The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baguettes

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liseling's picture

will a mixer help significantly with wet dough? Help!

September 11, 2009 - 12:22am -- liseling
Forums: 

I am really bad at getting acceptable results with wet dough. I'd like to improve and start making baguettes etc. It seems to me that my problems have to do with mixing the dough without it sticking to everything and never seeming to get it to the point where it can be an actual cohesive piece of dough. Another problem that I always have is getting it to rise properly. Instead of rising into nice loaves anything I make with wet dough just flattens out in a puddle as soon as I start getting it ready to go into the oven.

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart


Hi everyone,


 


I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. This is my first foray into the world of online baking communities…


 


I completed pastry school and earned my Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris many years ago.  In addition, I hold multiple professional certificates in bread baking and venoisserie.  In other words, I’m a pastry chef.  


 


Like a lot of you, for years I have tried to make high quality venoisserie, brioche, croissants and baguettes using domestic flour, but I couldn’t seem to make it work with the flour we have available to us here in the States.  After all that time and money spent learning how to make them, needless to say, it left me more than a bit frustrated.  I searched and searched the internet and found many people trying “add a little of this or a little of that or try this or that”.  None of it worked to my satisfaction.  Actually, no one posted that they had great success either. 


 


I went to the top of the mountain, Grands Moulins de Paris (GMP), in a little town north of Paris by the name of Gennevilliers.  They are the largest mill company in Europe and arguably the best food and grain laboratory in the world.


 


My good friends and chefs in Paris tried to help me figure it out. The people at GMP tell me the flour that we have now developed is superior to type 45 and 55 French flour in every aspect.  


 


Knowing that there was no real solution for bakers in the States, I decided to turn my passion into my life’s work to provide this flour.  After all, we deserve high quality breads as much as Europeans.

The flour is not bleached.  The protein content is 11.5%.  There is ascorbic acid added as a preservative.  The deactivated enzymes, lipids and proteins, etc., added make the difference.  I believe one of the major benefits is derived from the enzymes that allow the starch to be broken down to complex sugars and the complex sugars to be broken down to simple sugars in the second proof.  Kind of complicated but really simple. The enzymes let the yeast live and the starches work as nature intended. Other than the vitamin C, everything added appears naturally in wheat.  Domestic mill companies buy the wheat and mill it so it has maximum shelf life.  We add the good stuff back. Just take a look at the breads on our website http://www.bdflour.com.  The beautiful color on the exterior of the breads come from the caramelization of the sugars, and of course, a good egg wash.


 


So, for the pastry students returning to the States, the product offers the opportunity to actually recreate what they learned to make abroad.


 


For the professional baker, the product will help you save money while creating a superior product possessing unmatched taste, texture, smell, appearance, and quality. Here’s a good example of how it saves you money: typically, American croissants weigh approximately 100 grams. B & D Croissant Flour creates a stronger dough, allowing for the same size croissant to weigh around 60 grams. This means that you not only use half the flour per croissant, but you use half of all other ingredients as well.


 


And for the at home bakers, well, the product allows you to make the best croissants, brioche and breads that you’ve ever tasted.


 


I’m excited to join the community of online bakers, and I welcome your questions and comments.  I encourage you to check out the website at http://www.bdflour.com, and, of course, hope some of you will venture to try the product.


 


Bart


 

 

dmsnyder's picture

More stupid bread photos

July 31, 2009 - 10:12pm -- dmsnyder


I'm always willing to try a new baguette recipe. So, DonD's “Eric Kayser's Baguettes Monge Hybrid” post caught my eye, and I made them today. I'll add a comment to Don's topic on the ones I made according to his instructions, but I made one of the 3 baguettes using my own technique. I call it “Eric Kayser's Baguettes Monge Mutant.”


proth5's picture
proth5

 Inspired by dmsnyder, I have been inching along on the challenge of making straight dough baguettes.


 I'm still getting over the fast action of commercial yeast, so I will try not to enthuse too much.


