It has been a while since we did our Hemp Bag take on Empress Ying’s 36 hour baguettes. The last time the hemp seeds made for some pretty dopey baking according to Hanseata. She is rarely wrong when it comes to seeds and especially ….eeerrrr…. baking with them. They were delicious baguettes but lacked full depth of flavor and tasty character of a bread that has at least 15% whole grains in it.
Luckily EY (Empress Ying) has already set the standard for multi-grain baguettes here like she has for 36 hour baguettes galaxy wide here: They are terrific!
Of course I didn't find her perfect post until after my bake was done so all of the good things I learned from it were not used :-) Her experiment starts at 20% whole grain and moves up to 40% and she increases her hydration as the whole grain rise with 80% hydro for her 20% whole grain version.
I kept my hydration at 75% for this 16% version but would have used 78% had I thought properly even without her post. I know it sounds like a lot to expect from a doofus like me but my apprentice has been testy of late and asleep at the oven much of the time.
My whole grains were different than txfarmer’s too. We used spelt, rye and whole wheat. Our 36 hours was different than hers too and wasn't even 36 hours either. We just can’t seem to stick to any kind of schedule since we retired. Instead of a 12 hour autolyse, we did a 6 hour room temperature one with the salt.
After the mix of levain and autolyse came together, we did 8 minutes of French slap and folds because my apprentice loves the sound of the dough smacking the marble - makes her go insane and start barking very loudly until things quiet down. After a 15 minute rest we continued on with (3) S&F’s every 30 minutes for the next hour and a half. We allowed the dough to ferment for an hour before we retarded it for 20 hours instead of 24. We then took it out of the fridge with the intent of baking it but after 1 hour of warm up, pre-shape, final shape (16” long) and into a rice floured basket for final proof, we only let it proof for an hour and then chucked it into a plastic trash can liner and into the fridge for another 14 hours of retard.
EY said that she thought it could stand some more hours of retard and Ian just gave it 30 so we though a total of 34 hours of retard instead of 24 might be OK if the bread gods were too drunk on godliness to notice.
After the 2nd retard was done we let the dough, still inside the trash can liner sit on the counter for 3 hours before firing up Old Betsy at 500 F for a 45 minute pre-heat with 2 of Sylvia’s steaming bread pans on the bottom rack with the stone on the rack above.
The baguettes were upturned onto the parchment lined peel, poorly slashed 4 times each, this type of massacre should be illegal by the way, and slid onto the stone with a ½ cup of water thrown into the bottom of the oven as we closed to door to make sure the steam was maximized. We immediately turned the oven down to 450 F and let the bread steam for 10 minutes.
The steam was removed, the oven turned down to 425 F convection this time, and the baguettes were baked for another 15 minutes. The baguettes were turned 180 degrees every 5 minutes for the last 15 minutes to make sure they baked evenly.
When we test them for temperature they were already at 210 F so we took then out of the oven and put them on the cooling rack. They were very crispy (and stayed that way), blistered, nicely browned and we could hold them up by the ears – well at least 1 of the 2 we could. The slashing was still primitive - practice isn't helping much - but no giving up is allowed :-)
What surprised us was the crumb was not as open as we wanted and thought we would get after our last baguette bake and the even our last boule bake for that matter. Well you can’t have everything, every time like Empresses do unless you know what you are doing and do it :-) Maybe starting off with 8 minutes of French Slap and folds was not the right thing to do.
Do you think it would help if we followed txfarmer’s directions exactly? Possibly! Well, tell that to my apprentice!These baguettes do taste great, much better than plain white ones or even ones with hemp seeds in them with our taste buds. Can’t wait to have some bruschetta tonight.
16% Whole Multi-grain Baguettes
Rye Sour Starter
Levain % of Total
T. Dough Hydration
Whole Grain %