The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

65% hydrated baguettes

davidg618's picture
davidg618

65% hydrated baguettes

I routinely make baguettes with a straight dough at 70% hydration, and an overnight ferment at 55°F.  Curious, in yesterday's mix I reduced the hydration to 65%, all other ingredients (KA AP flour and sea salt) and processes were the same: DDT set to 55°F with ice water, and the dough chilled during autolyse, between S&Fs and overnight retarding for 15 hours. I was motivated to try a lower hydration based on a smattering of comments scattered in various TFL threads that argue open crumb isn't only about hydration. This dough, developed an extraordinary strength--I did the 3rd S&F only because I  always do three, it didn't need doing. The crumb is nearly as open as I experience in the 70% dough. However, the dough seemed to have less than the usual elasticity; note the broken surface between the scorings. I detected no apparent difference in flavor.



David G

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

I'm channeling here - but what to do when the dough is stronger? (of course if you didn't need the third fold....)


Longer steam


Deeper score


Congratulations on your discovery (and your bread.)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

From the little bit of crust you show, I wonder if your cuts were too close together where they overlapped.


Might the loaves have been somewhat under-proofed?


I think what you are describing as less "elasticity" is something else, and there is a word for it that I'm not retrieving at the moment. It describes the ability of the dough to stretch without tearing. (It's not the same as extensibility, either.)


David

davidg618's picture
davidg618

David,


First, I thnk I slashed the dough in the same way I always do, although scoring neatly continues to evade me.


If the loaves were under-proofed, it was no more than 10%. I poke tested the loaves; there was a little recovery, but still clear indentation after three or four minutes.


If you think of that word, please let me know.


David G

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Tenacity. As I understand it, the operational definition is the ability of the dough to stretch without tearing.


It sounds like Pat has been studying up on this stuff. She may be able to elaborate or correct my definition, if I got it wrong.


David

proth5's picture
proth5

it is.


But here's the extra credit exercize (one that I've been doing as of late):


Follow the link posted below for the Chopin alveograph (which is about the most clearly laid out that I've seen for my tiny mind.)  Think about the thing blowing a bubble and letting it pop.  The two axes are pressure and time.  The peak measures tenacity  (why is that logical?)and the length measures elasticity.  But think, man! Think about the shape of the curve! What does it mean if there is a high peak and sharp drop?  What about a long, slow drop?  What does that mean for our bread?


Not that I have the answers, but I have a feeling that when we understand this we will understand "why does my bread do this?"


Unfortunately we home bakers don't have easy access to alveograph readings, but a lot of "well respected" artisan bakers put pretty high stock in those graphs.


OK - need to relax...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Pat.


I believe the X-axis of the alveograph is length (of the stretched dough), not time. The L value of a dough is a measure of extensibility - how far you can stretch it before the bubble pops.


The P value measures tenacity - how much pressure is needed to stretch the dough.


A high peak and a sharp drop would mean the dough loses tenacity as it is stretched beyond a length that is shorter than a dough which has a more gradual drop. 


The area under the curve represents "strength." A stronger dough would take a lot of pressure to stretch it and would maintain that pressure over a long stretch. I think that's experienced as "elasticity."


Does that sound right?


David

proth5's picture
proth5

below:


http://www.agrionica.hr/_leafleats/alveograph.pdf?lang=en


(Did I mention I was studying - geez I need to get this memorized...)


What the alveograph measure is the potential of flour for exactly what we want in baking


Tenacity - max pressure


Elasticty - length of the curve


Strength - area under the curve


Flour has these as intrinsic qualities, but we can influence them by how we construct the dough...

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Your comment a while back, about "getting the fermentation right" was one of the inspirations for trying this.


I'll check out the reference.


David G

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Dave:

Thanks for sharing your experience. Is your formula (and procedure) documented previously? I'd like to use it for future reference. Thanks.

Yippee

davidg618's picture
davidg618

...to my original "Overnight Baguettes".


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16377/overnight-baguettes


I've tweaked it very little in the past year. I bake three to six baguettes about every week to ten days. I've settled on a 70% hydration dough, 15 hours from completing the mix until preshaping, always done with ice water, DDT 55°F (I pre chill the flour), 1 hour autolyse, 3 S&F at 45 minute intervals. I remove the dough from the chiller, preshape immediately, and rest for 1 hour @ 76°F, shape and final proof (76°F). 500°F preheat, 450°F bake for 10 minutes with steam, finish baking at same temperature with steam removed (litereally, I create steam using wetted towels on a sheet pan, on the topmost shelf).