 This time I used my standard baguette formula (65% hydration) with 10% of my home milled high extraction flour and 90% King Arthur All Purpose.  Instant yeast was used at .5%.  I changed nothing else in the process - just the mix of flours


 I tried the trick of turning off the oven, but chickened out at two minutes.  The crust immediately out of the oven was very crackly, but did get softer as the baguettes cooled, but not nearly as much as the last batch.


 This time I was able to concentrate on my scoring.  The cooling baguettes are shown below.  I don't want to k'vel, but I think they look pretty nice. I love this oven spring with commercial yeast!  If anything they were a touch under proofed (gotta be me) but not by much.  Oh, OK, a little uneven on a couple of slashes and some tearing.


 Cooling Loaves


And here are the money shots.  The crumb.


 Crumb End


Crumb Tartine


Not bad.  So much depends on where the slice hits, but not bad.


 The taste? Again, lacking my little levain tang but pretty good.  I would say a tad better than all white.  The texture was fluffy.  I'm sure that toasted tomorrow they will be very nice.  Again, I would think this bread would be better in combination with "something else."  I feel that it has a sweetness to it that David didn't taste.


 Here are my observations on technique:



  • I add the salt at the beginning of the process.  I just don't think it makes a big difference and the voice in my head doesn't mock me about my irrational fear of salt.

  • Leaving the loaves in the oven for even two minutes had a significant effect on the "crackliness" of the crust.  Five minutes would be better.

  • I'd like to try these with even less yeast.  After 1 hour of bulk ferment these guys were definitely doubled.  If I pulled down the yeast a bit, the bulk ferment would take longer and I might get a better flavor (remembering that we want to get our loaves in the oven in 4-6 hours.)  My formula has about 1% less yeast than David's and this may have made a difference.  From past experience, I think it did.

  • I might (and I emphasize "might") up the hydration a bit.  The dough did feel a little stiff.  However I am standing firm that it is getting the fermentation correct, not just upping the hydration that creates the proper baguette crumb.  I only feel that the hydration should be increased ever so slightly to compensate for the whole wheat.

  • Folks who have watched me pre shape and shape dough remark on the quality of "the iron hand in the velvet glove" that I bring to my shaping (after years of practice).  I could be gentler I guess, but the voice in my head tells me that this is not the major factor (once you get to the "iron hand in velvet glove" phase - I mean if you are treating your baguettes like a stress relief ball, you need to back off) and I agree.  I think "gentle shaping" can be taken too far and this results in an unattractive end product.

  • I would make sure I concentrate on my scoring as this does have an impact.

  • I would steam normally.  The extra steam will probably just mess up the scoring.


Well, that's quite a binge of baguette baking.  I'm not prepared to give up my levains and pre ferments, but it's nice to know I can start a bread at noon and have it by dinner if I am pressed.


 David, I hope these observations are useful.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Today, I baked a couple boules of Susan's "Ultimate Sourdough," a batch of Anis Bouabsa baguettes with sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds and a Polish Cottage Rye.



I've blogged about Susan's sourdoughs before. What else is there to say? I love both her "Original" and "Ultimate" sourdoughs. I can't say I prefer one over the other. The one I baked today was from Susan's recipe, but I left out the olive oil ... I think. At the moment, I can't recall whether I forgot it or not. Hmmmm ....


The seeded Bouabsa Baguettes were made at my wife's request. I've been making different breads with mixed-seed soakers recently. My wife has enjoyed them, but has told me she likes the seeds on the outside more than on the inside. Being it's Mother's Day, it seemed a good time to make something special for her.


I followed the Bouabsa formula about which I've blogged several times before. This uses Bouabsa's technique but adds 100 gms of active sourdough starter. I also substituted 10% white whole wheat flour and 5% whole rye flour. The remaining 85% was Giusto's Baker's Choice. I mixed the seeds (30 gms sunflower, 30 gms sesame and 15 gms poppy) and rolled the shaped baguettes in the mix, spread on a sheet pan, before proofing on a linen couche.


They turned out well, with a nice crunchy crust, open crumb and very tasty flavor. 



