The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

VIII - Hamelinet Poolish Baguette : My Regular Baguette Formula

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lumos's picture
lumos

VIII - Hamelinet Poolish Baguette : My Regular Baguette Formula

I know.....It's really reckless of me to blog about my miiiiiles-away-from-perfect-looking baguette soon after Jay (Longhorn)'s wonderful report on SFBI course with the picture of his great looking baguettes.  But I'd already finished writing this up last night and  didn't know he'd do such a thing while I was sleeping..... Oh well......:p

 

 

As many of you may think I’m turning into a broken record know, now I’ve got 6 bags of real, authentic French T55 and T65 flour in my hand which my daughter brought back from Paris for me,  this is going to be the last blog about my poolish baguette with improvised UK flours for a while, I think.  Just to show you what my regular baguette usually looks like.

 (Never mind the bent tip. It caught on the hot baking stone when loading….::sigh::)

The formula is loosely based upon Hamelman’s Pain Rustique with Poolish (uses 50% of flour for poolish) and Richard Bertinet’s Poolish baguette (adds small amount of rye to poolish), hence the name, ‘Hamelinet Poolish Baguette.’  With those combination of flours, I added small amount of WW and wheatgerm to emulate French flour which is higher in ash than typical flour in UK, and also introduced TFL’s Gold Stamp cold retardation in the fridge for extra improvement in flavour and texture.  So, basically it’s a mish-mash of ideas and tips I’ve picked up along my never-ending, long journey in search for MY ultimate baguette from home oven…in England.

 

 

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Hamelinet Poolish Baguette with Cold Retardation

 

INGREDIENTS  (makes 2 x 40cm mini-baguettes)

Poolish –  Flour (total) 125g …. Strong 115g

                                                             Rye  10g

                      Instant dry yeast 0.2g

                      Water  125g

 

Main Dough - Flour (total) 135g …..  WW  10g

                                                                          Strong  85g

                                                                           Plain  40g

                                     Wheatgerm  1/2 tbls

                                     Instant dry yeast  0.6g

                                     Good quality sea salt  5g

                                      Water  60g

 

 

METHOD

  1. Mix all the ingredients for poolish and ferment at room temperature until it peaks. (6-7 hrs @ 22C)
  2. When the poolish reaches its peak, add all the ingredients for the main dough and mix to a shaggy mess.
  3.  Autolyse for 30 minutes. (or 20 minutes if it’s a warm day)
  4.  After the autolyse, S & F in the bowl. (6-8 x S & F as you turn the bowl once). Rest for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Another S & F in the bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl and cold retard in a fridge for 21 hrs.
  7. After 21 hrs (you should see a few large air pockets just below the surface of the dough), take out from the fridge and leave for 30+ minutes. The dough does not need to return to room temperature.
  8. Turn out the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Pre-shape (just one letter folds)  and rest for 10-20 minutes, depending upon room temperature. Be careful the dough doesn’t’ ferment too much at this stage.
  9. Shape into baguette and proof between the cloche. Pre-heat the oven @ 240-250C with a baking stone and a tray filled with pebbles/lava rocks.
  10. Just before the dough is ready, put a heat-resistant deep dish with boiling water in the oven to ‘condition’ the oven. (Note : If necessary, uncover the couche to dry the surface of the dough in the last 10-15 minutes of proofing)
  11. When the dough IS ready (finger test!), score and spray the surface with water generously.
  12. Take the dish with hot water out from the oven, load the dough onto the baking stone, spray inside the oven generously and pour 1/2 – 3/4 cup of boiling water onto the hot pebbles/lava rocks. Shut the door immediately.
  13. After 5 minutes, spray inside the oven again, IF necessary.
  14. After another 5 minutes (= 10 min after loading the dough), take the tray of pebbles/lava rocks out, lower the oven temperature to 220C with fan and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  15. (If the crust is browning too quickly) Lower the temperature to 200-210C.
  16. Take the baked baguettes out of the oven and cool completely. (No extra-drying in the turned-off oven with a door ajar. It’d dry the crumb too much)

 

 

 

(This part suffered from the bent tip, ended up with one side with closed crumb......Excuse, excuse. :p)

 

 

(More evenly spread holes in unaffected part of the baguette......Yes, the crust looks too thick. Some ****** sales xxxxxxx person rang me just about when I was trying to take the baguettes out from the oven.....)

 

 

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So…….the next report will be …..the experiment with T55 flour, at last. With proper, authentic flour, I will have NOTHING to make excuse for my dire result!  Watch this space.....with kinder heart, please!!

best wishes,

lumos

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful baguette, Lumos! Crumb texture looks airy and great! crust and scoring , too, are very good!

Pity it has deformed upon loading. Don't you load on a parchment paper? it would prevent dough from sticking to the stone. I usually transfer my proofed baguettes to a plastic dining mat topped with a parchment paper with some coarse semolina/ corn maize sprinkled under the parchment (to allow for better sliding). I then load the plastic mat the baking stone, and with a swift pull i retrieve my mat, leaving the parchment and baguettes on the stone.

As to your oven, i think you have either a gas oven, or a an electric leaky / venty oven. Your results, despite the tedious chores of conditioning, spraying, loading and unloading, are absolutely excellent, Lumos!

In my previously owned gas oven i couldn't hold steam well enough for browning, but now i own an electric oven and i use the wet towel method created by Sylvia : here. It is very reliable and risk free, and doesn't require you to spray the oven upon loading, nor afterwards.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you very much, Khalid.  You're always so kind to me. Really appreciate it.

