The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bouabsa

  • Pin It
storunner13's picture

Overmixed Baguette Dough?

June 22, 2011 - 12:43pm -- storunner13

So...first post.

I've baked a number of breads before, but decided to do a little research and try making baguettes (just to be tough on myself).  Anyways, I was following the Bouabsa recipe (or at least I think I was following it).  But I'm pretty sure I overmixed it.  Being a newbie, I was expecting the stickyness to eventually go away leaving me with a smooth and elastic dough.  However, as I now understand, the stickyness should never go away.

EdTheEngineer's picture
EdTheEngineer

Greetings everyone!


This is my first post, having been lurking here for a few weeks. This is a fabulous website and it has accelerated my learning and increased my enjoyment of my new hobby a great deal. I started baking bread a few months ago as an antidote to revision for my university finals. My initial attempts were flat and dense bricks and puddles, more like squashed soda breads. But since finding this site a few weeks ago I've been inspired to put a bit more energy in and try out some of the techniques I've been reading about and watching on the various youtube videos dotted around.


I thought yesterday that I'd have a first attempt at baguettes, having previously been put off by reading it was difficult to make an actual 'baguette' rather than baguette-shaped sandwich bread. The first hit in the search was the Anis Bouabsa recipe. I wanted to have them ready for this evening's dinner so couldn't quite stick to the method prescribed. My method was:


- Poolish - 250g flour, 2g yeast, @100% hydration. Fridge for 7 hours.


- Allow an hour to warm, add the rest of the ingredients. Fridge for 2 hours then in the pantry (which is about 10 degrees C at the moment) for 5 hours. 


- Pre-shape and rest for 40 mins


- Proof for about 50 mins


I slit and sprayed with water, then put them (on baking paper) on the floor of the Aga, which has had a small pan of water on a higher shelf boiling away for the duration for constant steam. Took about 35 minutes to cook - a bit longer than the recipe says - the floor of the Aga is at a lower temperature than the recipe calls for but my feeling is that having them directly on a nice, big, heavy, high thermal mass aga oven floor is A Good Thing. I don't have a stone slab but I guess putting that higher in the oven would be the better way to do it.


I wasn't expecting much - this was a real step up in shaping complexity (I was guided by the <i>excellent</i> Ciril Hitz videos) and more difficult slashing than my usual cave-man technique. But I was pleasantly surprised by what came out of the oven!


Three Baguettes


You can see my shaping is a bit inconsistant (not to mention wrong in ways that are less immediately obvious to me!) but they just about look the part. They sang and crackled promisingly on the cooling rack and I had to try one before dinner. You know, just to test... it tore just like the baguettes I've had in france and biting in was a lovely crunch followed by tasty chewiness. The crumb was on the right lines, I think:


 


Baguette Crumb


 


I'm really quite excited to try this again. Next time I'll plan ahead more thoroughly and give it the 21 hours fridge fermentation that the original recipe calls for. I'll not bother with the poolish stage either (I did it as I thought it might give me the flavours and gluten development a little quicker).


I've been getting quite into using a poolish. I've just come back from a bit of travelling and decided tot to make a sourdough starter until i got back (just so I could be around to care for it) so a poolish seemed like a good stop-gap for getting a bit more flavour out of the flour. For fun, here's a photo of another recent session.


- 1kg of flour (2/3 whole grain 1/3 strong white), 500g of which was in a 100% hydration poolish overnight in the fridge. 


- 20g salt.


- 20g fresh yeast


- teaspoon of dark brown sugar.


Produced a pair of boules, finished in different ways:


Pair of boules


I cut the slashes quite deel on the nearer boule, but the loaf still sprang right up to the point of stretching them out flush with the rest of the crust. Given they have so much spring left to give, should I prove them a bit longer?


Anyway, thanks for reading, now I need to go an feed my new starter!


 


Ed 

mcs's picture
mcs

I guess that's what I'd call a pizza made with 75% hydration baguette dough.  MMMMmmmmmmm!  Tomato sauce covered with seasoned chicken, marinated artichoke hearts, mozzarella and parm.  Next time you make baguettes, do yourself a favor and reserve some dough for dinner.  Tomorrow night will be calzones.



-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

jombay's picture
jombay

Had another go at Bouabsa baguettes. I probably could have kept them in for another minute but I decided I would try a lighter crust today. These only had about a 12h bulk ferment.


