Saturday Baguettes - Week 5
I didn't get around to posting yesterday, but I made my 5th weekly batch of Hamelman's baguette's with Poolish.
I had a whole story about what I changed from last week and why, but accidentally hit reload and lost it all. So I'll be brief. The changes this week:
- Reduced poolish time to 10 hours
- Focused on making just 3 slashes per baguette.
- Tried SylviaH's magic towel steaming method.
I forgot to turn the oven on when I meant to and did a final proof of 75 minutes instead of 60, while raised the preheat temperature to 550 for only 30 minutes to compensate for the stone being cold.
The Results: Exterior
I had a lot less luck with scoring this week--the lame kept dragging rather than cutting cleanly. I'm not sure if this was from proofing longer--I also didn't cover the baguettes as thoroughly with the folds of my make-shift couche as I have been doing. Crumb is clearly pretty tight, which is probably my fault; I still need more practice at being sufficiently gentle with these baguettes (or could that be over-proofing too?). That said, the crumb had a nicer texture to it than I've been getting, and better flavor as well. The crust was great--crisp all around, and just a little chewy. A little over-dark on the bottom on account of overheating the stone, but even that wasn't too bad. If I never get my crust any better, I think I could live with that.
I'm really not sure if this week's batch was overproofed, or if other problems led to my scoring and crumb issues. I'm going to stick with the 75 minute proof and see what happens if I do everything else right. So my plan for next week is to change nothing except a) Be even more gentle when shaping, and b) be more careful about covering the baguettes while proofing. I'll see how it goes.
Happy baking, everyone.