The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

XIX – There is a Good Reason for Everything : Revised Hamelinet Poolish Baguette with T55

lumos's picture
lumos

XIX – There is a Good Reason for Everything : Revised Hamelinet Poolish Baguette with T55

Just so that  you know I haven’t given up on T55 baguette challenge. ;)

Been always wondering the reason behind using 30% flour for pre-ferment for poolish baguette formula and 50% for Pain Rustique with Poolish in Hamelman’s book.  Thought higher proportion of pre-fermented flour would give you better flavour, that’s his Pain Rustique with poolish recipe was what my regular formula for poolish baguette was based upon…..Which works fine for baguette using a mix of UK strong flour (70-75%) and plain flour (30-25%). But didn’t with 100% T55.

Replaced plain flour with T55 but kept strong flour in poolish, but still not quite right.   Wondered if its very low protein level can’t withstand my formula of combination of poolish & very long cold fermentation, I tried reducing the ratio of pre-fermented flour to about 1/3, as in Hamelman’s poolish baguette formula…..and it worked, more or less, though not perfect. But the imperfection was probably due to shortcoming of my skill rather than the formula. The dough was much more manageable and easier to handle, easier to shape, easier to score. Though admittedly it lacks the complexity and depth of 50% pre-fermented flour option I’d been using, and the crumb had lighter texture, too, which can be said it’s more baguette-like. 

So, it might be ‘bout time I need to learn to compromise on something to achieve something better in other parts. Maybe the case of a lesson; there can be a good reason for everything. (most of the times….)

So this is the new formula for my latest version of revised Hamelinet Poolish baguette.  The only thing I changed is the ratio of pre-fermented flour used for poolish and the amount of yeast and water, accordingly. The method remains same as the original (the link above).

 

 

Hamelinet Poolish Baguette – Revised with 1/3 poolish

 Ingredients (To make 4 x 40cm mini-baguettes)

Poolish --- Strong flour 155g

                    Rye  15g

                    Dried yeast  0.3g

                    Water  155g

 

Main Dough --- T55  330g

                             WW  20g

                              Dried yeast 1.3g

                               Salt 10g

                              Water 200g

 

crumb

 

 Obvious next step may be to replace strong flour in poolish with T55.  Been contemplating that…a lot....though I have a feeling it may needs more intense kneading rather than just several sessions of S & F to develop enough gluten strength for this T55,  at least at the initial kneading stage. Will look into it….perhaps…. Maybe back to my old favourite of Bertinet’s slap & fold technique?  Another case of there's a reason for everything, possibly......

lumos

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hey, Lumos! those baguettes look absolutely delightful!  Excellent job, and perfect scoring. True there is a good reason for everything, and Hamleman's instructions and recipes are defenitely not an exception.

Awaiting your 100% T-55 version, AGAIN. :)

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Khalid.  :)

Yeah, it's a difficult choice, really...50% pre-ferment and 33% pre-ferment. The former definitely more to my taste, flavour-wise.... It still works with smaller bread, like petite pave type, or pain rustique which doesn't need too much shaping.  But not with baguette.... It's a matter of whether you take the shape or the flavour, I suppse.  Can't take both, apparently, not with this particular T55 I'm using.....unless perhaps going back to good old slap & fold, which I've been contemplating ever since that ciabaguetta incident. 

Just finished the first bag of T55 last week (the above baguette was baked about 10 days ago), so actually I've moved onto T65 since last week.  Will blog about it soon.....probably....;)

lumos

 

codruta's picture
codruta

Lumos, I envy your skills in baguettes shaping and scoring. I'm at a second batch of sourdough baguettes in the last 3 days. I work with a 75% hydration dough with T65 flour, with 10 hours cold autolyse. Shaping is ok, (kind of), but scoring is impossible. I'll have to decrease the hydration, I think. I look at your baguettes and I hope one day I'll be as good as you are.

Nice crumb and crust, and always a pleasure seeing your work.

Codruta

lumos's picture
lumos

It's been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong journey till I got where I am and will probably still a long journey until I can get where I want to get.  I've been quite happy how they turn out these day on outside, but I'm far from happy about the crumb, at all. 