The Polish Cottage Rye is one of my favorite breads from Leader's "Local Breads." I have made it using First Clear flour with results like the photo in Leader's book. The last couple of times, I have followed the recipe and used bread flour for the wheat flour. The crumb has been very open and nothing like that pictured in "Local Breads." Using bread flour, it makes a very slack dough that requires extensive, intense mixing to develop the gluten sufficiently to allow one to form a boule that holds its shape. Leader's mixing instructions should be followed and yield good results. Both versions have been delicious. 


I made this bread today with bread flour. It just came out of the oven and "sang" at the top of its lungs. 




 


David

dmsnyder's picture

Baguette surprise and a challenge.

May 5, 2009 - 10:27pm -- dmsnyder

Hi,


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.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


In 1904, Sir William Osler, one of the greatest physicians of his time, was asked to address the graduating class of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on the topic, “What is the most important personal attribute for a physician to cultivate in himself?” Sir William's address was entitled “Aequanimitas,” which roughly translates into modern American English as “Chill, dude!” I have always tried to follow Sir William's wise advice.


This afternoon, I made a batch of baguettes, according to Anis Bouabsa's formula. I thought they were the most perfectly shaped and scored baguettes I've every made. As I was loading the three baguettes into my pre-heated and humidified oven, one fell off the back of the baking stone. As I tried to grab it, the other two baguettes fell off the peel onto the oven door. What a mess!


Uttering a few words which my wife has asked I not speak in the presence of our grandchildren, I scooped up the twisted heaps of formerly gorgeous baguette dough. Should I scrap the bake as a lost cause or attempt a salvage operation? What could I lose by trying?


Aequanimitas, aequanimitas, aequanimitas ... 


I was able to separate the three pitiful pieces from each other. I reshaped them quickly – one folded as one might fold a ciabatta, one coiled and one formed into a figure 8 knotted “roll.” I immediately loaded them onto the stone and baked for 10 minutes with steam at 460F and 8 more minutes dry.



Anis Bouabsa Not Baguettes



Anis Bouabsa Not Baguettes - Crumb


Delicious! 


I hope you all have a great week and that all your "disasters" are really "opportunities," when you look back at them.


David


darellmatt's picture

For my daughter: sourdough french baguettes

February 28, 2009 - 3:55pm -- darellmatt

I didn't get quite as open a crumb as Ryeaskrye did, who posted the recipie. But the results aren't too bad for someone who took up baking a month ago:


 


sourdough baguettes


 


I proofed these on parchment thinking that would make it easier to transfer them to the oven, but the dough is so wet i had a hell of a time separating the parchment from the dough when it came time to put them in the baguette pans.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Last week, I made baguettes using Pat's (proth5) recipe. They were good. I was amazed at the open crumb I got from a 65% hydration dough. See my blog entry:


http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/node/10852/baguette-crumb-65-hydration-dough


Today, I made them again, but included an overnight cold retardation during bulk fermentation. The dough was mixed last night and refrigerated. It expanded little, if at all, overnight. I decided to let it double before dividing and shaping. After 6 hours at room temperature, it had only expanded by 50%, although I could see lots of little bubbles through the glass of the 2 quart measuring cup in which I was fermenting the dough. So, I decided to go ahead and divide it. I preshaped and let the pieces rest for 15 minutes, then shaped the baguettes and proofed them for about 70 minutes. Scored, loaded and baked at 460F.


Being a sourdough kind of guy, I found the increased sourness more to my liking than the batch I had not cold retarded. The crumb was a bit less open, no doubt due to the less complete dough expansion during bulk fermentation. I will try this again but do the cold retardation of the formed loaves next time.




David

rhag's picture
rhag

Todays Bake included the Five grain bread, Pain Au Levain, semolina baguettes and the vermont sourdough (no pictures sry) out of hamelmans book. But upon looking at the 5 grain recipe i only came up with 4 grains. If anyone could clarify for me that would be awesome. I stuck with the batard shape as i will be picking up a few wicker baskets soon. al so if anyone has any ideas on loaf shapes let me know! enjoy comments questions and whatever else are always welcome. ( sorry about the medicore pictures they came off my iphone.)


 



 



 



 


Pain au Levain Crumb



 



 


 


 


 


 

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