The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ultimate Sourdough Baguettes - Questions

Yuval35's picture
Yuval35

Ultimate Sourdough Baguettes - Questions

Today i made this wonderful baguettes from KAF.


here is the link : http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/ultimate-sourdough-baguettes-recipe


the flavors was great and more importanat it is vary quick receipe.


however, I have several questions about the process.


 


1. why adding Gluten ? we are not using whole wheat or Rye ? Is it typical for Baguettes ?


2. why using Sourdough and also Yeasts ?  just to speed up the rise ? any drawback for that ?


3. the baking does not require steam ? Is it also typical for Baguettes ? mybe we dont want it to rise to much in the oven ?


 


thanks,


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, and welcome to TFL!


That recipe is very different from a traditional French baguette in so many ways, it's hard to know where to start.


There is so much yeast added, I would assume the sourdough starter is there just for flavor. Sometimes, a small amount of yeast is added to sourdough breads to make the proofing time more predictable (and shorter). But that recipe is clearly not depending on the starter to leaven the dough primarily. The cost of a shorter fermentation is less flavor development.


I am convinced that authentic French baguettes are best made with lower gluten flour. Even the specified KAF AP flour, at 11.7% protein, is stronger than the flours used in France. So adding gluten will make for a higher rising loaf, but it is not really necessary to make good baguettes.


Steam enhances oven spring and makes a shinier crust. Your recipe compensates by adding gluten and using an egg wash. I assume this is to simplify the procedure for the home baker, but it is not the traditional approach.


I prefer a very different approach to baguettes, but, if you like the product, that's what counts. However, you might want to try a more traditional approach to baguettes, and see what you prefer.


Hope this helps.


David