Yes, I do use a parchment paper, or a re-usable baking liner, rather. (Need to be environmentally friendly to compensate for my love of  4WD car! :p)  But the tip of the baguette was sticking out a bit from the liner and it stuck.....I thought my heart'd stop.

I  always leave the liner on the stone with the dough until the end. I've never found the result that different from removing it after loading, actually.  ....wow, you must be really good at that famous trick of pulling a table cloth off quickly so that all the glasses and plates and cutleries stay on the table as they were!! :D

You're absolutely right. I have a gas oven.  I wanted to change to a dual fuel one (gas hobs with electric double ovens) a few months ago, but because of various technical and logistic reasons, I had to give up the idea and looks like I'll have to use the present one for a long time.....until we buy a new house which is not in a plan at the mo. But I've heard creating a lot of steam in an electric oven can damage the oven, so at least I could feel a bit safer with my old, battered gas oven. Actually, when I open the oven door at the end of baking, I often see small amout of steam coming out, so I think my oven is not that venty. At least, the sealing is very good at the door front.

I have tried Sylvia's hot,wet towel method a couple of times already, soon after she posted it (Remember I've been lurking this forum for years, spending hours everyday? :p.....And.... Belated thanks to Sylvia!), but it didn't work for baguettes. Not for me, anyway.    I think baguettes need much stronger burst of steam for the first 5-10 minutes than a large loaves like Sylvia was applying that method on which benefits from longer period of steam generation  but not necessarily requires strong burst of it,  as baguettes definitely do.  To achieve that, pouring boiling water on extremely hot stones seems to be the only way....for me and for my oven, anyway.  

best wishes,

lumos

 

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Lumos

I Don't remove the parchment, it is the plastic dining rectangular mat that i slide out upon loading, leaving the baguettes and parchment below intact. Weight of the baguettes, as well as the coarse semolina/maize contribute to the ease of such a release.

Get those cheapo dining mats  /placemats , the rectangular ones. I allign my baguettes lengthwise.

lumos's picture
lumos

I use a large, flat baking sheet, a bit like this,  to load the dough+baking parchement. Everything's sorted.....except for my carelessness.  Can you suggest a place I can buy a new brain? :p

 

varda's picture
varda

just because they are so long and so aren't ideally suited for home oven set ups.   My stone doesn't work so I have to use a baking sheet on top of a stone.   So you look like a pro to me.    You have certainly demonstrated your proficiency on this round in fermentation, shaping, scoring and I'm sure by incorporating Khalid's suggestions you'll have the kinks worked out in time for your French flour.   Looking forward to it.  -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Varda, for your kind words, as always.

I'm always open to any new good ideas, and I'm always very grateful for his kindness and helpfulness and generousity, but unfortunately just for this time, Khalid's suggestions were all something I'm already doing or have tried but didn't work. At the moment the method above is the best I could manage, except for using lava rocks instead of pebbles. Apparently lava rocks can generate steam for longer time than pebbles because they're porous. I've already ordered a small bag from Amazon UK, so when it arrives I'll have the first try with it.   It's tedious routine, true, as Khalid rightfully pointed out, but my desperation for really tasty baguettes with proper texture is so strong, I'm happy to do (almost) anything to achieve it....one day.

Yes, the French flour...It's really something, I can tell you. I did a test bake yesterday and........wow........

Will post about it in a few days time.

lumos

 

 

 

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

what flour used, and they look better than my sad try, although they tasted good.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, EvaB. :)

Do you want to see how sad looking my baguettes used to bec for a veeerry long time? :p  Just stick to one formula you like and practice, practice, practice! ....that seem to be the shortest way to improve your baguette making.

lumos

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

whiule my baugettes weren't beautiful, they were tasty, and my daughter was thrilled at the addition to her Thanksgiving dinner, and they certainly disappeared quickly. That is how I guage whether or not something is good, if its left on the serving dish then it wasn't a good recipe! LOL I have never had anything I ever made fail that test, so while they weren't up to the beautiful crumb and looks of any (even most ofthe first time tries) baugette on here, they at least were edible and no one knows what I do, that they weren't quite where they should have been (long way away actually) but will just keep slogging along.

I made croissants last year for the first time, and while they weren't exactly the most beautiful or the best for lamination, they certainly were worlds ahead of anything I could get out of the supermarket here, and boy oh boy did they taste good with crab apple jelly! I almost ate myself into a decline! Fortunately DH came home for  a quick visit, and I managed to bag up the things and get them out the door, although it was a real struggle to let them go! LOL And the funny thing is I am not a big bread eater, but baugettes and croissants certainly are on my to do list along with a good deli rye.

lumos's picture
lumos

Yeah, if you can give a joy and treat to your beloved family with something you made, that's the most rewarding thing for the time and effort you took to make them. Keep on trying and you'll definitely get there....though I must admit I don't get there everytime....:p  Not sure if you have your own favourite baguette recipe you're familiar with, but just in case you want to try my formula above, you can replace all the white flour (both strong and plain) with AP flour. I use those flour in the recipe because I'm UK based and we don't have an equivalent of AP flour like in US and also I'm in the (very long) process of experiments in improvising UK flours in place of authentic French T55/65 flour. 

I know....homemade croissants are so good, it's almost criminal.... :p

 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi lumos

What a lovely baguette.  In fact, all of your baguettes are far better than mine!

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you very much, Richard.  But the only reason may be because I've been making baguettes far longer than you have been. :p

lumos