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baguettes

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proth5's picture
proth5

 Well, you know.


Although I went into some detail with my panned bread recipe (which has stabilized at my last published formula (or can get snazzed up with the addition of 12-15% each of toasted chopped walnuts and prunes) I've been working up other formulas and channeling Richard Blais - ever unhappy with my baguettes -  I have been tweaking formulas that others might call successful.


Last weekend things seemed to go well.


My first bake was a variation on the "Bear-guettes" formula where I took the hydration up to a (for me) stratospheric 70%.  I was unhappy with the results of the non retarded dough, but given a long cold stay in the refrigerator and then warmed up at room temperature for a couple of hours, the dough was supple and easy to handle.


I always cut a baguette in half and then in half lengthwise as a drive time snack for my faithful limo driver and when I saw it, I just had to take a quick snap as I ran out the door to catch my plane.



The formula is simplicity itself. (In my browser I do not seem to be able to create the all important borders and shading, so I am breaking up these formulas into non-standard format)


 

Overall formula

Baker's Percent

Total Flour

36.9 oz

100%

AP Flour

36.9 oz

85%

Water

25.83 oz

70%

Salt

0.66 oz

2%

Yeast

0.060 oz

0.165%

Seed

 .37 oz

20%

 

 

 

Total Wt

36.9%

 

 

Pre ferments

 

Poolish

Baker's Percent

Levain

Baker's Percent

 

% flour

10%

%Flour

5%

AP Flour

3.69

100%

1.845

100%

Water

3.69

100%

1.845

100%

Salt

 

 

 

 

Yeast

 pinch

 

 

 

Seed

0.738

20%

0.369

20%

Poolish total wt

7.38

 

 

 

Levain total wt

 

 

4.059

 

 

Hand mix.

Allow 12-14 hours to ripen.

Final dough

 

Final Dough

 

 

AP Flour

31.365 oz

Water

20.1105 oz

Salt

0.6642 oz

Yeast

0.060885 oz

Seed

 

Poolish

7.38 oz

Levain

4.059 oz

 

Mix to shaggy mass and autolyse for 45 minutes.

Mix in spiral (or by hand) to moderate development  - 3 minutes.

Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight. (I actually divide this into 2 baguette sized chunk to allow it to warm more quickly in the morning)

 Remove from refrigerator.

Allow to warm to room temperature (2-3 hours)

Divide (I divide into 6 pieces)

Pre shape round

Shape baguette

Proof 1.25- 1.5 hours

Score

Bake with steam 5 minutes at 500F then 12 minutes at 460F with convection.

The other formula I have been working on I describe as "Country Bread."  While the classic baguette limits us to a very strict list of ingredients and shapes, I wanted to make a bread that had a more varied list of ingredients and perhaps a different shape.

One thing that I began to think about was making a bread with a more distinct sour flavor.  My levain lives "free range" and is fed at least once a day. My house sitter feeds it when I am away and it does not undergo the indignity of being left in a refrigerator until it is cold and sad and creates hooch.  As a result, it is a very mild levain.  What I found out was that by using it with a rye pre ferment, I could get a sour flavor.  I finally got a formula to my liking which is presented below.

Overall formula

 

Overall formula

Baker's Percent

Total Flour

37.5 oz

100%

Bread Flour

28.125 oz

75%

Rye Flour

3.75 oz

10%

Whole Wheat

5.625 oz

15%

Water

24.75 oz

66%

Salt

0.50625 oz

2%

Yeast

 

 

Seed

0.5625 oz

 

Poolish

 

 

Rye Levain

 

 

Total Wt

63.31875 oz

 

 

Note that I am using Bread Flour - this does not work as well with all purpose flour - even King Arthur All Purpose

Both my rye and whole wheat flours are freshly ground.

Pre ferments

 

Rye Levain

Baker's Percent

Whole wheat poolish

Baker's Percent

% flour pre fermented

 

 10%

 

 5%

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Flour

3.75 oz

100%

 

 

Whole Wheat

 

 

1.875 oz

100%

Water

4.875 oz

130%

1.875 oz

100%

Salt

 

 

 

 

Yeast

 

 

Pinch

 

Seed

0.5625 oz

20%

 

 

Wheat  poolishwt

 

 

3.75 oz

 

Rye Levain wt

 9.1875 oz

 

 

 

 

Mix by hand and allow to mature 12-14 hours

Final Dough

 

Final Dough

 

 

Bread Flour

28.125 oz

Rye Flour

 

Whole Wheat

3.75 oz

Water

18 oz

Salt

0.50625 oz

Yeast

 

Seed

 

Poolish

3.75 oz

Rye Levain

9.1875

 

 

Note that there is no additional yeast - this is not a typo...

