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Curmudgeon Proth5 baguettes

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Curmudgeon Proth5 baguettes

Pat, who has is enduring earthquakes, tsunami warnings and, worst of all, no access to bread baking this week shared with us the thought that having some bread to critique might lift her spirits. What better bread than that made from her own baguette formula?


In anticipation of Pat's need, I baked a couple baguettes this afternoon. For the formula, see Baguette crumb - 65% hydration dough. I used some leftover levain with the G. Rubaud flour mix to seed the levain. The rest of the flour was KAF European Artisan-Style flour. This is a supposedly the same protein content as KAF AP flour, but it always seems to absorb a bit more water than AP. I didn't add any extra water, so the dough was quite dry - not even tacky after a couple stretch and folds in the bowl.


So, Pat, have at it.



The baguettes



Grigne



Crumb


The crust was deliciously crunchy and sweet from the caramelization of a bold bake. The crumb was chewy with a nice, baguette flavor, but the taste of the tiny fraction of whole wheat flour used in the levain was discernible. It seemed a bit "out of place." However, this didn't stop me from consuming half a baguette with dinner.


David

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

Ah yes, a baguette...


I don't think that KA artisan style flour is 100% interchangeable with AP.  But I am deeply gratified about your results with a dry feeling dough, because I hear so many people saying that a crumb was nice "for such a low hydration."  It's always good to remind ourselves that except for some extreme breads, high hydration is not required for good results.


You know, it seems a lifetime ago that I baked up baguettes for some guests.  I was talking to one of them about why I needed to work harder and improve my technique, when I actually couldn't find anything that I didn't like in my poor little loaf.  I had to admit that it was pretty good bread.


As I must with yours...


But thanks for for cheering me up!

LeeYong's picture
LeeYong

Hi David!


Beautiful loaves! I was looking at your recipe... what is your starter hydration to begin with (100%)?? Thanks! Can't wait to try your recipe...


Happy baking!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks, LeeYong!


The hydration of my stock starter is around 75%. The starter I used in this batch was about 50%, as it happends. Note: I am referring to the starter used to seed the levain, which is 100% hydration.


David

crunchy's picture
crunchy

Very nice baguettes, David! I have tried both proth5's formula and the Fournier Bakery's formula that Shiao-Ping posted, but have not had much success. My liquid levain is healthy and active, but is rather temperamental. It's either boom or bust. When I try to use it in baguettes, I always end up with the ugliest, flattest baguettes I've ever seen in my life, even if they taste good. My stiff levain (50% hydration), on the other hand, never fails me. I think I ought to try making baguettes with it.


P.S. Pat, hope you weather (literally!) your separation from the Diamant well. I almost snatched one up on eBay last week, but got outbidded.

proth5's picture
proth5

I wasn't the winning bidder? :>) No, I jest. One Diamant is enough.  When I bought mine from eBay, the bidding was ferocious.


You should try your firm starter if it is reliable, you just need to do the math to keep the total hydration the same.   I use a 100% hydration starter because I find it easy to maintain.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Big disaster.  Bricks. 

proth5's picture
proth5

I use only King Arthur All Purpose flour in mine.  I know that you probably don't have access to that, though.  This formula is my #1 - go to formula for baguettes.  Never fails.


Well, you tried. 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The loaves taste and smell like roasted potatoes more than bread.  Maybe I got some potato flour or a mixture...   I thought I had wheat.  

proth5's picture
proth5

That does sound strange - had to be the flour.  Maybe they put in additives in the flour like the French used to put fava beans in their bread flour.


I'm trying to rustle up a container, a spoon, flour, and a scale to see if I can start an Okinawa starter.  Not entirely easy.  Makes me appreciate the old crumbled abode and its well equipped (if tiny by American standards) kitchen.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

David, the slashing is simply PERFECT!   And what a wonderful crumb!


 


I need to work on baguettes for a while, see if I can get the shaping under control - mine are always tasty, but ugly. Very ugly.


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You're too kind. The scoring has abundant room for improvement.


I find the only way I can score baguettes consistantly well is to do a lot of them. If a few months go by without making baguettes, it takes 2-3 bakes no more than a week apart to get back in the groove.  I think your reply implies you know that already.


So, persist. If you throw in the towel because you find the first batch ugly, you'll never get "there." It's not a matter of knowledge (although you have to start with the knowledge). It's motor memory.


David

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

You are absolutely right about the 'motor memory" -  not only for slashing (although slashing is the trickiest part), but the shaping.   I've been making sourdough "boules" every week for more than a year, and I can probably shape  them with my eyes closed.      Baguettes SHOULD work, at some point    :-)

proth5's picture
proth5

Now you are channeling me (about the scoring.)  Although if I were forced to point anything out, it would be that I have been advised that an odd number of scores presents best on a baguette.  That little fourth scorelette should probably not have been attempted.


And now I'm scared that should I ever get home I'll have lost that motor memory.


Mental mise en place, mental mise on place, mental...

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Should you ever get home??  Of course you'll get home, Pat - body, soul and motor memory nicely intact.


Heck, you deserve hazard pay - enough to build a little addition to your kitchen for that sheeter. ;-)


As for David's baguettes, I'm beginning to think he can turn out perfect shaping and scoring while wearing a blindfold.