is pricey and if one wants to dig into the ebay market I'm sure you can eventually find a less expensive way to get that job done. The reality is, it works and it works well. The very best crust and crumb I can make is from using a confined environment and very hot steam. I have tried every form of tossing water, dripping and spraying and siphoning in from the vents, you name it I tried it. A small cover and hot steam is the best. There are a slew of covers that will work and any decent size steamer will produce the desired effect. How ever you get it done, once you see the results you will remember the moment. And the bonus is you won't ruin your oven's sensitive components.

JerryMac's picture
JerryMac

JIP,

Great pictures and also great looking bread.

I'm a bit of an amateur fotog myself !

What kind of camera and settings did you use ?

Love the short depth of field !!!!

 

Mangia Bene :)

Jerry 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

all of these baguettes look amazing!

I am afraid to try baking baguettes...need to work my way up to it.  

JIP's picture
JIP

As far as the DOF goes I probably shot them at f/4 or at least 5.6 I don't really remember.  It is always hard to get a nice daylight shot in my kitchen because by the time I am usually finished baking my bread it is dark and to do a nice shot like that you need daylight.  As far as the baguettes go I continued my experiments with ABAA baguettes here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2645/very-busy-day and I'd have to say they are probably my best so far.  Tahk you all for the compliments though.