Fortunately, these first baguettes taste lots better than they look. Pretty homely, really. Instead of the lean elegance of a French loaf, these are peasantly stubby. No gleaming crust either. And the crumb? Could be lots more open. I figure the dough could have used considerably more time for both the bulk and 2nd rise because my kitchen is cold. I also think I should have let the pre-shaped pieces rest a full 30 minutes before attempting the final shaping. I'll definitely try these again, and perhaps substitute a bit of the bread flour with AP.
Here are a few pictures. They tell the tale. Top left: ready for bulk fermentation. Top rt: After one hour and one fold.
Middle left: pre-shaped. Middle rt: the stubby loaves. Bottom left: a look at the crumb. Bottom right: just thought I'd throw in a look at my farm, Bull Brook Keep. This view is looking to the East.
It feels great to be back on the bike. Made my first loaf of a long-fermenting bread after more than a year away from real baking. I'm still getting my sea legs back, but there were glossy holes in the crumb and the crust sang when I pulled the loaves of Country Bread (Hamelman) from the oven.
Hi all. It's been quite a while since I contributed to this site. Lots of changes in last 18 months: bought a farm, began raising grass-fed/grass-finished beef, sold house, now building farm house, started hosting an FM radio show about sustainable farming and its links to sustainable local economies and community. I've been relying on my bread machine for months, but I'm itching to get back to "real" bread baking. I've signed up for a Hamelman challenge to push me along. A secondary challenge is that my bread books are in storage while the farm house is under construction. I'm relying on a copy from the local library to help me make it through.