The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Squid Ink Baguette

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Syd's picture
Syd

Squid Ink Baguette


This is my version of a local speciality:  squid ink baguette.  Actually, I am not even sure if this kind of bread was first made in Taiwan, or even in Asia for that matter, but nowadays you can find it in almost any bakery. It is often sold as a sandwich with a seafood filling.


Locally, it is called Squid Ink French Bread and so I have always assumed that it was basically a baguette dough with the addition of squid ink.  It seems that I was wrong, though.  On Friday I found this recipe posted by one of my favourite local bloggers.  I recently used her formula in my Asian Style Pain de Mie post.  Her post includes two formulas: a Taiwanese version of squid ink baguettes and a lean version.  The Taiwanese version includes sugar, butter and vital wheat gluten.  Both recipes use a 70%/30% mix of bread flour/cake flour. 




I made this last weekend but wasn't happy with the result: my hydration was too high and I didn't include enough s&f's with the result that the baguettes flattened out.  The colour wasn't dark enough either.  They looked grey instead of black.  I used the ink sacs from two squid and probably should have used double that amount. 


So I had a fresh go at it again this weekend.  This time I bought a bottle of squid ink.  It was quite pricey but saved me the effort of having to clean the squid myself and I can use it for future bakes or for squid ink pasta.  I stuck to my same lean dough but included 妃娟 suggestion of using 1% Asian basil which she said would suppress the fishy smell from the squid ink.  She recommended using 3%-5% squid ink.  I used 5% because I didn't want to end up with the grey mess that I got last weekend.  I also stuck with 100% all purpose flour.


Overall Formula



  • 350g all purpose flour    100%

  • 220g water                      63%

  • 17.5g squid ink                  2%

  • 1.5 g yeast                     0.4%

  • 7g salt                               2%

  • 3.5g shredded Asian basil 1%


[Hydration = 65% (squid ink is included in overall hydration)]


Poolish



  • 140g all purpose

  • 140g water

  • 1/16 tsp yeast


Allow to ferment for about 12 hours.


Main dough



  • 210g all purpose

  • 70g water

  • 1.5g yeast

  • 17.5g squid ink

  • 7g salt

  • 3.5g finely shredded Asian basil


Bulk fermentation: 3 hours.  Divide dough into three.  Pre-shape. Rest 15 mins.  Shape.  Final proof 1 hour 15 mins on floured couche.  Scoring:  one single slash along the length of the baguette.  Bake at 230 C on a pre-heated stone for 18 mins with steam for the first 10.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool on wire rack.  Dust with chilli pepper or paprika if you can't take the heat, but I really recommend the chilli as it is the perfect partner to this bread. 



Be warned: squid ink is an acquired taste.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Best eaten as a filled sandwich.  Suggestion: lettuce, crab meat, mayonnaise, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and fresh cilantro.


Syd

Comments

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Syd,


Well this has been up for over 6 hours and no one's commented on it yet so I will. That's the darnedest looking loaf of bread I've ever seen! I've had squid ink pasta several times and enjoyed it, but it never occurred to me that it would be used in a bread dough. The look of it is a little shocking at first compared to what most of us are used to in a bread, but so is the pasta and it tastes great. I like fish, and I like the sandwich filling you suggest, so if the opportunity ever presented itself that I could have a squid ink baguette sandwich, I'd go for it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some of the Asian bakeries in Vancouver were making these. Something I'll look into next time I'm over there. Thanks for posting this Syd!


Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

Hi, Franko


If you like squid ink pasta, then you would like this.  It is not everybody's cup of tea, mind you.  It has a distinct taste to it, but it provides the perfect foil to to a moist seafood sandwich.  If you were going to make it, I would suggest using 3% squid ink to start off with and see how you like that.  Also, don't forget to include the Asian basil.  I didn't the first time I made it and the flavour was the poorer for it. 


All the best,


Syd

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I would definitely try it. I love squid ink pasta. The ink has a rich, deep taste. This is clearly something for seafood.


Btw, Ledoyen in Paris offers a langoustine-flavored bread. I've never had it, but those I know who have are mixed on it.

Syd's picture
Syd

Yes, Louie this is one of those breads that you either like or you don't.  I have also heard mixed reports on it.  You can make the flavour milder by using less squid ink, but if you use too little, you run the risk of your dough ending up grey instead of black and that look is very unappetizing. 


