Well, dear readers, despite my recent silence on the subject I have not given up on my baguette quest! For the last few weeks, however, I'd gotten a little sick of blogging about it. This week was fairly successful, however, and so I want to share, and request some feedback.
The main change from previous bakes is that a little over a week ago I got a shipment of baking toys, I mean, equipment from TMB/San Francisco Baking Institute. I got 2 yards of 18-inch linen couche, a lame/blade holder with razor blades, a proofing board (which I've been using as an all-purpose bench board), and a flipping board. With these, I was certain, many of my problems would be resolved (specifically, excess degassing when shaping and transfering, and ragged scoring). The first bake with the new equipment (last week) was a little rough, but this week I had things sorted out.
Crumb - First Half
Crumb - Second Half
I'm getting there! The slashing wasn't perfect, but it went much smoother with the new blade, resulting in at least two ears per baguette big enough to lift the loaf with. Crust was decent if not exceptional, flavor was good. Profile was nice and round, a nice change from some recent flatter bakes. Crumb varied within the baguette I sliced (the one in the middle, up top) from good to great.
Here's where I'm looking for feedback: I'm still having problems with the crust bursting between cuts -- is this the result of under-proofing? Or something else? I could swear this batch was fully proofed, but I'm not necessarily a good judget of these things.
Happy baking, everyone,