David G


David

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I'll definitely read it over.

Yippee

Syd's picture
Syd

Interesting experiment, David.  I agree that there is more to an open crumb than a high hydration.  Length of ferment and amount of yeast also contribute.  Specifically, I have found that a longer ferment with a smaller amount of yeast results in a more open crumb. Amount of degassing and shaping are also important.


I am glad you posted this because I have now also discovered your overnight baguette formula.   I have been making baguettes for the past two years. While my shaping and scoring have improved, I am still disappointed with the flavour.  For a long time I used the cold retardation technique.  Flour and water (70% hydration) mixed and left to autolyse overnight in the fridge.  The next morning add yeast, salt and knead.  I love the way the dough feels after a long retardation but I haven't been that impressed with the flavour.   I even tried extending to 24 hours but with not much noticeable improvement.  An addition of 5% rye made a slight improvement, but still nothing to write home about.  More recently I have started using a poolish, but once again, not much difference from the cold retardation technique.  I have been experimenting with adding less and less yeast to the poolish and letting it ferment longer.  Last weekend, I used, literally, a few grains of yeast and left the poolish to ferment for almost 24 hours.  There was a marginal increase in flavour, but still not what I am looking for. 


After reading your overnight baguette formula, I am now wondering if it isn't because my fridge is too cold.  Everyone reports such great taste from the l'Ancienne techniqe, but I just can't seem to get excited about it.  Perhaps I have set my sights too high or perhaps my fridge is just too cold for those enzymes to do their work on those sugars.  I would love to buy a wine cooler or a separate bar fridge for the sole purpose of retarding, but it is just not practical where I live.  I can hardly store a bottle of wine, let alone a wine cooler.  But, I noted with interest your comment about the batch from the wine cooler being superior in taste. 


At any rate, I thought I might experiment with your technique and, perhaps, for one night only, turn the fridge up a bit to see if I can't replicate your results in flavour.


Syd

davidg618's picture
davidg618

changes slowly. Let me suggest a comprimise that might work.


I've been monitoring my doughs' temperature a lot lately since I built a proofing box. I've found, that it isn't easy to change a dough's temperature. The science of it is multivariate. Suffice it to say it has to do with the dough's mass, shape, surface area, specific heat of its mix, and inside/outside temperture differential. I might understand it a little, but its beyond my calculating. My observations are what's led me to pre-chill my ingredients, and setting the DDT to 55°F, my retarding temperature.


Here's my suggestion: Please note I've never done this, but I think it might work.


Prechill your water and flour in the refrigerator. The water will chill in a short time, but the flour will take longer. I'm guessing overnight would be enough. Mix, autolyse, and manipulte the dough returning it to the refrigerator for each rest. After the final manipulation, put the dough in a cooler--don't add any ice--and let the dough slowly rise toward room temperature.


Fermentation involves exothermic reactions (they release heat, warming the dough slightly).  Nonetheless, I'm guessing the dough will still be below room temperature after a dozen or so hours.


This is basically, just the opposite of mixing and manipulating at room temp, and then retarding in the refrigerator wherein fermentation grows slower over time.


Yeast: I began using 1/4 tsp of IDY in 1050g of dough; Lately, fearing my yeast is aging I've been using a scant 1/2 tsp. The dough doubles-and-a-bit-more in 15 hours (mix to preshape time). I degas firmly, but not heavily. The 65% dough I shaped quit firmly because it kept fighting back.


As to flavor, we've experienced a difference in flavor using  cool retardation. We like what we get, but I don't know if it would satisfy a panel of "experts".


Good baking, Syd

Syd's picture
Syd

Great suggestion, David.  It makes sense to me.  I usually always used chilled water anyway but don't chill my bread or all purpose flour.  (I do chill my whole wheat because I store it in the freezer - stays fresh for ages that way - and I always use it straight from the freezer).  Don't know why I never thought of chilling the other flour myself.  It seems so obvious now that you have mentioned it.


I think your suggestion should work given what you say about how slowly a dough reacts to changes in temp particularly if it is tucked away in a cooler.  I might have to add some ice as my kitchen temp can go as high as 25 or 26 C even at this time of the year (32 C in summer), but perhaps the first time I won't and, instead, just periodically take the dough's temperature and internvene only if necessary.


