The Fresh Loaf

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Fun With French Bread

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Fun With French Bread

When 3 separate ideas rush over me at the same time, well I'm helpless to stop the resultant activity. Recently I saw Larry produce some beautiful baguettes and the Margaritta star shape. That got me thinking.


Then Proth5 (Pat) posts about her new Bear-Guettes. A dual yeast French mix that has the promise of wonderful taste.


The final thing that pushed me over the edge was receiving a bag of Central Milling's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft (Malted) from a friend who knows I will put it to good use. 


With all of these positive influences popping at once, I decided to join them and try a shape I had never made with flour I had never used in a formula I had never played with. Sounds like fun, right!


First, I love the Bear-Guettes recipe. I get no sense of tang what so ever. Very mild sightly nutty flavor with a nice crispy crust. Thank you Pat, I agree with your Chief Tester.


The Artisan Bakers Craft flour is wonderful. I had excellent development and a smooth silky dough using hand mixing and a few of Bertinet's slap and fold and just one S&F after 2 hours. Thanks to my flour fairy! You know who you are:>)


The shaping and creation of the star shapes "La margueritte" was fun. Not as hard as it looks if you can count to 6 lol. Thank you Larry for leading the way on this. The second batch which was retarded over night turned out better and were more symmetric


I'm convinced that I want to obtain a decent amount of the CM Artisan Bakers Craft for use in my French breads. You can tell it is a quality milled product by the silky nature of the dough in such a short time and in a hydration level fit for straight formulas. I like to use one flour and get comfortable with the characteristics of it so I know what to expect when I toss a batch together based on the percentages I have in my head. This is going to be my new flour.I like the creamy crumb color.


Eric





Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, damn!



Not the most open Baguette dough ever but considering the handling, not bad.

Comments

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Eric, they look great, nice work! 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks cranbo. I've been enjoying your work recently. Some very creative stuff.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Beautiful shape! I missed the original post on the flower shaped baguette, must try that!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Check out the link to the videos that Larry posted. I had trouble loading them but if you are patient and let it load you can come back later and watch the whole thing. It must be hosted on an ancient slow computer. I'll watch for your flowers in flour.


Eric

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Wow, they look so wonderful, Eric!


I want to try the Artisan Bakers Craft flour.  I echo Txfarmer, Your flower shaped baguettes are elegant.


Best wishes,


Akiko

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Akiko. With any luck Stan (NY Bakers) will be carrying that flour soon in smaller quantities than 50# sacks. I like it a lot so far.


Eric

proth5's picture
proth5

my formula.  Lately, based on dmsnyder's input I've been baking it at 1.8% salt.  The flavor change has not been a big deal to me, but you might like the saltier version. 


The dough never does produce a terribly "airy" baguette - but usually it is pretty open crumbed.


I've been enjoying the dough handling on this formula...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I followed your instructions on the salt and didn't find it was flat at all. It would be nice to lower the salt expectations for the pallet in general. It might improve the crumb structure too.


How long have you been aging the preferment's. I didn't see any mention of how long so I assumed overnight. It's an easy formula on my schedule with just one fold at 2 hours. I like that. I split the batch at the 2 hour mark after folding and sent half to the cooler for the next day. I didn't see any difference in handling but the dough was puffier. I haven't cut the second batch yet. I'm anxious to see if the crumb is more open due to the way I ran the ferment.


Thanks again Pat for posting your working formula. There are a few things about it that surprise me, pleasantly.


Eric

proth5's picture
proth5

I haven't really seen much impact in changing up the salt.  In general I don't use much additional salt on any type of food and don't crave it in bread (although I can tell if there is none.)


I usually do the preferments for about 12-14 hours.  My house is kept pretty cool in the winter and they are well matured at about that time.


I generally mix the dough and divide it - I'll bake half of it the same day it is mixed and the rest will sit at ambient for about a half an hour before being put in the refrigerator until early the next morning (elapsed time of about 20 hours).  I'll put the dough in my makeshift proofer at the very lowest setting for about 2 hours to warm it up and then go through the shaping routine.  I am never quite happy with how cold dough handles - so the warming is important for me.  I don't like how the dough shapes if I let it get away from me and have to do a fold after it has been chilled.  Of course I'm never quite happy with anything and I don't like much, so take that whole routine with a grain of salt.


Usually the crumb is more open the second day, but it is never the really extreme open crumb you see in higer hydration baguettes.  That isn't really my goal - I am really seaking balance - something that handles well and tastes good with an open crumb that I can make within my somewhat demanding personal schedule.  There are tradeoffs involved.


We'll see if I'm ever happy with the bread or if I can continue to obsess.  Always glad to get input from folks working under different conditions of altitude and humidity...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

My instincts were to delay the refrigeration so the culture could get started reproducing, considering the small amount of yeast. I'm on the same page about not wanting the extreme open hole patterns. I thought it was about right.


I'm thinking I might start the levain a few hours earlier to bring up the lactic acid a touch. My usual spot for overnight fermenting is right above the refrigerator in a small cabinet. It is reliably 75F this time of year. This morning I pulled the retarded half of the batch and set it in the cabinet for an hour before shaping. It was still cool but manageable. I'll let you know if I discover anything new. I'd say you have it about right.


