The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Classic Baguettes

davidg618's picture
davidg618

First Classic Baguettes

Happy with my progress manipulating starters, and baking sourdough boules using D. DiMuzio's San Francisco Sourdough formula, beginning last night, and finishing this morning I let my starters rest, and tried, for the first time, to bake classic baguettes, i.e., baguettes initiated with a poolish. I was stimulated to do this by my mixed results--great flavor, ok crumb, disappointing proofing and ovenspring--baking sourdough baguettes.

For a first attempt I'm very satisfied with the results, especially the flavor. While I was setting up to photograph, I paused three times to have yet another piece with butter.

The formula, and guidance came from Ciril Hitz' Baking Artisan Bread", which I followed to the letter.

So I've got my baking focus, for the next couple of months centered on working with these two basic formula: DiMuzio's sourdough, and Hitz' classic baguette dough. Like the moldy, oldy directions to Carnegie Hall...practice, practice, practice.

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

davidg618's picture
davidg618

That's welcome praise coming from a baker whose posting i look for, and read looking for the crumbs (word play intended) of knowledge and experience you drop.

Regards,

David G.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

I wish I could delete my dumber comments, sometimes... so I'll just edit it out, instead.


And very nice work! :)

proth5's picture
proth5

to switch over to commercial yeast after working with levain.  It's like magic isn't it?

Nice first bake!  Mr Hitz is quite a baker - you will never go wrong following his directions.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I can see why you kept eating while taking the photos...delicious looking baguettes. 

Sylvia 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I'm so envious!

Yippee

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those look great, David.  Well done!

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Just perfect. I'd keep eating them if they were here.

 

weavershouse

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

very good looking! oven spring looks fine. keep at it!

isobel gildon's picture
isobel gildon

I bought Hitz' book on a recent visit to the States and use it a lot - particularly the baguette recipe. I find it makes great baguettes and epi but I have to confess that your shaping is much better than mine. What's the secret?

Isobel

 Suffolk, England

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Isobel,

Did your copy come with a CD? If so, play it, and try to emulate what the author does in the baguette shaping section. If you didn't get a CD with your copy follow the description and photos on page 61-63.

I think the two factors that contribute to successful shaping are: 1. In the pre-shape phase degassaing thoroughly, but gently; followed by at least a ten minute rest (Hitz recommends a 20 min. rest.). 2. During the shaping phase I think, along with uniform shape, one wants to achieve uniform surface tension along the entire length of the baguette. Not a simple thing to achieve without practice, and focus during the shaping. I'm left handed, and still trying to comfortably learn the two handed fold and seal routine the author demonstrates. I still haven't nailed it, but I do pay close attention to judging the surface tension along the shape's length resulting from my still clumsy handling.

A couple of other more subtle observation: With the above in mind, after bulk fermentation I handled the dough gently but firmly. Also, I think I might have gotten a bit more oven spring if I'd slashed a bit deeper, but I was afraid I'd slightly overproofed the loaves, and concerned I'd deflate them if I cut too deeply.

And, like I said in my post...practice, practice, practice:-)

Regards,

David G.

P.S. Spent a delightful two weeks in England and Wales last summer. A week on a narrowboat in the Midlands, and a week in Llangollen following.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Nice baguettes, David.

--Pamela

Yippee's picture
Yippee

David:

May I ask what flour you used in this recipe? Thanks.

Yippee

davidg618's picture
davidg618

King Aurther Bread Flour, from my point-of-view, its consistent, inexpensive and readily available in almost every market in my area.

David G.