I also usually use in the 1/4 to 1/2 tsp range of yeast for my baguettes.  Last weekend I used a few grains in the poolish and about 1/32 tsp in the final dough.  It took about 5 hours to bulk ferment and an hour for final proof, but still the flavour was nothing spectacular.  Actually, they looked rather anemic due to the long ferment despite the fact that I added about 3g of diastatic malt. 


I was thinking of using an all purpose/ bread flour mix (40%:60%) and reducing the hydration to 68% but now might just go along with my old formula and your mixing instructions and see what changes it brings about. 


Thanks for your suggestions, David.


Best,


Syd

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Syd,


I use a 50/50 mix of AP and Bread flour in my sourdoughs, and we like the resulting chewiness. but I use 100% AP (always King Arthur) in my baguettes. The chewiness we like in the sourdoughs is too much in a baguette for us. but that's a matter of taste and mouthfeel.


David G

khacha's picture
khacha

I have been working with 60% to 70% Hydration baguette dough, using poolish and cold retardation, I like the texture and complex flavor of the bread, but scoring the loaves properly eludes me.  It is just too slumpy, even in the couche. So my question is this: when in the final rise do you all score your breads?

davidg618's picture
davidg618

...seam side up, flip them directly onto the loading peel, and slash them just before loading. I've also found even  a new double-edge razor blade drags in the dough, leaving a ragged cut, regardless of how fast (or slow) I slash. Higher hydrations drag worse, but the 65% dough still dragged a bit. I've watched, and watched, and watched baguette scoring videos, but I still have troubles.


David G

khacha's picture
khacha

Me too Dave, I am couching on aluminum pans I made and shooting 12 at a time, 4 loaves to a rack into a full sized commercial 140K btu gas convection oven.  I throw about a cup of water in with each batch for steam.  The finished loaves are beautiful, just no slashes, and I hate to give up hydration for slashes just to achieve cosmetic appeal. I have been dusting the unbaked loaves with white cornmeal, but I would love to achieve a nice blooming set of slashes too.  I will soldier on.........

khacha's picture
khacha

I pulled some 72 hour 33 degree retarded 65% hydrated KA Sir Galahad, and folded the baguettes (instead of rolling them like I have always done).  Proofed for about an hour, scored them and used oven @ 475 without convection, (used stem for first 5 minutes) and viola, got great slit bloom and nice interior structure. I guess the folding is the key; successful scoring appears to be all about surface tension.  If I ever figure out how to upload a picture i shall do so.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

It seems to me, at 33° yeast, mechanical, and chemical changes occur very, very slowly, if at all.


David G

khacha's picture
khacha

Yes, the changes are slow and subtle but the outcome is a deep flavor and the crumb has translucent, open texture.  I have been doing this for a while, 16 years. I have 6 kinds of dough contemplating the universe in my Hobart reach in, all contain cooked soft red winter wheat from my farm, along with KA Sir Lancelot or Special, as well as with rye, triticale, spelt, oats & barley.  They have been folded 4 times and have been chilling since yesterday morning @ around 33 degrees (F). They all contain poolish or biga.  I will pull them this afternoon and shape.  They will rise @ around 65 degrees (F) for about 6 to 8 hours before they are baked around midnight tonight.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Will you please explain what is "cooked soft red winter wheat", and in your previous post, what does rolling them mean.


Thanks

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

wheats are generally categorized as:


red, which is really more brown than red and the most widely grown variety


white, which has fewer tannins than the red, hence a "white" kernel and milder flavor


winter, which refers to it having been planted in the autumn and growing (albeit slowly) through the winter


spring, which refers to it having been planted in the spring


hard, which typically have higher protein contents, causing harder kernels


soft, which typically have lower protein contents, causing softer kernels


The reference to "cooked soft red winter wheat" means that the wheat has a softer, reddish/brownish kernel with a lower protein content.  It grew through the winter.  The poster cooked it (probably by boiling in water, a la rolled oats) before using it in the bread.


There are different ways to shape a baguette. Several involve rolling a piece of dough back and forth on the workbench under the hands to form a long, slender cylinder which is often tapered at the ends.  Ever make snakes out of modeling clay as a child?  Same idea.


Hope that helps.


Paul

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I think I knew about wheat categories before now, but its good to have a summary. Haven't heard about boiling flour, or why. I've asked khacha his reasons. I shape baguettes by both folding and rolling combined, just never heard (or seen) shaping by rolling only.


