The Fresh Loaf

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BBA Poolish Baguette - with much modification

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

BBA Poolish Baguette - with much modification


I make baguettes often, including the Anis recipe from this forum, and some other recipes from other books. I found BBA tends to overknead for lean breads such as baguette, ciabatta, etc. For this poolish recipe, he instructs to knead until pass the windowpane test, sure way to get ride of holes and taste! I changed kneading procedure to: autolyse for 20 minues, knead in my KA for 2 minutes just to kick off the gluten developement, S&F 3 times during the first of 2 bulk fermentations. I am happy with the open crumb in the final breads.


The Interesting thing about this recipe is that there are 2 bulk fermentations, each 2 hours. I've been doing the BBA challenge, other than overkneading, I notice BBA tends to over fermentate/proof too. For this recipe, the first fermentation for me was indeed 2 hours, but that's only because I didn't knead much and did S&F, for a well kneaded dough, I don't think 2 hours would be necessary. For the 2nd fermentation (after punching down, which I translated to "gently pat down"), it was only 90 minutes for me, even that was a bit too long IMO. The extra fermentation helps with the volume of the bread, but not much else.



I am not too happy with my scoring on this one, I think I overproofed a bit. Again the recipe says to proof for 50 to 60 minutes, I did 45, 30 to 40 would've been enough, and the scoring would have opened up more with better blooming.



Now, here's the biggest "modification" I made to this recipe: I used my 100% sourdough starter in place of the poolish. With my understanding, wild yeast starter fermentates a little slower than his poolish, which means if I had used the poolish, the fermentation/proofing should have been even shorter! I love BBA, but for some lean breads, it's tendency of too much yeast, too long of fermentation/proof, too much kneading must be adjusted for me. I like sourdough breads, so I like my starter baguette better than the usual light straight baguette. The flavor is more complex (my white starter is not that sour though), and the crust is a bit more substantial.



A delicious bread, and I am always happy to practice making baguettes, I do recommend Hamelman's poolish baguette formula over this one though.

Comments

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Great report!  I so agree with you with Peter's tendencies to overknead the baguette dough.  I also changed my method, folding instead.  I noticed that your crumb is a lot lighter in color than mine. Part of it could be photography, maybe - but I thought mine was pretty dark.  Not sure why, maybe I did not remove enough bran, my sifter was not too fine


Knowing that you cut the second fermentation with success, I'll do the same next time, it will be much easier to have this bread on our table this way


 


great post!  Thanks!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I couldn't shift out much either, but I've noticed that KA WW tend to be lighter in color comparing to other WW flour I've used.

avatrx1's picture
avatrx1

I have made numerous attempts at making a baguette and cannot - for the life of me - make one that will stand on its own without going flat if not contained in some type of pan - device - etc.


Your loaves look so nicely shaped.  What might you suspect I am doing wrong?  I have the BBA book but so far none of Hammelmans so I can't refer to the recipe in order to perhaps discover what I'm doing wrong.


My dilemma: in order to maintain a nice crumb the dough has to be somewhat wet, but in order to maintain a shape, the opposite is true.  I don't know how to achieve both at the same time, but your loaves are proof that it's possible.


-susie

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Without seeing your loaves, it's hard to say, but here are some wild guesses:


1. The dough does NOT have to be super wet to achieve open crumb. I have done 65% hydration and still got big holes. It's about the "iron hand, velvet glove" handling. Here's a picture of the 65% dough baguette:



2. When you say it doesn't hold shape, I suspect your dough is not developed enough, try do more stretch and fold during fermentation.


3. Do you use a couche for proofing? I use the method in BBA - bunched up parchment paper with "walls" in between loaves. It helps the dough not to flat out.



4. If your loaves have no ovenspring, you are overproofing. Baguette dough, with it's narrow shape, and wetness, tend to require less proof. Here's mine afte scoring, right before going into the oven, as you can see, it got quite a bit of ovenspring:


summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

TX - Would you mind telling me how you get your parchment to not stick to the baguette on the sides?  I have trouble with this when it's done proofing and I'm about to put it in the oven.  When I try to pull it away it spreads the baguette out of shape!  Maybe I should just leave it stuck to the sides and load it into the oven as is.  Yours look so perfect!  Thanks in advance.


Summer

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I make sure the parment is well oiled, that way it never sticks

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Thank you so much!  I love it when answers are simple!