And I have a feeling you'll be better than me very soon, considering how talented you are.  I can guarantee that. ;)

Re: scoring--- until you get a hang of it, it's really worth lowering the hydration to at least 70% or even 65-68%. It may sounds like a long way around, but actually it's not.  Also, before you score, uncover the dough, if it's covered with something during final proof, so that the surface becomes relatively dry.  If your fridge is big enough (which mine isn't), you can put the dough in it during the final 15 min or so of proofing time. Cooled dough is much easier to score because it's stiffen.  Also, you can make a small marking on the dough before you score (like small dents at the beginning and the end of each scoring,  using a toothpick or something) so that you know exactly where to score.

lumos

 

codruta's picture
codruta

lumos, you and I have much in common, I'm pretty sure now. A while ago (six month or so) I invented (or I thought I did) the marking on the dough with a toothpick. I was very proud of myself! :))) now I see you do it, too. I do it not only to baguettes, but even to the breads that have more than one scoring. 

I know that cold dough it's easier to score, but at 75% hydration, I'm sure it will give me trouble even if is cold. I'll lower the hydration. The formula I used was from dmsnyder's blog, http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24502/rustic-sourdough-baguettes-after-phillipe-gosselin, and I know I shouldn't have shape them like baguettes, with this loose dough, but I couldn't replicate david's shape, and I ended shaping a baguette (after Hamelman's video). Anyway, the taste is absolutely wonderful, if you did not tried this recipe yet, I suggest you to do it. I ate a baguette in Paris, from gosselin store, and I did not liked it. It was plain and boring, ordinary (sorry, phillipe, but that's the truth). I was very disapointed then. But David's formula is a completely different story: taste is rich, subtle, full of flavour, crumb is moist and chewy and I love every bite of it. My boyfriend eat a whole baguette, without butter or something on it, and he couldn't stop thanking me. He likes the breads I make, but this time his eyes were smiling while he ate that baguette. Ok, enough about me.

I can't wait to see what you will do with that T65 of yours.

codruta

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, Codruta

I've tried David's recipe and I liked it, too. 

I suspect AP flour many US bakers use has much stronger gluten than what we use in Europe.  I've once tried their recipe using UK plain flour because the protein level was very similar (acutally a bit higher than KA AP flour), but the dough was so slack even after doing much more S&F than their formulae suggest. So I started mixing strong flour and plain flour to make it work. (usually 70-75% strong + 30-25% plain)

Experienced a similar thing with T55/T65, too.  Though they seem to be stronger than UK plain flour (though the protein level are slightly lower than my regular plain flour), there was no way I could get enough strength in dough without lots more S&F and a few extra sessions of it.    That's why I still use strong flour for poolish for this recipe, too. Have a feeling I really need to go back to traditional French slap&fold technique if I want to make baguettes with 100% T55/T65.  ......is my guess after trying T65 to make baguettes for the first time a few days ago by only doing S & F.  They weren't pretty, I can tell you.....:p

 

 

varda's picture
varda

of your baguette quest.   These look terrific and since I can't taste them, I don't notice any possible lack of complexity.   -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Varda. :)

Yeah, sometimes I have to look at the pictures to comfort myself, telling me I can't have both. :p

sam's picture
sam

Another set of perfect baguettes.   :)   Well done!

lumos's picture
lumos

Oh, gvz, you're too kind.....or a complete liar! :p  :p :p

::sigh::.....I think I need a lot more practices to get proper honeycomb crumb........my ultimate goal.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very nice Lumos. The cell walls look perfect.

Eric

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Eric. :)

The cell walls look fine....just that I wish there were more of them. :p 

I think there's some problems in my shaping.   Maybe you can tell me, please?  Some pro bakers beat?/flap?/tap? the surface of  the dough with a palm quite vigorously to eliminate too large air pockets and distribute the air evenly through the dough.  I've read somewhere that's crucial to get  honeycombs evenly throughout the crumb, but I'm scared of a possibility of degassing too much by doing so, and usually  There's always closed crumb by the side of big holes if you look at my picture, and I wonder if that's caused by the way I tap the dough....???