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Delicious!  Nice shape shifting of baguette dough into a flower of rolls!  I've always liked baguette dough for rolls and your are beautiful and sound so flavorful...nice work, Eric!


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you Sylvia.


Nice of you to say.


Eric

varda's picture
varda

Hey what's so great about 6?   These are beautiful! -Varda

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Varda!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It sounds like you found the perfect flower flour.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It seems so! Lol


Eric

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I enjoy that recipe, that flour and that shape, too.  Well done!


Glenn

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Glenn


Eric


 

Syd's picture
Syd

Lovely looking crumb and great shaping!


Syd

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The shaping is entirely the scissors once you know how it goes together. I managed to not snip my couche cloth or fingers so It was a success I guess.


Eric

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Beyond impressive!  I think the crumb is perfect, by the way - I am all for an open crumb, but don't think a bread should end up with more holes than.... Bread!  :-)


 


Loved the flower shape,  not sure I'm brave enough to try it, but maybe once I have my baking situation back to normal I can go for it...

LindyD's picture
LindyD

About the artistry as well as the crumb.


The flower shape made me yearn even more for spring.


Nice work, Eric!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yes, I agree. Please let there be spring soon. We had 1 inch of ice yesterday and it's snowing hard now.


I made the Potage soup this afternoon and had it with fresh French bread.


Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Give it a try. Now that I have done the basic classic shape, there are other adaptions that would be fun to experiment with using the same basic idea.


Eric

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Eric. Way to go. Really lovely, open crumb. I'm struggling with small holes right now. Just can't figure what I'm doing wrong. I think I psych myself out when it comes to shaping baguettes. You've inspired me to push on!


Sylvia (Bronx to Barn Baker)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

If you can't seem to get the bubbles you want, make sure your preferment is done at the right temp and at it's peak and watch your bulk ferment for holes along the side of the ferment container. You need to see holes of 1/4 inch at the end of the bulk ferment. Then regardless of how firm you are in handling, the crumb will spring and be holey.


Eric

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Five is good, and it is three better than just two!  What's not to like?


Great looking loaves, at 5 or 6 petals, and I congratulate you on your courage in swinging away at the new shape.


Central Milling is just a pleasant day trip away for me.  I'll have to find a day off somewhere and drive over there.  Your description of the reults that flour yields has me wanting to try some too.  Have to be sure to take the small truck though, so I don't get carried away.


Do they taste as good as they look?
OldWoodenSpoon

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I appreciate your kind words OWS. I do like the flour and the flavor and color. The crust was nice and thin like I like it too. Nice you are so close to the source. Go ahead and corner the market!


Eric

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Truly beautiful, Eric! from breadsong

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Isn't that a nice detail? Those little points where you cut are very cool indeed. I'm getting revved up to try some variations now.


Eric

Mebake's picture
Mebake

What a Gorgeous Flower, Eric! The Flour looks like something special... But with your hands involved, the flour even performs better!


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Kahlid, that's what I thought when I first saw the video. This new flour is forgiving of my amateur hands, but I'm learning.


Eric

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

That is so pretty Eric. I really like the idea.


5 or 6, they're great both ways:)


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you Sue, sweet of you to say so. There are so many beautiful breads that have been made in Europe. It seems to be a lost art form here in the US. Everyone I have given these to has been very pleased and surprised, having never considered such a thing. I'll be looking for your expression.


Eric

wally's picture
wally

Nice job, Eric!  As you say, it really is about as easy as counting to 6, but what a nice way to present bread at the table.


Bake on!


Larry

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It's a nice flower isn't it? I'd like to see a whole basket full. I really appreciate being able to follow your lead. Your skills are inspirational for me.


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

Really nice work Eric!


It's so darn pretty you almost wouldn't want to cut into it. Pat has obviously developed a very good formula for baguette and you've done it justice with your usual expertise from mix, to shaping, to bake. I haven't been spending much time on the site lately, contributing, or otherwise, but when I saw your post of the marguerite it was impossible for me to not pass on my congrats on your stellar bread.


Franko


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yea, even a blind monkey gets lucky now and then. My elderly neighbors said they liked it so much they were fretting over wrecking it. Funny. I'm going to make a point of trying new shapes for a while. See what turns up. I think the key will be becoming consistent in making great dough. Having a formula that works in my time allotment should make it easier.


You must have spring flowers now on the Island?


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

A blind monkey my *&%  Eric, you're anything but! We did have some sort of flower pop up a couple of weeks ago according to Marie, but then we got a Northern outflow along the coast and things have gone dormant again. I know it's probably balmy compared to where you live, but for us it's darn cold for this time of year. Can hardly wait for Spring to come.


All the best,


Franko

ehanner's picture
ehanner

One of the things I like so much about the NW USA and the Vancouver area is the great growing season. In a few weeks you will have a good showing of daffodils. We will still have a pile of snow burying the mail box. I do like the dry air for baking crusts but by now I'm ready to toss my hands in the air and surrender. Good to hear from you!


Cheers,


Eric