Summer

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oops, SUsie


 


Sorry, I did not realize you were not talking to me, but to Txfarmer...


Since I already uploaded the photo and everything, I might as well join the discussion  :-)


Like TxFarmer, I allowed my baguettes to rise over parchment paper, and made folds in the paper, forming "fake" couches.   After almost 2 hours, the baguettes had risen enough that they were touching each other, rather, touching the parchment "wall", but I separated them by "unfolding" the parchment.  I tried to move them without disturbing - so I cut the parchment with scissors, and VERY gently transferred them to the oven using a cookie sheet.


I insert a photo here showing my improvised couche - I did not show in the photo, but next to the two baguettes at the ends, I placed the inside of an empty kitchen paper roll (you know, the cartoon cylinder) - just to hold everything more or less tight.  I was trying my best to avoid the "spreading baguette syndrome", that always seems to happen with me.



 


 

avatrx1's picture
avatrx1

I have lots of parchment paper and could try that, but then I fear that if I score them, I'll deflate them.


How does one tell when you've worked your dough enough.  I've heard the windowpane test isn't always the best way to do baguette dough.


I just can't seem to get a feel for the right texture.  Just when I think I've worked up enough gluten to hold everything together, I put the dough down and within a few minutes it's spreading again.  Do I just keep at it until it doesn't do that?


I work my dough by hand.  I do have a kitchenaid mixer, but it doesn't seem as if the dough hook works as well as my hands.


-susie


 

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Susie


I have found watching videos has helped me get a better idea of dough consistency and techniques. Here's a couple of links:


http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/meet/sullivan.html


http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/meet/forestier.html


If you use the search box top left, you'll find all manner of useful bread related video links.



txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Especially with baguette dough. Some minimal kneading after autolyse, plus several stretch and fold is usually enough. If you don't overproof, the dough will spring up in the oven even if it looks a bit flat due to the wetness. With each stretch and fold, you can see the dough gaining strength.

avatrx1's picture
avatrx1

I seem to get the same effect with bread as I do with my own exercise.  I can feel the added strength initially but then it just seems to 'go away".


Maybe I'm just not doing enough 'exercise' with my dough?


I'll watch a few more videos and try a few more times, but if my M O seems to remain the same - I may need to get a baguette pan.


-susie

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My experience is like yours - technique is at least as important as hydration in determining how open the crumb is.


Search for Pat's (proth) baguette formula. It's sourdough without any added yeast and is 65% hydration. It sounds like that's where you're headed. Pat's formula makes outstanding baguettes.


David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

You know what? The 65% baguette I posted above in response to Sally was indeed Pat's formula. The taste and crumb turned out well, but it was a little flat, comparing to other baguettes I've made. For that one I folded in the bowl without French S&F, nor machine mixing, that might explain the lack of volume? Have you found that?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have used the stretch and fold in the bowl for Pat's baguettes, and it worked great. She does 30 strokes per episode many times.


I have recently added a couple of French S&F's to my fold in the bowl routine for San Joaquin Sourdough. The result has been mostly chewier crumb, but I wasn't having any problem with flat loaves.


Develop the gluten well enough. Form the baguettes with a good gluten sheath. Support the loaves well with a linen or parchment couche. Score in the traditional baguette manner. Have a well-pre-heated oven and baking stone. Steam early.


Those are the variables that impact good loaf cross-section, I think.


David.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I did the folding in the bowl like you said, maybe I needed some french style S&F as well, I will try again later. Thanks!

willsfca's picture
willsfca

I too have been plagued by the "flat baguette" syndrome, and it's great to read about your findings, Txfarmer!


I've only gotten the Bouabsa baguettes recipe to spring well once, and ever since then it's been flat, though at least not too dense. Sounds like I should try a shorter proofing time. (I've tried more kneading thinking it would help the dough become stronger to hold its shape, but so far it hasn't worked.)


Also I was wondering if people cover up the baguettes when proofing on parchment paper? I also use parchement paper "couche" and I usually cover it with plastic, but this almost never leave any "skin" on the dough after proofing. Looking at the photo from baguettes proofed in a canvas couche it does look like there is a "skin". I wonder if it would work better if I either don't cover the dough or at least remove the covering off for some period of time to dry up the outside of the dough a little.


The more i bake the less I know... :-) Thanks again for all the great info!


will