This is one of Japanese bloggers' baguettes. It's probably an extreme cases of honeycombs (a lot of air to eat! :p) but her holes are more evenly spread....unlike mine.   Been wondering how to achieve that for a loooong time....

If you have any advice, really appreciated.

Thanks.

lumos the clueless

ww's picture
ww

Dear Lumos,
As far as I'm concerned, your baguettes are perfect. You're probably right to go with 33% as a compromise, at least for now before you experiment some more :) Don't get me wrong, one of the best baguettes I ever made was a sourdough one, but a baguette need not be a miche or a ciabatta, if you know what I mean.

And I know what you mean by the changeability/unpredictablity of flours. I tried experimenting with a flour that I hoped was the equivalent of a T55, and like you, I had much trouble developing any gluten strength, and I was very surprised by how, in spite of the long fermentation, the flavour was lacking. Has it ever happened to you that long fermentation did not yield that much flavour? I don't know if it was that particular flour or my taste buds being too accustomed to SD.Anyway, nothing like a baguette to show up all the traits of a flour.

So you used S&F with this baguette? Have you tried comparing using a mixer versus vigorous kneading by hand? I wonder if and what diff it would yield for you. With that same pseudo-T55 flour, I have used what you call SLAP-and-fold (that's a good one) except just with my hands so as not to have to clean the table, as well as the mixer, and I fancied that the slap-and-fold yielded better results. But then again, my poolish and proofing times were different so there's no room for a real comparison.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll arrive at a very happy conclusion. And real soon too :)) happy baking!

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, ww. You're so kind.

 I've made sourdough baguettes and I do think they have more complexity and depth in flavour than yeast based ones, no matter how long you cold retard, etc. etc. But for me, the crumb texture of SD baguette is not quite 'baguette' if you know what I mean. The bestest tasting baguette with most holes I've ever made was the one you can see in my profile picture.  It's based on Bertinet's poolish baguette,  which was supposed to be made in a day using overnight poolish, but lots of unexpected things happened during the process and ended up 3-days to make it.  Had great flavour, beautiful sheen on the walls and lots and lots of holes......but the texture wasn't baguette. Had too much 'chew' which I'd love in my other types of bread like Campagne type loaves or ciabatta, but not so much in my baguettes.  For me, baguette needs to have lighter texture with with moderate level of 'chew.'  But I guess it's just a personal thing.

As for flavour, I find SD baguette's flavour is too 'assertive' to be baguette. Which probably means it has more flavour, perhaps.  I just want my baguette to be a little more delicate and lighter. But again that's a matter of personal taste, I think.

Flavour-wise, I think quality of the flour does effect the result quite a lot.   In Japan where they can get about 20 kinds of T55 flours, the bloggers constantly mention how different each of them are in flavours, colours and behaviours.  A lot of home bakers in Japan make amazing baguettes (look better than almost any baguette you can get in UK, even from artisan bakeries), using just S & F and long fermentation, but there seem to be just a few brands of T55 which everyone seems to favour over the others both for flavour and behaviour.  Some T55 seems to be completely hopeless with S & F method because they're so weak.  I have a feeling mine is probably just like those.

I'm pretty sure the one I'm using is one of bog-standard T55, being bought from a supermarket and their own brand.  But the flavour and aroma I get from this T55 is quite different from my regular Waitrose flour.  Can't say which is better. Just different.

I don't own a mixer, so I always hand-knead, whether its S & F, Slap & Fold or conventional 'kneading.'   When I went to Lighthouse Bakery School, they used a proper kneading machine to make baguette dough, and I was stunned by the way machine beat up the dough so vigorously to get enough gluten strength from T55 (they use Shipton's, which is probably the best T55 you can get in UK).   And the resultant dough was soooo easy to handle because of the strength.  I'm still a bit weary of losing flavour by vigorous kneading because of oxidation, but I'm more and more convinced  I really need to go back to Bertinet's (or any traditional French bakers') slap & fold method to get enough strengh from this flour, probably combining it with a few S & F : improved mixing method, as Hamelman and  DiMuzio suggested in their books. Which was exactly what's done at Lighthouse. 

