The Fresh Loaf

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McGuire's Pain de Tradition: Baguette & Bâtard

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

McGuire's Pain de Tradition: Baguette & Bâtard

Shiao-Ping's blog entry on James McGuire's Pain de Tradition  certainly stimulated a lot of interest. I made the sourdough version a couple days ago. Today, I made the straight dough version.


The formula is in Shiao-Ping's posting. I followed it, changing only the flours. I used Giusto's Baker's Choice rather than KAF AP, and I used 10% KAF Organic White Whole Wheat. 


Shiao-Ping, in her excellent write up, mentioned that this dough could be used for baguettes. I was a bit skeptical regarding a 80% hydration dough for baguettes, but I gave it a try. 


The dough developed beautifully with the stretch and fold in the bowl procedure. By the 3 hour point, it had moderate gluten development and was already pulling away from the bowl. In my warm kitchen, it was quite puffy and expanded.


I treated the dough to pre-shaping and shaping as I would any straight dough. I lost some of the openness in the crumb, but it was still pretty nice. I baked at 460F with light steam. I removed the steaming skillet at 10 minutes. The baguette baked for 20 minutes, the bIatard for 30 minutes. The loaves were left in the oven for another 10 minutes with the oven off and the door ajar.



The cuts didn't open up as well as I had wished, but the crust ended up the closest to classic, crackly baguettes as any I've baked. The loaves sang for a long time, and the crust cracked during cooling, which I take as a positive sign of a thin, crisp crust.



As I said, the crumb was nice, but not as open as expected, given the high hydration. This may reflect my firm-handed pre-shaping and shaping. I may have erred on the side of under-steaming, too. I had proofed to 1.75 times the original volume. I feared over-proofing and may have slightly under-proofed. Oven spring was fast and large. 



Baguette Crumb



Bâtard Crumb


The flavor was amazing. It was wheaty and slightly sweet, and it had an almost herbal overtone and complexity of flavor I can't say I've ever tasting in a white wheat, straight dough bread before. Perhaps this was due to the White Whole Wheat. I'm sure the long fermentation played an important role. Whatever. The flavor was there in both breads. It was not there when I first tasted the baguette but developed about 3 hours after baking.


This is a remarkable bread.


I like the results from baking it at the higher temperature, especially on the crust crispness. A longer bake at a slightly  lower temperature is worth a try though. This is my new method to fiddle with on the continuing baguette quest for sure.


David

Comments

Nomadcruiser53's picture
Nomadcruiser53

Nice crumb and great photos. Dave

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Nice, thorough write-up David, very helpful to refer to.  I love the closeup of the cracking crust - kind of looks topological, like a photo of an arid area from a plane.


Great crumb - as usual.  It stimulates my baguette center.  I can almost taste it.


:-Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The taste was extraordinary. I'd love to hear if others get this effect with this flour mix.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

David, Nice write-up and photos!  The crust and crumb look very nice! 


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I see you got the crispy crust I didn't quite get. Excellent! I'm going to try this again this week using covered baking and deeper scoring.


Somewhere between the Anis method and this, is the perfect French Bread.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm looking forward to seeing your results. The general rule, as I understand it, is less steam and shallower cuts for slack doughs. Otherwise, the cuts are more likely to seal over or, at least, you get more bloom but no ears.


Having said that, I think I could have generated more steam than I did for a better result. We're talking fine tuning.


David

DonD's picture
DonD

I also tried making baguettes using the MacGuire method this weekend but with a levain starter and I got identical results as what you described. The dough developed nicely with the staggered stretch and fold in the bowl. It easily doubled during the fermentation. The shaped baguettes were a little tough to score due to the high hydration but the oven spring was great. Althought the dough flattened quite a bit during oven loading, the cross section ended nice and round. I also cut back a little on the steam but the scoring cuts for the most part were fused with only a hint of ears in a couple of spots. The crust browned nicely, sang loudly and produced nice cracks during cooling. The crumb was light and tasty (but a little salty for my taste) and not as open. We served the baguettes at my wife's book club meeting and the ladies inhaled them!


I felt better because the above observations were the exact ones that MacGuire warned about with high hydration baguettes in his article in "The Art of Eating".


Next weekend I will try the same technique with less yeast (1 gm with levain starter), less salt (8 gms), lower hydration (70%), adding some bread flour and white whole wheat  and see how it will turn out.


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Interesting comparison.


I thought about cutting down on the yeast, since it was so hot yesterday. I believe I will do so next time, also.


10 gms of salt for 500 gms of flour generally is about right to my taste.


Let us know how your variation works!


David

DonD's picture
DonD

David,


Here is a photo of the levain baguettes using the MacGuire method that I described to you. The flour is all KAF AP.



Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I believe this IS MacGuire's baguette recipe; but in his article he shaped the dough into a round loaf for home bakers (I think because baguette is harder to shape).  That's how I read it anyway.


shiao-ping

Leandro Di Lorenzo's picture
Leandro Di Lorenzo

what a crust!!!!


Congrats David :)

teketeke's picture
teketeke

David,


I saw your comment on Larry's baguette today, and I recalled one of my french bread that I left it in a refrigerator for 3-4 hours after shaping because I had to go out. I baked them at 475F for 5 minutes and decreased down to 450F for 20 minutes or so.  When I cut them up, the crumb was as same as yours. 


I love to read your posts.


Thank you for everything,


Akiko