Mix to shaggy mass and autolyse 45 minutes.

Mix with spiral for 7 minutes to good gluten development

Bulk ferment 5 hours total - one fold at 2.5 hours

Divide (I make 3 pieces)

Pre shape rounds

Shape batards

1.5 hours proof.

Score.

Bake with steam 10 minutes at 480F and then 20 minutes at 460F with convection.

The photo...

 

Last, but not least, I was looking over my old formula spreadsheet and comparing it to the BBGA standard.  My old spreadsheet took the amount of the seed used in the levain into account as part of the % of flour pre fermented - the BBGA standard does not. While this keeps the math much simpler, it causes the actual amounts of flour pre fermented to be understated vs. my method.

I've been thinking quite a bit about the impact of my altitude on baked goods in general and decided to drop the amount of flour pre fermented in my baguettes to  7% in the polish and 5% in the levain.

Frankly, I wasn't quite happy with the timings on this formula (which had me loading the oven at 9PM after an 8 AM start on the mix) but the results were nice without having to do a retarded ferment.  I may be on to something...

I'll leave the formula as a math exercise for the reader  (and those of you who bake at lower than Mile High altitudes may wish to skip this entirely), but here is the money shot...

 

I have a list of formulas that I want to develop this year and for the next bit I will be working on multigrain and "seedy/nutty" bread.  We'll see how that goes.

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Victory is mine!  If you haven't been following my occasional series of posts, six months ago I set out to improve my baguette skills by making a batch Hamelman's "Baguettes with Poolish" every Saturday and blogging about it here.  I haven't been entirely rigorous about the blogging, but I've kept up the baking, skipping only one weekend in all that time.  Here's what I said I wanted to achieve in week 1:


My objective: produce a reliable, tasty and beautiful baguette through practice, trial and error. I don't really imagine that I will truly master the baguette--better home bakers than I have tried in vain, I know. But I'm hoping to turn what is usually a hit-or-miss process into something I can do over and over again well, if not perfectly.


I submit to you that I have achieved this objective.


Exhibit A: Last week's bake (week 26 if you're counting)




What is notable about this batch is not how well they turned out, per se (though they aren't bad, eh?), but the fact that I did several things wrong, and they still came out quite well.  The plastic wrap stuck to the baguette in the middle, making it hard to score, I forgot to turn the oven down from the pre-heat temperature for the first 6 minutes of the bake, and I purposely omitted the "leave in the oven with the door cracked" step because I needed the oven.  And still they were good.  Crust was a bit chewy, but it was thin, the crumb was nice and the flavor was great.


Exhibit B: Todays bake


Exterior


 


Crumb:



 The scores didn't come out quite perfectly--the baguettes took longer than usual to proof, and may have stil been a little under-proofed.  But everything else was spot on.  Crust was thin and crisp, crumb open and creamy, flavor sweet and nutty.  If every baguette I ever make again is like this, I'll be happy.


More to the point, if every baguette I make again is a random draw from the last 4-5 weeks of baguettes, I'll be more than happy.  There is still room for improvement, but at this point I think the benefit of making my baguettes a little bit better is less than the benefit of making a wider variety of breads (or even a wider variety of baguette recipes), and much less than the benefit starting a new quest (I have a couple in mind, but that's for another post).


Thanks to everyone who has followed along with my occasionally long-winded adventure, and thanks especially to those (Larry in particular) who helped point me in the right direction early in the process.  It has been a wild ride the last 6 months (not least due to the birth of my daughter in week 6).  Sometime soon I'll write up a post specifically reflecting on the lessons I've learned from Saturday Baguettes.


Happy baking, everyone,


-Ryan


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread



Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread crumb


I made this following the recipe in the book. The whole wheat flour was freshly milled. The bread was delicious.


I always end up with a couple hundred grams of extra levain when I make the Basic Country Bread. I hate throwing it away, so, this week, I made a batch of baguettes with it. The 70% hydration dough was hand mixed and fermented for 2 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes, then fermented for another 90 minutes with stretch and folds on the board at 45 and 90 minutes. I retarded the dough in bulk overnight. This afternoon, I divided the dough, pre-shaped it and let it rest for an hour. Then, the baguettes were shaped, rolled on wet paper towels then in mixed seeds and proofed en couche for 45 minutes before baking at 450ºF for 20 minutes.