::sigh:: (pretending to be distressed) :p  

I'm onto T65 now, and it's definitely better in flavour than T55....though again probably a bog standard one from the same supermarket. (though the supermarket in question seems to be an upmarket kind)  With the difference in flavours between two I've experienced, I'm really intrigued to find out how much better good quality T65 would taste like.

lumos

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Excellent baguettes Lumos. Your crumb is just how I like my baguette: to my mind, the perfect ratio of holes to crumb. Great scoring, too.
Best,
Syd

lumos's picture
lumos

Come and visit me, anytime!!  You can be my personal human-dustbin to consume those baguettes,  so that I can keep on practicing to get to my 'ideal' baguettes.   With my daughter's left for university last weekend,  I need a replacement stomach! :p

Thank you for your kind words. :)......Look forward to meeting you at Heathrow. :p

lumos

ananda's picture
ananda

They look excellent to me and all other posters here lumos.

But I also know you are your own harshest critic, especially where baguettes are concerned.

I'll continue to enjoy reading the posts of your quest and looking at photos of your great efforts.

All good wishes

Andy

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Andy. :)

You can call me baguetty-masochist, anytime. :p

best wishes,

lumos

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Wonderful baguettes.

Now, please, refresh my non-existing memory.  Is T55 about the same as our high-protein flour, about 14% ?

Thanks much,

Anna

 

lumos's picture
lumos

No, I haven't. Still far way to go.  But still, thanks for the encouragement. Really appreciated.

No, T55 is quite weak flour, opposite to high-gluten flour.  It's usually something around 10% protein. A lot of bakers, both pro and amateur, seem to use AP flour as an alternative to T55 because protein level is somewhat similar, but if my experience with this T55 and Shipton's T55 I used ages ago and at Lighthouse Bakery School,  I have a feeling AP flour is stronger than T55.  Probably US wheat has stronger gluten than French wheat???

lumos

 

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

mais oui !  ;)

anna

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Congratulations - very nice shape, great scoring and lovely looking crumb!  (OK you would like more, more even holes - I think they look lovely!)

And - admiration for the way you are really trying different technical details - flours, timing, etc - to get to your view of what it should be, that's a lot of effort and attention, and I'm sure it will pay off.

PS know what you mean re needing an extra person to eat what you produce - I reckon 1/4 to 1/2 of my loaves end up in the bin, which is sad - but I console myself with the idea that this is all about learning, and after all, it's only bread and water (mainly)!!

S

lumos's picture
lumos

That's right. Waaaaaaay too early to congratulate.   But thank you so much for your kind words, anyway. :)

I guess what I've been doing would look so tedious, but I actually enjoying the process very much, because I'm learning a lot of things about how little things can affect various things along the way, which can be applied to other breads than baguettes.  Added bonus, I guess.

Why would you throw breads away?! Giorgio Locatelli will kill you if he sees you doing that! :p   There're lots of things you can do with leftover breads, you know, like making it into bread crumbs, lots of kinds of desserts, snacks, salad, soup, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc........ 

Salilah's picture
Salilah

I know I know, I really shouldn't throw any away!

But - the freezer is already well topped up with breadcrumbs (and home-made chicken stock and tomato sauce) - and I've yet to persuade OH that bread is good underneath food (!!)

Cooking from teh first Locatelli book tonight - Caponata (on bread!!) then herb-crusted mackerel (with breadcrumbs) - yum!!

lumos's picture
lumos

You mean this book?  I loooooove that book. Can't believe the price for that volume!   Love his caponata, too! 

Have you bought his second? 

Been to his restaurant?  Truffle risotto?   Goat kid's bolonese?  ::dribble dribble dribble:::

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Yup - that book <grin> - some gorgeous recipes!  The caponata was good (and nice today on top of toasted San Joaquin bread - yum!)  Not been to the restaurant (yet!)

I just got the second book (Sicily) and some wonderful recipes and stories in there too!
(My OH gave me the Ferran Adria "Home Cooking" book for birthday - and I was so disappointed!!  so I treated myself to the Sicily Locatelli and the Heston Home book as well - happy Amazon.  They are both wonderful books!)

