Saturday (Actually Sunday) Baguettes - Week 13
I'm still at it. We were at my parents' place on Saturday (Christmas day), and while I did end up baking a batch of Italian bread for Christmas dinner, there were no baguettes. But we got home Saturday night, and I actually felt in the mood for baguettes. I made up the poolish, increasing the yeast slightly from last week so it would ripen before late afternoon, and sunday I made yet another batch of the Hamelman Baguettes with Poolish.
While mixing, I realized that last week, and at least one previous week, I'd been adding too much yeast to the final dough--Hamelman says to use .13 oz of instant yeast for a full batch, and last week I definitely used .13 oz in my half batch. Heaven knows what that's been doing to my baking. Last week I think it turned out okay (well, better than okay) in part because the poolish was so sluggish. Anyway, this week I used the correct 0.067 oz yeast (yay for having a scale accurate to the 0.001 oz eh?).
Besides the yeast adjustments, no changes from last week. I used Cyril Hitz's rolling method for shaping again, but was better at it.
Needless to say, I'm very pleased with these baguettes. Great caramelization of the crust, decent ears and placement of the scores. Crust was pleasantly crisp, although not as perfect as last week. Nice open crumb, with a nice nutty flavor. Only downsides: a bit flat (and with tight crumb) in between scores, and the bottoms got over-dark (and tasted a little burnt).
I think perhaps I under-proofed as well--there's a little bursting in between the scores on one baguette, and I seem to recall having the bread "bulge" at the scores is another indication of under-proofing. I still have yet to master the "poke" test, it seems.