The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baguette

proth5's picture
proth5

 What is this?  Loaves made with commercial yeast, no pre-ferment, and all commercially ground flour?  I'm flashing back. 

 Must...use...only...iceberg...lettuce...in...the...salad.

 Can...not...find...love beads.

But I promised I would try this as part of the baguette surprise and challenge.  It was like riding a bike.  How fast those commercial yeasts do their little thing! (6 hours from scaling to bread and 2 of that was my slow mixing!)  How easy!

I made my standard baguette formula (65% hydration) adapted to commercial yeast.  I feel that my % of yeast - which was .5% - was a bit high, but looking at dmsynder's formula it seemed ok.

I did not use any whole wheat flour because I wanted to go "single factor" on this try - my sourdough baguettes vs. commercial yeast.

I've written up the technique and formula before and I followed it as only I can (like a maniac) - although I did have to adjust the timings for the bulk ferments (1 hour, fold, 1 hour) and proofing (40 minutes).  Shaping went "as usual" - I did not try to be especially light in my shaping although I have been told that I have a "light but firm" hand "naturally" (yeah, after years of practice...). I got a little distracted during the scoring, but steamed and baked as usual.

Oh my goodness!  The oven spring!  I remember when bread sprang quite like that!  This commercial yeast is the bee's knees! No wonder so many people use it!  Wow!

 Here' a picture of the cooling loaves where my haste in scoring is clearly evident.  But even so, the slashes opened well and have some nice grigne.  Alas, it seems that no yeast wild or commercial will improve my photography skills, though.

Cooling Loaves

 

I did NOT leave them in the turned off oven for 5 minutes, as again, I wanted to go all single factor on this.  When the loaves came out of the oven the crust was crackly and fragile.  I kept poking my fingers through it as I squeezed the loaves to test doneness and it came off in flakes.  As the loaves cooled, however, they lost the crackly quality somewhat.  I really think the slower cooling has some virtues and some role to play in that "crackly crust." (I also now think that excess steam is the culprit on cuts not opening...)

Here are a couple of crumb shots.  The crumb is not as open as my normal baguette, but it is not horrific.  The slashing flaws have a role to play there.

 Crumb End

Crumb

The bread had a "fluffy" feeling when I bit into it.  Very soft  and springy as compared to my normal levain baguette.

And the taste?  Well, bland.  Nice, sweet, wheaty, no hint of yeast, but bland.  This would make a lovely "carrier bread" as far as I am concerned - some really good butter and jam would go nicely and is almost required.  I'd gladly toast it up for a breakfast tartine.  Remember that I haven't eaten any breads not produced with wild yeast in at least three years now, so my perspective is somewhat skewed.  But so easy! This commercial yeast is the best things since - well, since sliced bread!

 (Seriously, you can see why bakers, pressed to get bread on the shelves for morning customers, embraced this marvelous yeast when it first appeared.  Taste?  Close enough.  People will eat it if that's all we sell and if we sell it warm, who will know?  For my personal baking I would never forgo the preferment - even using commercial yeast - because it is just so easy to do and can be done during non working hours.  But for speed from mixing to baked loaf after long centuries of baking with wild yeast, this must have been viewed with tremendous enthusiasm.)

At some point I will try the 10% whole wheat.  I mean, why not? The whole process is so fast...

David, I hope my experiences are helpful to you in some small way.

 Happy Baking!

xaipete's picture
xaipete

OK, so I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it works! Baguette dough is one of my favorite pizza doughs because it is easy to handle, has just a hint of sweetness, and bakes up as a sturdy, crisp, and thin platform (no sagging) that works no matter whether the topping be light or heavy. I baked this in the oven on my new stone (I didn't want to risk repeating last Friday's BBQed-beyond-all-recognition pizza). I had planned to top it with some pesto and fresh basil, but the pesto had molded and the basil, shriveled, so I just went with sauce and fresh mozzarella.