I reckon Locatelli is missing a trick - he talks a lot about bread but his recipes are sort of OK - perhaps we should try to convince him to do a book on sourdough / biga traditional italian and sicilian breads and we could test for him? <grin>

S

lumos's picture
lumos

I just adore Locatelli!!  I wants to by Sicily Locatelli, but the problem is I have absolutely no room at all in my book shelf for cookery books. Is it as big as his first one? (Mine is the hardback edition, so huge!)  Have you got Tony and Giorgio, too?  It's more home cook friendly and lots of nice, easy recipes, too.

No, he won't do bread or baking books. That's something he's never trained in.   Chef and patissier or bakers are totally different trade of business and Locatelli is a chef through and through, and he admits making dessert or baking is not his forte nor does he enjoy doing it. 

Dan Lepard used to make breads for his restaurants in early days, and as far as I know, DL still does some consultancy for 'designing'  breads for Locanda Locatelli.  These days most of breads at LL are baked by a contracted artisan baker except for their grissini and some focaccia which still make at the premises. 

 

 

Salilah's picture
Salilah

The Made in Sicily book is smaller - a bit!  420 pages instead of the 600+ for Made in Italy - same style, hardback, good pics - lovely!  I don't have the Tony & Giorgio book though, will look out for that (my storage area is well overloaded, plus storage in the lounge, plus a load of books in the flat - doesn't stop me buying them though!)

 

lumos's picture
lumos

So, it's basically slightly smaller than a fridge, then?  :p

Really interesting that Giorgio (sounds intimate enough? :p :D) wrote a book on Sicilian cuisine.  The only Sicilian connection he has is that his first job as a head chel was at Olivo where the owner is a Sicilian.  I know he's got a strong influence from the guy and respects him very much, but knowing Italians are usually very patriatic about their own region,  it'd be interesting to see how genuine Sicilians (especially the chefs) would rate the Sicilian cookbook written by someone from North. :p

Gaaaaaaagh......it's really, really tempting!!!  I LOOOOVE Sicilian foods and ADOOOORE Giorgio!!!!!   I love Olivo (and Olivomare)'s foods, too...... If his recipes are influenced by his experience at Olivo,  how can I not buy it?....but the space........I've recently bought two other cookbooks that are just leaning against the bookshelf because there's no space.....God.....

so......do you recommend the book?  .......though having just learned you're as hopeless as me in restraining yourself from cookbooks, not sure I'm asking a right person......:p

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Salilah,

I started making smaller loaves to avoid waste.  Still mix the same amount of dough - just more loaves which I distribute throughout our neighborhood....neighbors, mail men, trash collectors, checkers at the market.....anybody is fair game :-)

If a loaf lasts too long in our bread box it gets put outside for the birds and squirrels and foxes and who knows what else comes around at night...no more waste :-)

Janet

 

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Good idea Janet!  I've not really managed yet to get into the "giving to neighbours" model - I think because I produced a fair few bricks (or cowpats!) early on, I'm still a bit nervous about the quality of what I do - though I reckon now only 1 in 10 (or so) is not really good enough to eat (!!)

My MIL puts bread out for the birds - often a quarter of a loaf at a time (whole) - we joke that she is trying to attract "bread hawks"!

S

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Salilah,

My loaves are anything from perfect but people don't care!  THey all prefer anything homemade to something store bought and some even prefer the loaves I used to consider failures!  I have one neighbor who loves burned bread!  Whenever I have a dark loaf, I give her a call and she is in seventh heaven :-)  You will be amazed what people will happily take off of your hands!

J

ww's picture
ww

Lumos, i think we have the same criteria for baguette. I agree that too much chew is not desirable for a baguette (altho my tastebuds would protest what with the flavour that's released with each chew, ahh...) since the crust to crumb ratio is already very high. And why would i want so many holes for?Oone needs the surface for the all-important butter right ;)) But you are a real perfectionist, the 'uneven-ness' of your crumb doesn't bother me one bit!

