The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally, a Grigne!

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Finally, a Grigne!

I've been making thin couronnes lately, because I can give the loaf a real stretch like baguette, but still have it fit on my oven stone (heck, fit the oven itself). I haven't had much luck with getting a good grigne, tho... until today! I just had to share a picture. I hope I can do this again!


 


Grigne at Last!


 


I reduced my initial oven temperature to 475F to avoid setting the crust too fast, added water for steam some time before the loaf to avoid a steam flash, and worked on my slashing with the safety-razor-blade-on-a-coffee-stirring-stick trick, but it wasn't quite right, and my slashes would never get that lip pulling up and browning to a crisp.


Today, I proofed the loaf under a tea towel, but with a metal bowl full of hot water set in the ring of dough. I'm not sure that's what really made the difference, altho I did notice that the skin near the bowl was drier, which may have helped the loaf to expand outwards and pull on the slash... maybe?


 

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Delicious looking crust.  I wonder how the crumb looks like.  Have a pic?  Al

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Of course, here is a shot of the crumb:


Grigne & Crumb

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Meant to post that as a reply, still learning my way around the comment system.

AW's picture
AW

tis beautious!

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Thank you :-)

wally's picture
wally

While not the holy grail of home baking, getting good gringes runs a close second (at least to me).  My own experience, both at home and in a bakery, is that a slight 'skin' helps create a better cut.  Keep at it!

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Thank you :-)


I've found that I have two issues:



  1. The slash sometimes seals shuts early in the oven spring and never lets go.

  2. The skin puckers during the slashing, sticking to the razor blade.


Not sure what to do about either of them, but I'll keep experimenting.

wally's picture
wally

In my experience, slashes not opening either mean I didn't cut deeply enough or that there was insufficient steam to keep the crust from forming before the grignes could open.


When the skin puckers (which used to occur frequently before I started proofing seam side up in linen couches), either a 'skin' hasn't developed or else I have shaping or proofing issues that become evident during scoring.


Keep working at it - especially since you've tasted success!

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

Practice makes perfect, and the results are literally my daily bread, so I don't mind the work. :-)

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

I did the last rise in the oven, with a bowl of hot water to provide some gentle heat, and get a much better texture (lots and lots of little bubbles, like memory foam) before I shaped the loaf for the proof. I was able to get a nice tight skin with very little deflation, and the proof almost doubled in size again.


I proofed seam side up, a simple blunt log, and on a wood block not parchment paper. When I rolled it gently onto paper after proofing, I had a nice skin! I dusted it with flour for contrast, and it slashed perfectly, almost no puckering and certainly no resticking. I kept it simple, and slashed straight down the middle, but at a shallow angle to the skin to get a grigne.


It just about exploded in the oven, I could see the loaf ballooning and the slash yawning wider and wider, like a time-lapse movie. :-)


Here's the result:


Grigne, Take Two


 

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

We'll cut into it tomorrow for breakfast, and we'll see what the crumb is like then.

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

A Nice Peasant Loaf

wally's picture
wally

Looking good!  I like the open crumb I'm seeing.

Syvwlch's picture
Syvwlch

This has been a real step forward for me. Having a slash that doesn't re-close means the loaf can spring up fully, and I get a lighter, chewier crumb that just bakes better.


Thanks for the nudge on proofing :-)

wally's picture
wally

...really makes all the difference in a lot of breads.  Happy baking!