Neapolitan style pizza

--Pamela

proth5's picture
proth5

For those of you following baguette quests, a new "Best Baguette in Paris" has been named:  M. Frank Tombarel at his boulangerie Le Grenier de Felix, 64 Avenue Felix Faure (XVeme).

We have high hopes that Janedo can quickly make a trip there to learn his secrets.... :>)

Happy Baking!

mcs's picture

a short baguette video

December 19, 2008 - 3:23pm -- mcs
Forums: 

Fresh Loafians,
I just made a short video on pre shaping and shaping baguettes using the Anis 75% hydration dough.  If you'd like to check out the entry in my blog it's this entry: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9959/more-anis-baguettes

If you'd like to just see the video, here it is.
I never quite got the 'classical technique' of shaping them, so this is the 'only way I can do it' style.
-Mark
http://thebackhomebakery.com

redcatgoddess's picture
redcatgoddess

This is the most basic & easiest to acheve Baguette formula from Le Cordon Bleu (where I am trained).  This formula will yeild about 3 22" classic baguette.  You can use this recipe for

 805 g bread flour

16 g salt

6 g instant yeast (or 18 g fresh or 9 g active)

523 g water (or 511g if fresh yeast is used, or  520g for active yeast)

 

This is what we called "straight dough," basically, everyone comes to the party!

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, includes the yeast (active or fresh yeast needs to disolved in the wtaer 1st.
  2. Add the water to the dry.  Now, just mix the dough w/ you hand, until there is no dry or wet spot (and yes, the dough is still VERY sticky at this point and I know, but just leave it).  Cover it with the mixing bowl & let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough and knead/throw the dough (and yes, it will stick to the counter top or board, but please do NOT use any more flour, additional flour WILL change the formula.  Just knead the dough until it is not longer stick to your tough about 5 - 10 minutes.  Cover the dough w/ the mixing bowl again, let stand for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough and LIGHTLY knead it until the dough starts to show a little tearing on the side of the dough. 
  5. LIGHLY spray the mixing bowl w/ commerica pan spry (to make sure the dough doens't stick to the bowl, then cover w/ the plastic wrap.  Let ferment for 45 minutes (yes.. that's all it takes).
  6. After 45 minutes, slowing & lightly (use a bowl scraper) 'flap' the dough upside down onto the counter, then lightly pat out the large air bubbles & fold the dough into 3rd (3 folds).  Put the semi-rectangula/long dough back to the bowl, cover, let rest for another 45 minutes.
  7. Use a bowl scraper, 'flap' the dough from the bowl & dived into 3 potions (about 450 g each).  Lightly pat out large air cells, 3 folds, cover w/ plastic wrape and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Shaping... seal the seam of the baguette dough by firmly push the seem against the counter (as if you are chopping it, then start from the middle of the dough, slowly roll out the length of the baguette.  Then place the shaped dough onto a inverted baking sheet w/ springle of cornel, parchment, corn meal (pan, corn meal, parchment, corn meal).
  9. After shaping, spry the shaped baguette w/ either commerical pan spry or warm water, then cover w/ plastic wrap again, and let it bench rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Scoring... use a lame or sharp knife. Slash the baguette 5 or 7 times at 45 degree angle & about 4" long on the surface of the baguette.  The angel of the slach should look about 20 degree.
  11. Baking... 400F w/ 8 minutes of steam + 12 minutes = 20 minutes + extra minutes for desired crust color. Now, if you are a home baker, make sure you spry the baguette w/ WARM water HEAVILY then bake at preheated 400 F oven, about 20+ minutes, depends on the desired color.
  12. DO NOT CUT OPEN THE BAGUETTE UNLESS IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED!!!  Restaurants have us thinking WARM bread is the best, however, if you are cutting open a warm baguette, your 2 hrs work has just down the drain for nothing.  It has to be cool, please... another 30 minutes will not kill you...

I made the following Epi w/ this formula.
Epi

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