090425 First Baguettes - Reinhart's Poolish / Pate Fermentee Baguettes
I was exhilarated. Finally, I made my first baguettes. It's Reinhart's poolish/pate fermentee baguette with a 55.9% hydration. The crust was crispy, even though I'd prefer a more golden brown color, and the crumbs were very springy and soft. By tasting these baguettes, we could feel the recipe originator's passion for good flavors.
New technique learned: stretch and fold. Thanks to everyone who recommended Mark's video. It was a big help. Even though David suggested not applying this technique at a stage where my dough had already risen twice in the fridge, I gambled. I felt that it's under fermented from its lack of flexibility and let it rise two more times in room temperature and stretched and folded after each rise. It's fun to learn and apply new techniques.
The pale color of the crust may be related to insufficient steam in the oven (or could it be due to the two extra rises?). I was trying to circumvent the steps of heating up a steam pan and pouring boiling water onto it by injecting steam from a Scunci steamer. Probably I didn't pump enough into the oven and I did not spray the dough with water.
Practice makes perfect and I hope my next batch of baguettes will be less deformed and be of better color.