The Fresh Loaf

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Bouabsa baguette- Dave's version; first attempt

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fthec's picture
fthec

Bouabsa baguette- Dave's version; first attempt

I've been itching to try Anis Bouabsa's baguette formula for awhile now but have been far too busy to do much baking.  I think it's time I change my priorities!!  I settled on Dave Snyder's modified version (using starter) and decided to double the recipe.  In hindsight, I should have tried only 50% increase--  4 will not fit on a home stone properly (even my Fibrament).  I think 310-340g (11-12oz) would work well for a 20" baguette.


In addition, this is the first time I ventured into the 'hand kneading' domain, with a healthy dose of skepticism, I might add.  I've done quite well in my 7 years of baking using my KA for all types of breads so the thought of making even better bread completely by hand intrigued me.  I used the 'in the bowl fold' technique-- started off using my plastic scaper but cracked it; plus, it gave me cramps in my hand.  Instead, I used my hand and it worked fine.  I did the initial premix in the KA on #2 just until everything came together.  I tried it by hand but it was a bit of a mess and I was worried about getting a homogeneous mix. I think I could have increased the hydration a tiny amount.  (I used Organic AP flour from Grain Process Enterprises--  this is my standard flour:  Ace Bakery used this for awhile a few years ago).  Our Canadian flour might have a higher water absorption as well.



  • Final hydration was approximately 75%. 

  • Three 'in-the-bowl' folds at 20 minute intervals and in the fridge she went (temp 39-41F) for 22 hours.  No other folds done during bulk fermentation.

  • Divided the dough into 4 pieces with gentle preshape

  • 45 minute rest/ shape

  • 45 minute proof

  • baked 3 baguettes at 480 for 32minutes; final 20 minutes on convection bake with vents open and door slightly ajar

  • fourth baguette stayed in the couche a further 35 minutes before bake-off (total 1h 20min proof); you'll notice the much darker crust--  forgot I had the oven at 500 on convection!  It was already well colored after 15 minutes-- reduced heat to 460 and baked another 7 minutes


My wife took the first batch to work so I can't comment on the crumb or the taste.  I told her to take a picture for me.  The lonely crescent had a decent crumb and good spring considering the extra proofing time.  The crust was relatively thin and crackly but moderately overdone--  i.e. slight char taste.  The crumb was outstanding in it's lightness and texture but not as sweet (nor flavourful, IMO) as Gosselin's baguette.  I wish I could've tried the first batch.


All in all, quite a positive exercise.  I'll try again soon with some minor adjustments.  And now, I'm prepping to make a Long Branch sourdough (aka. San Juaquin Sourdough but made in southwest Toronto!)


Franc


Here are some photos:


First batchCrescent baguette!Crescent Crumb

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your scoring is outstanding, too, Franc!


The crumb looks extremely white. Did you use some rye or whole wheat flour. If not, you might try it next time you make these. Even 5% (baker's percentage) makes a huge difference in the flavor.


David

fthec's picture
fthec

Thank you for the compliments.  It's an honor coming from you.


The scoring should've been better.  I wasn't as decisive as I normally am because they were quite slack.  I also think my blade is losing it's edge.  I think the whiteness might be more a factor of the picture quality--  Blackberry's ain't meant for taking photos!  In fact, I did add (as I typically do) a small amount of organic stone ground WW Red Fife, roughly 2%. 


I forgot to mention that my starter was actually a blend of wet (125% hydration)/ firm (58%) starter (I didn't have enough of either--  luckily, I had both going).


Also, I can't wait to get me a SuperPeel with the expander kit to fit 20" baguettes onto my new Fibrament stone


Franc

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It really improves the flavor. 5% each of rye and WW is also very nice.


Super Pell "expander kit?" That is news to me. I need to look into that!


David