David G

khacha's picture
khacha

I am on the east coast of the US.  We grow a strain of winter wheat with very low gluten levels; I think it is around 9% protein.  It has been used for cracker & biscuit flour since the 1700's.  I simmer the grain until it triples in volume (it absorbs about two gallons of water per gallon of wheat).  I have tried grinding the wheat making bread - tastes great, no structure.  So I cook it and add it whole to the bread.  It helps that the kitchen is in the middle of 300 acres of farmland; we grow about 150 acres of wheat each year.  As for rolling, I was making baguettes the same way I make everything else, cutting, weighing, pre-forming, benching and then doing a final shape.  I have always rolled the bread into shape and never been happy with my baguettes until I watched a couple of videos of bakers folding the baguette before doing the final shaping.  It seems to give the dough more surface tension, and it seems to make it easier to get a decent slash in a baguette.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

What's gained by cooking the flour before incorporating it into the dough?


David G

khacha's picture
khacha

I cook the wheatberries, not the flour.  The wheat comes out of the field packed with sugars, the cooking process softens the wheat.  I have tried using spouted wheat, and I don't care for the texture of the sprouted grain in the finished loaf. Simmering the wheatberries softens them, and the water the grain absorbs helps to hydrate the bread.  Also, the fresh wheat is packed with natural sugars which help to give the bread a deep flavor.  However, the cooked wheat will make massive amounts of ethanol if you don't keep it cold as it is rising.  Left on its own on a hot August day you end up with a tub of white lightening; a goopy bubbling brew.........

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I've made beers with malted wheat; I'm aware of its ethanol potential. I haven't graduated yet (maybe never) to multi-grain breads, or seeded breads. I'm so far content with gradually improving my sourdoughs. At the moment 40% to 50% Whole wheat SD's are my focus.


 

khacha's picture
khacha

The whole baguette thing came about because in the past I have used a tiny amount of yeast and let the loaves rise a long long time.  Baguettes are so different in that you are depending on the oven rise to bloom the slits, as opposed to a ciabatta-like bread that is more rustic and pretty much structured before it is baked.  It is a totally different mindset.  But baguettes sell really well, so I am trying to deviate from the long cold 100% high gluten hydrated slow rise to the 65% proof until it is just ready baguette, or at least find a compromise somewhere near the middle of the 2 techniques.

gaover's picture
gaover

I noteced a gray flecked baking stone in you oven.  I have been using unglazed tile in my oven for years.  I would like to upgrade.  What is the bakeing stone you are using?  What do you think of granite?  I am  new at this and want to improve my odds of producing a better loaf.

Thanks,

George Ann

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Hi, George
The baking stone is Fibrement, I bought it via the internet from http://www.bakingstone.com/order.php about a year ago. I'm very satisfied with it. I have no experience with granite, so I can't comment.

I used a 25 year old pizza stone (its an old friend), and I tried unglazed tiles for a little time, but ultimately I bought the custom-sized Fiberment.

I improved specifically two attributes I'd been working around. 1. The pizza stone was only 16" x 14", I especially didn't like making only mini-baguettes. 2. The unglazed tiles, and, to a lesser degree, the pizza stone each lacked thermal mass, i.e., the first loaf robbed the tiles of stone of pre-heat energy, and didn't reheat quickly. With the Fibrement I can make 20" long baguettes in my 22" wide oven, and its thermal mass is considerably higher than what I used previously. However, Fibrement is pricey.

There are a number of threads here on TFL that discuss the pros and cons of many different brands of baking stones; you might try the search function, and look at them.

David G

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Hi, George
The baking stone is Fibrement, I bought it via the internet from http://www.bakingstone.com/order.php about a year ago. I'm very satisfied with it. I have no experience with granite, so I can't comment.

I used a 25 year old pizza stone (its an old friend), and I tried unglazed tiles for a little time, but ultimately I bought the custom-sized Fiberment.

I improved specifically two attributes I'd been working around. 1. The pizza stone was only 16" x 14", I especially didn't like making only mini-baguettes. 2. The unglazed tiles, and, to a lesser degree, the pizza stone each lacked thermal mass, i.e., the first loaf robbed the tiles of stone of pre-heat energy, and didn't reheat quickly. With the Fibrement I can make 20" long baguettes in my 22" wide oven, and its thermal mass is considerably higher than what I used previously. However, Fibrement is pricey.

There are a number of threads here on TFL that discuss the pros and cons of many different brands of baking stones; you might try the search function, and look at them.

David G