Shape


BB1


Crumb


BB2

DonD's picture
DonD

Background:


A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for our annual fall pilgrimage to Hatteras Village for a week of relaxation, fishing, oystering and clamming. As usual, we were joined by a couple of dear friends who are also lovers of good food and wine. We always bring everything but the kitchen sink down there so that we can all take turns cooking fantastic seafood meals to go with the several cases of wines that made the trip with us. The problem is that we cannot find good bread down there so this year, I decided to bring the most essential of ingredients and utensils so that I can bake some French Baguettes. Also my friend Barbara, ever since tasting my Baguettes had repeatedly asked me to give her a tutorial on how to make them. Because of our busy play schedule during the day, I thought that the Anis Bouabsa formula would be perfect because aside from being a great recipe, it allows me to spend 3 hours each evening over 2 days and we would have fresh Baguettes for dinner.


Baguette 101:


So with Barbara as my Assistant Baker and with a lot of trepidation, I proceeded to show her step by step how to weigh and mix the ingredients, to master the art of the Autolyse, the Stretch and Fold, the Cold Retardation, the Shaping and Scoring and finally the Baking with Steam. Trouble was I was not armed with my usual battery of utensils that I normally use in my baking. No Mixer, no Thermometer, no Couche, no Baking Stone, no Lame, no Calibrated Oven, no Water Spritzer Bottle, no Cast Iron Skillet, no Lava Rocks. Was I doomed for failure?


Au Contraire, Mon Frere! As I proceeded with mixing and working the dough by hand, it developed beautifully and after the cold retardation, I shaped the loaves and proofed them on a perforated baguette pan I brought along that I used  to bake with in my pre-TFL days. I used a plain double edged razor blade to score the loaves. I put a broiler pan in the old electric oven and poured in 1 cup of hot water for steam. The baguettes rose fine, the ears opened up nicely, the crust was crackly, the crumb was open and soft and best of all the taste was fantastic, as good as any I have baked under more ideal conditions. We greatly enjoyed the Baguettes with our Japanese style Bouillabaisse.


 No Frills Baguettes


 Roughing it Crumb


Conclusion:


I think that sometimes we are too dependent on non-essential gadgets. It goes to show that we can make great bread with good ingredients, our hands and the most rudimentary utensils.


Epilogue:


My friend Barbara was so excited about the results that once she got home, she decided to make a batch of baguettes on her own and she sent me these photos.


 Barbara's Outstanding Baguettes


 Barbara's Amazing Baguette Crumb


I would say that she graduated from Baguette 101 Magna Cum Laude!


Don


 

DonD's picture
DonD

This past weekend, I made a batch of Baguettes au Levain based on the recipe that Janedo had adapted from the Anis Bouabsa formula. This is my third try at this recipe and each time I tweaked it a little bit to correct some aspects that did not turned out to my liking. This time the loaves turned out pretty good with nice oven spring and airy crumb. The crust had nice golden color with small blisters, thin and crackly and deep caramel flavor. The taste was not sour but is rich and sweet with a slight tang.


The formula I used consists of:


- 125 g of stiff white flour levain at 67% hydration


- 300 g KAF AP Flour


- 150 g KAF Bread Flour


- 50 g Arrowhead Mills Organic Stoneground WW Flour


- 350 g water


- 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast


- 10 g Atlantic Sea Salt


I autolyse the flour mixture with the water without the yeast or salt for 30 mins prior to mixing in the levain, then added the yeast and the salt during the stretch and fold. I followed the 20 movements 3 times at 20 mins interval using the stretch and fold from Richard Bertinet (I like slapping the dough!). I let the dough ferment for 1 hr then refrigerate for 24 hours before dividing, shaping and baking.


I reduced the hydration to 70% to make the shaping and scoring of the baguettes easier. I also found that that little extra yeast really helps with the oven spring.


I proofed the shaped baguettes and scored them on a perforated pan lined with parchment paper which helps keep the shape, especially when working with a high hydration dough. To help me comtrol the scoring, I made a full size cardboard template as a guide while scoring.



I tranferred the loaves by sliding the parchment onto a jerry-rigged wooden peel made from a top cover of a Bordeaux wine case and from there onto the baking stone.



I baked 10 mins at 460 degrees F with steam from a cast iron pan filled with lava stones (thanks David!), reduce to 430 degrees and baked without steam for 13 mins, turned off oven and kept them in the oven with door ajar for another 5 mins ( thanks again David!) before removing them to cool on a rack.




 


I hope these little tidbits will be of help. Happy baking!


Don

Subscribe to RSS - Bouabsa