Seeded baguettes



Seeded baguette crumb


The flavor was very much like the Tartine Basic Country Bread except more sour. Very nice.


David

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I routinely make baguettes with a straight dough at 70% hydration, and an overnight ferment at 55°F.  Curious, in yesterday's mix I reduced the hydration to 65%, all other ingredients (KA AP flour and sea salt) and processes were the same: DDT set to 55°F with ice water, and the dough chilled during autolyse, between S&Fs and overnight retarding for 15 hours. I was motivated to try a lower hydration based on a smattering of comments scattered in various TFL threads that argue open crumb isn't only about hydration. This dough, developed an extraordinary strength--I did the 3rd S&F only because I  always do three, it didn't need doing. The crumb is nearly as open as I experience in the 70% dough. However, the dough seemed to have less than the usual elasticity; note the broken surface between the scorings. I detected no apparent difference in flavor.



David G

EmelineS's picture

Novice baguette results

March 2, 2011 - 10:22pm -- EmelineS
Forums: 

 Hello Experts,


I'm a novice baguette maker and I am easily overwhelmed by all of the information on this forum about making baguettes.  So I picked one recipe and gave it a go.  I tried using the "Basic Baguette Formula" ( link below), and got mixed results. 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9104/baguette-baguette-and-more-baguette


The flavor and texture of the crumb was good enough, but the crust was not flakey or crunchy.  Suggestions?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When 3 separate ideas rush over me at the same time, well I'm helpless to stop the resultant activity. Recently I saw Larry produce some beautiful baguettes and the Margaritta star shape. That got me thinking.


Then Proth5 (Pat) posts about her new Bear-Guettes. A dual yeast French mix that has the promise of wonderful taste.


The final thing that pushed me over the edge was receiving a bag of Central Milling's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft (Malted) from a friend who knows I will put it to good use. 


With all of these positive influences popping at once, I decided to join them and try a shape I had never made with flour I had never used in a formula I had never played with. Sounds like fun, right!


First, I love the Bear-Guettes recipe. I get no sense of tang what so ever. Very mild sightly nutty flavor with a nice crispy crust. Thank you Pat, I agree with your Chief Tester.


The Artisan Bakers Craft flour is wonderful. I had excellent development and a smooth silky dough using hand mixing and a few of Bertinet's slap and fold and just one S&F after 2 hours. Thanks to my flour fairy! You know who you are:>)


The shaping and creation of the star shapes "La margueritte" was fun. Not as hard as it looks if you can count to 6 lol. Thank you Larry for leading the way on this. The second batch which was retarded over night turned out better and were more symmetric


I'm convinced that I want to obtain a decent amount of the CM Artisan Bakers Craft for use in my French breads. You can tell it is a quality milled product by the silky nature of the dough in such a short time and in a hydration level fit for straight formulas. I like to use one flour and get comfortable with the characteristics of it so I know what to expect when I toss a batch together based on the percentages I have in my head. This is going to be my new flour.I like the creamy crumb color.


Eric





Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, damn!



Not the most open Baguette dough ever but considering the handling, not bad.

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

As promised, I am keeping you up to date with my recent baking adventures.  I have a love for baguettes but nothing has given me more grief than this elusive bread.  I have baked these loaves a number of times but have failed to develop the nice open airy crumb that beckons me to bake them as often as I do.  


 


            Today’s bake started as a result of needing bread for dinner.  I had a hunger for chicken seasoned with garlic, oregano, thyme, and s&p with a piece of provolone cheese melted on top, sandwiched between a baguette slathered with garlic basil mayo, tomato, and lettuce.  This was all in my head however; I still didn’t have any bread.


 


            So I removed the pate fermentee from the refrigerator and cut it into small bits to remove the chill.  I mixed together the flour, pate fermentee, salt, and yeast.  The water was added and I mixed everything into a coarse ball, and then poured the contents out onto the counter.  I worked the dough until it was smooth and silky tacky not sticky.  I wanted to experiment with higher hydration this go around, so I added an additional tablespoon or two of water to the dough.  In the future I will use warmer water because I have not been able to increase the internal temperature of the dough to around 80 degrees through kneading.


 


            The dough was put into a lightly oiled bowl and covered with plastic wrap.  My house is a chilly 62 degrees so I have to be creative with finding a warm place to let the dough rise.  I place the bowl on top of an electric heating pad set to low, turn on overhead heating lights, and plug in a space heater.  The thermometer in the room reads around 78 degrees with all of this extra heat.  I let the dough rise until doubled while stretching and folding every 30 minutes for the first hour and a half. 


