Saturday Baguettes - Week 7
Staying home and looking after my wife and new baby has given me all kinds of time to bake, which includes my weekly batch of baguettes. This week was intended to be the same as last week but without the errors imposed by my wife going into labor, but let me take this opportunity to reiterate my formula and process:
- 5.3 oz. bread flour
- 5.3 oz. water
- 1/16 tsp yeast
- 10.7 oz. bread flour
- 5.3 oz. water
- 5/8 tsp yeast
- 0.3 oz. salt
- Mix Poolish night before, let sit ~10 -1/2 hours
- Mix all ingredients with wooden spoon, let sit 5 minutes
- Mix in mixer ~2 minutes until the dough windowpanes
- 30 folds in the bowl with a rubber spatula
- Ferment 1 hour, stretch and fold
- Ferment 1 hour more, divide into 9 oz. pieces, pre-shape oblong (I do a modified version of Hamelman's pre-shaping technique for boules--fold in half, then tuck the dough into itself with the fingers. For an oblong, on the last tuck I twist my wrists inward such that it turns into a stubby torpedo shape)
- Rest 10-20 minutes
- Shape as baguettes--I've been doing the "fold over the thumb and press" technique, twice in one direction and then once in the other, sealing the last against the work surface.
- Place on couche, cover with the folds
- Proof 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Pre-heat oven and stone to 535 degrees at least 45 minutes before baking. Place two metal loaf pans in the oven on a rack below the stone.
- Transfer baguettes to parchment on a sheet pan, score.
- Pull the loaf pans out of the oven. Soak two towels in a bowl of very hot water (my tap water gets plenty hot), transfer to the loaf pans
- Slide parchment onto stone, load steam pans, lower temp to 485.
- Bake 26 minutes, removing the steam pans and turning the baguettes around after 10.
This week's results:
I find this week's results puzzling. The exterior had a good color, but burnt on the bottoms. I had good placement on the slashes, but either not enough depth, or not enough angle, or a little overproofing. Flavor was good, though last week's was better. Crust was still a bit chewy, not like the lovely crisp crust I got in week 5. Crumb was fairly tight (the section in the picture was as good as it got--most of the baguettes were tighter than this) Linked to the quality of the slashes?
I'm thinking that I overproofed just slightly this week, and possibly degassed a bit much when I was making my slashes. Last week when I got such good results I didn't know for certain how long I'd proofed, but I think it may have been closer to 65-70 minutes rather than 75. Or the baguettes just proofed faster this time. I need to watch the dough, not the clock, I guess. This would be consistent with my results in week 5 as well--burnt bottoms, hit-or-miss appearance of gringe. But I don't really know what I'm talking about, so feel free to correct me.
Next week then, a slightly shorter/more sensitive proof, and I think I might experiment with alternate shaping methods, see if one of those gives me better results.