The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quest on Baguette Making

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Quest on Baguette Making

I've on a quest to make baguette,  fluffly,  thin crust,  light, open crumbs.  My baguettes so far has been on a thicker crust,  not so open crumbs and a little too chewy. I'm not sure when I will be able to to achieve what I want to achieve, but I'm starting to keep track of this records in my blog.  https://sites.google.com/a/jlohcook.com/jennycook/latest-postings/baguette-experiment2

So far,  I've done 3 experiments,  they are still not ideal at all.  I'm looking to improve my techniques before I go for taste.  Currently,  I'll stick to a recipe from Peter Reinhart on french loaf. I'm going to continue trying until the day that I can consistently achieve what I'm looking for.

Perhaps I'm so used to having Asian baguettes, especially the Japanese bakeries here.   Actually I have no idea how a french baguette looks or taste like,  only from the local french bakery here,  not sure if it is authentic.  Anyway,  we like the taste of baguettes that are really light,  crusty, flaky crust,  open crumbs and doesn't quite fill your stomach even when you eat up a full loaf.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has suggestions for me on my techniques.  Here are also some pictures to show you what I've done so far.

 

Comments

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

The best "teacher" that I have seen on this subject is in the form of youtube videos.  Some from KA flour and also from Ciril Hitz.  A search will lead you to these videos which I found to be very helpful.

Jeff

bnom's picture
bnom

Whatever you do DON'T take lessons from this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ow5b4WIGOY&feature=relmfu   (Although it is pretty damn funny to watch). 

 

 

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Haha....this is a definitely a "not to do" list. I guess his baguette is going to be oblong in shape?!

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Indeed, Ciril Hitz makes a great teacher, shaping of baguette seems so simple in his hands.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

His hands are clearly the hands of an artist.

Jeff

ingobrun's picture
ingobrun

I've been trying to make baguettes recently as well.  I've been having good luck with the crumb...it's nice and open and has lots of holes.  Plenty of other issues with my baguettes, but the crumb is good.

I notice from the formulas you posted that you are using hydrations below 70%.  Maybe try more.  I've made three batches of baguettes:

First had 75% hydration and I had difficulty with shaping/scoring because I'm a beginner and don't have good technique.

Second had 70% hydration and was easier to handle, but didn't have an open crumb and was a bit heavy  and doughy.

Third had 72.5% hyrdation and had good crumb.   I think 72.5% is good for me right now.

Also, when doing the first kneading, use the slap and fold technique until you get a ball, not just regular kneading or dough-hook mixing.  I think the slap and fold helps bring air into the dough and also to help create a good lattice structure in the gluten.

I'm basically trying to recreate this:

http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=477

 

My profile pic is from the first batch.  

 

 

 

ingobrun's picture
ingobrun

your baguettes look fantastic.  great scoring.  it looks like you handle the dough like a pro.

ingobrun's picture
ingobrun

http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough

i think this helps get air into the dough and make holes, that along with higher hydration...

 

 


jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

I guess you are right,  besides the % of water,  I think the flour makes a difference too.  I"ve been using bread flour.  Recently,  I've decided to try Hitz recipe. with good results on crust, still not the ideal on the crumbs.  I guess I'm trying to recreate this.  the Japanese type of Baguette, that's light and airy for the crumbs.  I don't like the chewy type.  I'm continuing my quest,  and here's my latest experiment 6.  

 https://sites.google.com/a/jlohcook.com/jennycook/latest-postings/baguette-experiment6