The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Saturday Baguettes - Week 7

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

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:


Poolish



  • 5.3 oz. bread flour

  • 5.3 oz. water

  • 1/16 tsp yeast


Final Dough



  • 10.7 oz. bread flour

  • 5.3 oz. water

  • 5/8 tsp yeast

  • 0.3 oz. salt


Process:



  1. Mix Poolish night before, let sit ~10 -1/2 hours 

  2. Mix all ingredients with wooden spoon, let sit 5 minutes  

  3. Mix in mixer ~2 minutes until the dough windowpanes

  4. 30 folds in the bowl with a rubber spatula

  5. Ferment 1 hour, stretch and fold

  6. 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)  

  7. Rest 10-20 minutes

  8. 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.

  9. Place on couche, cover with the folds  

  10. Proof 1 hour, 15 minutes  

  11. 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.

  12. Transfer baguettes to parchment on a sheet pan, score.  

  13. 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  

  14. Slide parchment onto stone, load steam pans, lower temp to 485.  

  15. Bake 26 minutes, removing the steam pans and turning the baguettes around after 10.


This week's results:


Exterior:


 

Crumb

From Food

 

Bottoms

 

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.

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Glad to hear your enjoying your time practicing making your baguettes and staying home with the new baby.


All in all your crumb looks delicious and the baguettes have a very nice round shape on the cross section.  Looks like the stone was very hot.  You might have better luck proofing by not watching the clock..but watch the dough instead..my house has been having a lot of temperature changes with hot and cool days..it's not dependable for me to time my final proof. 


Happy baking and Thanksgiving, Sylvia

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Could be you're keeping the house warmer now that the new baby is there.  If so, bread times rising will be faster.