My Baguette From This Forum
Well, I have lurked for 6 months.
Decided in October that I'd like to learn how to make a good baguette...crikey...I was not ready for the madness.
I spent last winter learning how to make good homemade chicken stock (for soups)...so I figured this year, bread...specifically baguettes.
Anyway, I never even made a simple loaf, and boy did I have a steep learning curve to climb.
Well, I have done everything from adjusting temps, to tinkering with hydration, shaping/scoring (this is still challenging)...I tried all sorts of things...I have even thrown out loaves (please tell me I am not the only one). But one thing I can say is that everything I learned about making baguette came from here. This place is an incredible resource.
Essentially, over the course of 6 months, I bought a scale, lots of bread flour, a steamer, a $20 steam pan cover (drilled a hole), baking stone, a peel, and lots of parchment paper...(yeah, I don't like to do things half way)...I used Anis' formula for ratios, and copied Steam Maker's method for making steam. (Did I mention I cracked the oven glass...wifey no happy...) I used all sorts of differing steam and dry baking times. I can't say how many loaves I made in total...but let's just say that I am glad I have twin toddlers to help consume the end products.
Well today, I think I finally reached my own baguette summit. I was able to create a decent crumb with chewy big holes, and a nice thin crispy (not crunchy) crust...a little plugra butter and voila...
Thanks to everyone's tips, I was able to make something I always considered impossible to do at home!
(OK...one thing about bread baking...it can be very inconsistent...arg!)