All the best,


Syd

varda's picture
varda

Very cool.  How did your version compare with what you get at the local bakeries? -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

It looked just the same as the ones you buy in the bakeries, but I think the taste was a little stronger.  Next time I will try 3% squid ink instead of 5%. 


Best,


Syd

jschoell's picture
jschoell

Thank you for pushing the limit... creativity like yours keeps me excited about baking!

Syd's picture
Syd

I am glad that you enjoyed the post.  Although common here, I thought that it was something that a lot of TFL'ers wouldn't have come across before.  Thanks for commenting.


Syd

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I had run into some slices of black bread in Seoul a few years back and I have to say it takes guts just to try it, from the customer's standpoint.   I was too worried about losing my appetite after just ordering a meal.


Syd, you got guts to bake it!  And it's lovely!  You are the first here to post on it as far as I know.  I like the chili touch too!   


What exactly is asian basil?

Syd's picture
Syd

Whoops!  Double posted and can't delete!


See below,


Syd

Syd's picture
Syd

LOL! :)  You are right, Mini.  I guess it does look like hell if have never seen it before! 


Asian basil (also known as Thai basil) has a narrower, more pointed leaf than sweet basil.  It is not as glossy looking and has a bit of an aniseed or liquorice taste to it.  It has a purple stem and purple flowers.  It pairs very well with a lot of dishes but goes very well with seafood.  Here is a pic. :)


All the best, Mini


Syd

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I am glad that I didn't miss your squit ink baguette, Syd!!!


I am a big fan of squid ink food: pasta and paella (Spanish rice dish) and croquettes and so on.


I have seen some interesting squid ink baguette in Japanse sites. Here is the one that I want to show you.


http://www.lefourdekoko.com/blog/2010/12/post-52.html


She used alcoholic dried mango-apple fruit ( fruit yeast water) and some cream cheese for filling.   I can't imagine the taste of the baguette actually. It is misterious to me, but it looks good.


I like the idea of using  chili for the accent on the squid ink baguette!


Great post, Syd!!


Akiko

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Akiko. :)  And thanks for that link, too.  Mango and apple... now that is interesting.  She used slightly less squid ink than me,  (I can tell from the colour of her baguette) so perhaps the flavours wouldn't clash that much.


Yes, the chilli, apart from looking so pretty against the black background, is just the perfect accent to the bread flavour wise.  


All the best,


Syd :) 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

A Similar Bread has been posted on TFL before, here by Shiao-Ping.


Yours is unique in it Dark almost charrerd like color. It does take some guts to eat a clean flavored baguette with Ink added. Rye could mask the ink flavor, but baguette won't.


khalid

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks for posting that link, Khalid.  I think they taste better filled (as a sandwich) rather than eating them plain.  The squid ink came through quite strongly (in my version at least).  Next time I will go with 3% ink.  The thing is, you don't to go too low on the ink otherwise they end up grey and, visually, that isn't appealing.

kim's picture
kim

Hello Syd,


Beautiful breads especially first picture. I love all kinds of seafood but it is very hard to find good ones where I live now. I love how your bread color turned out – real dark in color because I don’t like grey color bread. I want to order squid ink online but they are so expensive (not including shipping cost), maybe this summer I will get some from Taiwan while visiting my families. I’m thinking to reduce the ink to 3 -4 % then add in finely ground black sesame seeds to maintain the overall color. What do you think? I bet your bread is great for sandwich.


Kimmy

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Kimmy. :)  The squid ink is was quite pricey. It was almost NT$400 for a small bottle (about US$15).  But it does go a long way. If it were something you were going to use regularly, then it would be worth it.  Otherwise I would suggest buying fresh squid with the ink sac intact from the market and cleaning them yourself.   I just love stir fried squid so that is an added benefit of buying it fresh!  Last weekend, when I made this for the first time, I sprinkled the top with white sesame seeds because I thought the contrast of the white sesame against the black background would look pretty.  It did look good, but the sesame detracted from the flavour.  So I skipped it this weekend and went with the dusting of chilli pepper (I got the idea from the local bakeries) and that was the perfect complement.  I didn't even know you could get black sesame seed, to be honest.  If the taste is different from the white, it might be worth giving it a try.


All the best,


Syd