           


            When I was satisfied with the dough 2.5 hours later, I removed the dough and scaled it down on the counter top.  Each scaled piece of dough weighed approx. 390 grams.  I let each scaled piece of dough rest for about 20 minutes and then formed each portion into a baguette utilizing the counter to create surface tension.  The baguettes were allowed to rise for about 45 minutes, then were scored, and baked.  The oven temp was 500 degrees for the first 2 minutes with steaming every 30 seconds of that period.  The temperature was lowered to 450 and the loaves were allowed to bake until golden brown and the internal temperature was 205ish. 


 


            The loaves were Fantastic for dinner tonight and I have decided to look into a job baking with a local bread company; I might as well considering I love making bread anyway.


 


The recipe for the main dough is as follows:


 


5oz unbleached AP


5oz bread flour


16oz pate fermentee


1½ teaspoons salt


¾ teaspoons active yeast


¾ cup water warm to touch plus a few tablespoons extra





 


That ever elusive crumb continues to fight me but i will not waiver I will not lose hope, I will continue baking baguettes.


 


-Matthew


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 



Pat's (proth5) baguettes have been my “go to” recipe for baguettes for quite a while. When she posted a new formula in November  - See Starting to get the Bear  - I promised myself to give them a try. I got around to it today.


These baguettes are made with both levain and a poolish and are spiked with some instant yeast. They still have a relatively long fermentation, for yeasted baguettes. Pat's description of her method included baking some of the dough the day they are mixed and retarding some to shape, proof and bake the next day.


Here is my interpretation of her formula a methods, with some modifications, as described below.


 


Poolish

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

3.7

Water

3.7

Instant yeast

“generous pinch”

 

Levain

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

1.7

Water

1.7

Ripe sourdough

0.35

 

Final dough

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

31.35

Water

19.2

Instant yeast

0.05

Salt

0.55

Poolish

All

Levain

All

 

Total dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

AP flour

37.1

100

Water

25

67.25

Instant yeast

0.1

0.25

Salt

0.55

1.5

Starter

0.35

9

Total

63.1

178

     

  1. Mix the poolish and the levain and let them ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. Mix all the ingredients except the salt to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. (I actually autolysed for 90 minutes.)

  3. Add the salt and hand mix in a large bowl or machine mix for 3-5 minutes at low speed. (I hand mixed the dough.)

  4. Bulk ferment for 4.5 hours with a stretch and fold at 2 hours. (Or, cold retard for up to some length of time, but surely less than 3 days. Or divide some pieces and retard the rest of the dough. This time, I divided the dough in two after the S&F and retarded half.)

  5. Divide into 10 oz pieces and pre-shape as logs. Rest the pieces, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

  6. Shape as baguettes.

  7. Proof en couche for 1.5 hours (Or until ready. Or retard shaped loaves.)

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

  9. Transfer loaves to peel. Score them and transfer them to the oven.

  10. Bake with steam for 5 minutes. Then lower temperature to 480ºF (convection, if you have it), and bake for another 12-13 minutes.

  11. Transfer to a cooling rack and cooling thoroughly before eating.

 

Because of the size of my baking stone, I divided half the dough into 4 pieces to make mini-baguettes.The dough handled really nicely, I thought. The baguettes were proofed and baked as above, according to Pat's directions. After 17 minutes, they were rather dark, especially the one at the back of the oven. They sang loudly when removed to cool. They came out of the oven just in time to eat with dinner, for a change, rather than just in time for bedtime snack.

Baguette crumb - torn, not cut

We ate one baguette with dinner – Sautéed petrale sole, leeks vinaigrette and warm Swiss chard salad with olive oil and lemon dressing.

The crust was very crunchy. The crumb was quite chewy and nicely aerated. The flavor was good, but I will use a bit more salt next time. I think I will also bake at a somewhat lower temperature for a slightly longer time. 460-480ºF for 20 minutes would be better for me, I think.

Addendum: I baked the second batch of baguettes today. I baked these at 470ºF for 20 minutes.

Baguettes with varied shaping and scoring

Compared to the first batch, the second had less dark crust. It was very crisp. The crumb was basically the same. The flavor was noticeably sweeter, but it still was under-salted to my taste.

These are very nice baguettes. I'll be following Pat's reports of her continuing bear hunt.

David

 

 

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