The Fresh Loaf

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First ever baguette using Anis' recipe - Thanks Mark!

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Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

First ever baguette using Anis' recipe - Thanks Mark!

I have this thing about everything being perfect that I've been trying my whole life to just get over. Well, I'm finding baking bread is helping in ways I never imagined.


This is my first ever attempt at baguettes. Mark at The Back Home Bakery suggested I use Anis' recipe for baguettes (if my ciabatta I was making on the weekend didn't turn out - it did.) I decided today I'd use the recipe but make baguettes. I was getting confused looking at all the videos out there on kneading, folding, shaping, etc. I finally decided to use the French fold that I saw on the Gourmet website as I wanted to see what it felt like. I started making the dough yesterday and the folding was interesting. It was very cool how the dough finally (just a tad longer than on the video - ha) came together. Not as smooth and silky but I didn't want to overknead. Put the dough in the fridge and counted down the hours until about 3pm today.


Here's where the perfectionism comes in. I didn't think it had risen enough but went ahead shaping. I decided to go with the shaping technique I first saw in one of Mark's videos but, again, concerned I'm not shaping tight enough, too tight or just plain wrong. Let them proof and then managed to roll them out into a baguette shape. Put them in the oven and when I took them out I thought... boy, one's too brown and one is too light on the sides. I put them on a rack to cool and just walked away for awhile. Came back and cut a slice to see not a bad crumb. Took a bite and decided right then and there that it's not about being perfect. It's about the satisfaction of baking bread from scratch, experimenting and trying new things.


It's been an epiphany and it feels good.


Cheers,


Janet



arzajac's picture
arzajac

Beautiful color and crumb.  Excellent scoring, too!


 


 

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Thanks! It was fun to do. I don't have a lame so I'm using a Grohmann knife that I sharpen each time. Seems to work as long as I remember to sharpen otherwise it drags.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Janet.


Your baguettes look wonderful! Nice shaping and scoring. The crumb looks (please excuse the expression) perfect. I can see the light reflected off well-gelatinized starch in the bubble walls.


These baguettes can have a wonderful flavor. I hope you found them pleasing to eat.


David

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Thanks David. Yes the taste was incredible. My husband came home just as they were ready to sample and just grinned. However, we both have decided we're going to have to give up sugar in our coffee if we're committed to eating bread like this on a regular basis :-)


Janet

mcs's picture
mcs

I'm sure a lot of the baking veterans will agree when I say that you're setting the bar very high for beginners with your 'first attempts'.  Very nice job again. 
One method for developing your dough that many people on this site use is the 'no knead' method.  It works very well for stickier doughs like this one, and can be used for small or large batches of dough - larger than any regular home mixer could handle anyway.  I haven't seen any videos of it, but the technique is more complicated to describe than actually do.  If there aren't any around, I'll make a quick one to post on here.


-Mark

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Mark - thanks for you suggestions and hints. I did a snoop around for no knead and I think it's basically mix dough, give it a few folds then refridge anywhere from 10 to 24 hours before preshaping, proofing, final shape and bake?


If that's correct, I can try it next time. If that's not it, if you could post something that would be most excellent!


Thanks,


Janet


 

davec's picture
davec

Janet,


Jim Lahey's original no-knead method, which is what got me interested in baking good bread in the first place, is:


Mix dough simply and quickly, cover bowl with plactic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.  You then do a single fold on a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 15 minutes, then shape lightly and put in a proofing basket for the final rise.


This works fine for a simple boule.  The dough is very wet, and there is not much of a skin, so slashing is optional, and not very easy to do.  If you have the skill, as you obviously already do, and want to make other shapes, like batards or baguettes, or you just want to make a prettier bould, then you probably want to develop the dough a little more for better shaping.


Oh, the other thing, because of the long room-temperature fermentation, Lahey uses very little yeast: 1/4 tsp for a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.


Dave

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

you're teasing us all, right? A beginner? You shame me! I've been playing around here for about 3 years and am still on the fence to try baguettes.


