The Fresh Loaf

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Baguettes, round deux

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mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Baguettes, round deux

As promised, I am keeping you up to date with my recent baking adventures.  I have a love for baguettes but nothing has given me more grief than this elusive bread.  I have baked these loaves a number of times but have failed to develop the nice open airy crumb that beckons me to bake them as often as I do.  


 


            Today’s bake started as a result of needing bread for dinner.  I had a hunger for chicken seasoned with garlic, oregano, thyme, and s&p with a piece of provolone cheese melted on top, sandwiched between a baguette slathered with garlic basil mayo, tomato, and lettuce.  This was all in my head however; I still didn’t have any bread.


 


            So I removed the pate fermentee from the refrigerator and cut it into small bits to remove the chill.  I mixed together the flour, pate fermentee, salt, and yeast.  The water was added and I mixed everything into a coarse ball, and then poured the contents out onto the counter.  I worked the dough until it was smooth and silky tacky not sticky.  I wanted to experiment with higher hydration this go around, so I added an additional tablespoon or two of water to the dough.  In the future I will use warmer water because I have not been able to increase the internal temperature of the dough to around 80 degrees through kneading.


 


            The dough was put into a lightly oiled bowl and covered with plastic wrap.  My house is a chilly 62 degrees so I have to be creative with finding a warm place to let the dough rise.  I place the bowl on top of an electric heating pad set to low, turn on overhead heating lights, and plug in a space heater.  The thermometer in the room reads around 78 degrees with all of this extra heat.  I let the dough rise until doubled while stretching and folding every 30 minutes for the first hour and a half. 


           


            When I was satisfied with the dough 2.5 hours later, I removed the dough and scaled it down on the counter top.  Each scaled piece of dough weighed approx. 390 grams.  I let each scaled piece of dough rest for about 20 minutes and then formed each portion into a baguette utilizing the counter to create surface tension.  The baguettes were allowed to rise for about 45 minutes, then were scored, and baked.  The oven temp was 500 degrees for the first 2 minutes with steaming every 30 seconds of that period.  The temperature was lowered to 450 and the loaves were allowed to bake until golden brown and the internal temperature was 205ish. 


 


            The loaves were Fantastic for dinner tonight and I have decided to look into a job baking with a local bread company; I might as well considering I love making bread anyway.


 


The recipe for the main dough is as follows:


 


5oz unbleached AP


5oz bread flour


16oz pate fermentee


1½ teaspoons salt


¾ teaspoons active yeast


¾ cup water warm to touch plus a few tablespoons extra





 


That ever elusive crumb continues to fight me but i will not waiver I will not lose hope, I will continue baking baguettes.


 


-Matthew


 


 

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Very Very Nice looking Baguettes, scoring and shaping, Matthew!


I believe that your intensive Mixing is to blame for the lack of openness. Try mixing less intensively next time, and be light handed when shaping so as not to squish all the fermentation bubbles out.


Your baguettes are beautiful, nonetheless.

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

As I was pre-shaping the dough it seemed to have a lot of trapped air, which i was careful to retain.  Even during the final shaping they seemed nice and airy.  Perhaps I did not let them proof long enough before popping them in the oven.  At any rate, I am starting round 3 tomorrow with a poolish starter this time, trying to increase the hydration even more.  


 


Thank you for the encouragement 


 


-Matthew

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I don't care for huge holes, everything falls through.  Great job !

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Most of the time I would agree with you (no place for butter) but in this case i'm trying to develop technique.


 


 

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

They look great.

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Fabulous baguettes to me. Great scoring you did too. I'll have those with or without open crumbs.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com


 

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Thanks for the encouragement, I start round three tomorrow with poolish baguettes.  I took a look at your blog and it looks like you do nice work.  Australia must be wonderful, definitely on my list of travel destinations.


 


-Matthew

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Pls. also , see this video, posted On Lindy's Blog: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/videos.html


Notice, when Mr. Hamelman starts shaping his dough, he pats his dough to slightly deflate it. Doing so will allow the fermentation to jump start again, as opposed to leaving the bubbles obstructing the process.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Pls. also , see this video, posted On Lindy's Blog: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/videos.html


Notice, when Mr. Hamelman starts shaping his dough, he pats his dough to slightly deflate it. Doing so will allow the fermentation to jump start again, as opposed to leaving the bubbles obstruct the process.

Baking Mama's picture
Baking Mama

I am in a Artisan Bread class and we did baugettes last week, we did 3 different formulas with poolish, pate ferment and a sponge. On our poolish baguette we had 56% hydration and a 65% on the fermetee baguettes. All 3 turned out great but none of the 3 had large crumbs. We presteam our 500 degree deck ovens and then steam again when dough is placed in oven, reducing heat to 450 degrees. Rotating bread 180 degrees after 10 mins to ensure even browning to the bread and we bake the last few minutes with the oven door open that helps put that nice crisp to the outside of the bread. Let cool at least 40 mins before slicing. You may do all these things but you didnt mention in you blog so I thought I would share what I learned with you. They could possibly help you while developing your technique! Good Luck! 

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I prefer pate fermentee, it seems to give the best flavor profile.  I give my baguettes plenty of steam using the towel method, a cast iron skillet, and spray bottle.  I bake at 500 then mist the oven sides and bread every 30 seconds for the first 2 minutes then bring the temp down to 450.  I usually let the bread rest in the oven for about 5 minutes with the door open and the oven off.  I could hear the crust crackling as these were resting on the counter, crust has never been an issue for my baguettes.  


 


Good luck on your class, I would like to take a class but lack the finances at the moment.  I'll have to stick to teaching myself.


 


-M