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Saturday Baguettes: Week 4

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Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Saturday Baguettes: Week 4

The adventure continues!


In this weeks edition of Hamelman's Baguette's with Poolish, I made three modifications to the process from last week (well, more like two and a half:



  • Reduced the yeast in the poolish.  I've been preparing a half batch of dough relative to Hamelman's "Home" proportions, but until now I haven't reduced the yeast in the poolish,  which sounds quite foolish until you realize that the yeast measurement is 1/8 tsp, and nearly every yeasted preferment in the book calls for 1/8 tsp of yeast, regardless of size.  Anyway, I've been feeling like there's a degree of flavor and texture missing, as well as the presence of a pronounced alcohol smell about the poolish (and then the finished dough to some extent).  So I approximated a 1/16 tsp of yeast in 5.3 oz. each of flour and water.  

  • Tried to handle the dough more gently during shaping and preshaping. 

  • Last week I forgot to turn the oven down after loading the baguettes, so this week I made sure not to do that!


 


After 11 hours the poolish was bubbly and had a pungent aroma with just a hint of maybe some alcohol in the background.  It's possible I could have fermented it even less with no ill effects.  One of these weeks, I may try making three tiny batches of dough with three tiny batches of poolish, and test just what results I get from different amounts of time and yeast.


The Results: Crust



 

Crumb:


I was pretty happy with this batch.  Definitely better than before, although clearly not there yet.  I'm not sure if it's clear from the picture, but the crust was definitely a darker color than previous batches, with the same amount of baking time.  This lends some credence to my notion that the poolish was overfermenting somewhat before (or so I understood it from Larry last week--I'm happy to stand corrected on this!).  My slashing is getting more consistent, although unfortunately the scores are consistently too close together as well! Believe it or not, the one in the middle actually had four discrete slashes before it went into the oven...

Crumb was definitely better than last week, although not quite up to where I want it to be.  Texture-wise, also a bit less fluffy and more creamy than before, but still somewhat fluffy.  Flavor was also better--I'm finally starting to get some of the nice nutty notes that I remember from my lucky breaks with this dough.  Just some of them, however.  Crust was thin and crisp on top, but thick and chewy on the bottom--I think you can even see it in the picture.  Not sure what that's all about--possibly a result of leaving the baguettes in to crisp a little more with the oven turned off?

Next week: Further reduction of the yeast in the poolish -- worst case scenario it isn't ready to go when I want to start mixing at 9am, and I start the bread a little later, right?  Also, time to start experimenting with steaming methods.  I'm really intrigued by the steaming method SylviaH posted earlier this week. I would have tried it today, but I didn't want to conflate the results of not goofing up the oven temperature with the effects of the steaming method.

As always, any tips, comments, or smart remarks are welcome and appreciated,

-Ryan

Comments

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Wow, Ryan


I didn't get the good result like yours when I started to make baguettes. Great job!


May I recommend you to take a look at  David's baguette's recipes?


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8524/philippe-gosselin039s-pain-%C3%A0-l039ancienne-according-peter-reinhart-interpretted-dmsnyder-m 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20036/san-joaquin-sourdough-updated


 He shut off the oven and leave the baguettes  for several minutes to get good crispy crust. I use his technique, too. It works.


Happy baking,


Akiko

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Thanks Akiko.  I can't take too much credit for quick progress, though.  I'd made that formula half a dozen times or so over a period of a couple years before I started this series of posts.  This is just the first time I've tried to be thorough about it and really get them right.


David does indeed have some great recipes; I actually made his San Joaquin Sourdough for my Sunday bake last week.  Something when horribly awry with the shaping, but the crumb and flavor were amazing.


Definitely one to make again!

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Wow, Ryan


Thank you for telling me about your result that is fantastic!!  I am going to start to make the baguette tomorrow.  


I will try David's updated new technique to make the crust crispier, too.


That is good looking crumb, Ryan!


Akiko


 

arlo's picture
arlo

Progress is really showing Ryan. In no time you will have some elegant baguettes that you are striving for.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

They just keep getting better and better! I haven't made Hamelman's baguette's in a long time and it's a lovely formula...the prettest ones I've seen made where done for a bakers show event, by a young baker who posted his display on this site..I'd have to search Hamelman's baguette to find his post...but I remember his baguettes were gorgeous crumb and crust, everything about them was hard to match and he won!


Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

just thought you might be interested and pick up some hints...he (rhag' complete blog posts are full of photos) he also refers a link to a video, close to how he does his shaping and post the formula.  Your crumb looks very close to his.  Hamelman's Baguette with poolish http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node11068/hamelmans-baguette-poolish if this link doesn't work..just type in 'rhag' in seach, you'll get to his post.


Sylvia

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Thanks Sylvia! I wasn't able to track down the video link, but just looking at his pictures gave me a couple of idea (and made me very hungry!).

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Nevermind, found the video link. Good stuff!