Very, very nice..you've got the natural talent. Keep sharing.


Betty

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Hi Betty,


Thanks. I think the phrase is beginner's luck! Nothing like jumping off the deep end and trying baguettes. Come on in, the water's fine.


Cheers,


Janet

oleteeth's picture
oleteeth

My baguettes taste great, but the crust is not the nice light tan color yours is. I steamed them for the first 10 minutes. Any other suggestions?
Thanks, Mitchell

dteng's picture
dteng

Guess I will jump in too as a beginner...


Just signed up but have been a lurker for a long time.


One day last Fall I decided I wanted to make bread, specifically baguettes.  I read Jane's post about Anis' recipe.  Funny thing about this hobby...it pulls you in and won't let you out!  So for the last six months, I have gone thru many ups and downs...


Anyway, one thing I can say is that I can never seem to make a loaf the same way twice.  I tormented myself for weeks over scoring bread, then steam application (that was real epic...can anyone say broken oven glass??), then kneading, and now crumb size...etc etc


Anyway, here is my latest attempt...



I am very happy with the crust, though I would like a bigger crumb (no pic).


I have tried hydration as high as 78% without flattening (82% flattened).


Also thanks to everyone, especially David - his photos have been very inspiring, and his scoring video was super.  All the threads on steam have been great too - I now have a steam table pan with a drilled in hole that I cover the loaves with - I then steam with a steam cleaner (essentially same method as SteamMaker, just a lot cheaper!)  $20 for the stainless steel pan.


One question I have - what is the theory behind a big open crumb?  High hydration I get.  Gluten developement?  Autolyzing?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, dteng.


Welcome to TFL!


Your baguettes are amazing! The scoring looks perfect, and your management of the steam must be perfect too to get that kind of bloom. And you have to have baked them at just the right instant.


Any tips?


As far as your question regarding open crumb: You have to have adequate gluten development to provide a good framework for the CO2 bubbles to expand. But over-developing the gluten results in a uniform network of smaller holes. You have to let the dough fully ferment. Bulk fermentation is when the gas bubbles actually form, so it is important to crumb as well as flavor development. Gentle shaping that protects the bubbles that form during bulk fermentation from getting squashed is also important.


Higher hydration doughs open up more during baking, but you can get a pretty nice, open baguette crumb with a 65% hydration dough. See proth5's formula. For me, the biggest improvement in my baguette crumb came when I learned how to shape firmly without degassing the dough. 


I look forward to seeing more of your breads.


David

SteveB's picture
SteveB

For one theory regarding an open crumb structure, see:


http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=157


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

dteng's picture
dteng

David, I owe you the thanks for posting on scoring.  I tried to model my baguettes' crusts after your ficelles.  I love when I can get the 'ears' to develop on the crust.  Doesn't always happen though.


Strange how I can't seem to get consistent results.


Tonight I tried autolyzing and will make more baguettes tomorrow to see how the crumb develops.  I have read several of the Anis threads.  I tried doing the folding method as well as gently folding on counter top.


I'll post more pics if they turn out okay.

dteng's picture
dteng

Oops David, I just reread your post...


You asked any tips?  Well I feel funny being the one giving tips...I got the scoring tips from your tutorial!  And trust me, my scoring never looks the same on the following batch.  As for bloom, I use the SteamMaker method.  I bought a 12x14 inch pan 6 inches deep, drilled a hole in it, and inject steam.


Here's a video which is similar to what I do.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW0KBUZIwpo


I have tinkered with different steaming times, but about 15 seconds is what I do, and I take the cover off around 13 minutes.  My baking temp is 520.  I found that a hotter quicker dry bake gives a nicer thin crispy crust (which is what I prefer).   I know most people say to steam bake for 1/3 the total time, but I have now done 13min/6min steam/dry bake times.  I noticed that a longer dry bake (at lower temps) gives a thicker crunchier crust.