But Japanese bakers are really in a class of their own. I did think when i was holidaying in tokyo that it would be a good place to search for tools etc but what with the lack of time and language barrier, i didnt pursue it too much, beyond Kappabashi-dori (take me back there!) and Tokyu Hands. Where in Tokyo are good places to hunt down baking stuff?

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, ww!

I agree about the crust to crumb ratio of baguette being different to other shapes of bread is an important factor.  I think it plays an important role in not only in overall balance in texture but in  flavour, too.  You really want to enjoy wheaty, toasty flavour of crusty crust of baguette, you don't want too assertive, strong flavour from the crumb to compete with it.....IMHO, anyway.  And also I eat baguette only as an 'accompaniment' to a meal, I'd prefer it to play the supporting role, rather than being a prima donna.  But again, it's a matter of personal taste, I'm sure. 

Kappabashi is probably the best area to go if you want to have a look at many shops of that kind in one day because of the concentration of its kind.  (Been like that for a hundred years)   But kitchen tools department in major department stores are also quite good.  Tokyo Hands are good with wide range of things, but maybe you can gee more specialized  bread-related  tools from other specialized shops, like cuoca, probably THE best shops for home bakers, not only tools/equipments but also ingredients.  3 branches in Tokyo area (but not in Kappabashi) .

Did you go to Majimaya (馬嶋屋菓子道具店while you're in Kappabashi area? That's another good one.

But if you're pressed for time and not with someone who can help you with Japanese (and massive Tokyo transportation system!), one option you can do is order things online before you go and have them delivered to your hotel.  (Contact the hotel to ask them to keep it for you)  There're lots and lots of online shops which doesn't have physical shop but have very good selection of goods at very competitive prices. (unfortunately, most of them don't do overseas delivery, or if they do, it's reeeeaally expensive)

楽天市場(Rakuten Market) is the biggest shopping site with links to all those online shops specialised in breadmaking tools/ingredients.  Maybe Google Translator can be a bit of help?  Or they have Rakuten Global Market for outside Japan, too, but the selection is not as extensive as for Japanese market. (Forgot where you're based. They have Global Market for Singapore, too.)

Anyway....next time you go to Japan, let me know.  I may be give you more specific information to fit your visit.  And if you need any help on translation for above sites, give me a shout, anytime.

 

ww's picture
ww

I think it was Majimaya i stepped into. It was like playing the game, cold, warm, hot. I found some smaller shops with some baking stuff, then another one further up even had lames of variable sizes, and then bingo! A big bright shop filled with bread-baking paraphernalia and pullman tins of all sizes  - i had no idea miniature pullman tins existed, and there they were, long ones, square ones, you name it. I have special memories of Kappabashi and Tokyo because it was there that i bought my banneton, lame, pullman tin, and even diastatic malt, which i found at Tokyo Hands. All these longed-for stuff which i finally found in Tokyo! I had to muster all the willpower i had to not lug back a Japanese claypot :))

thank you very much for the links.  I've used Rakuten for booking hotels but never associated baking with it :) The next time i'm there i must track down cuoca. I must say, i never saw so many baking magazines before. I'm glad in a way i can't read them because what would i not have bought...

lumos's picture
lumos

I know how you feel. The only thing that's stopping me from shopping frenzy at those online shops is their expensive oversea delivery charges!   The one thing I really recommend you, though, is their couche.  It's made of very thick canvas and because it's very tightly woven, it's almost like non-stick only with a thin sprinkle of flour on the surface.  And it's heavy enough you can actually shape dough on it, if you like, keeping your worktop flour-free to make your life easier. After pre-shaped/shaped,  you can fold it over (it's very long as well) to cover the dough while resting, too.  It's really versatile,  I really recommend it if you haven't got it yet.

http://happypink2008.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/01/otome-58b6.html

http://www.cuoca.com/contents/motto/img/matph.jpg

 

ww's picture
ww

oh my goodness lumos, you are a mind reader. Ever since i read abt these pastry cloths that some pp apparently carry around and unfold to use wherever, i've thought it could be the solution to my lack of a proper counter top for kneading and more importantly, shaping. I've always had to make do and am quite tired of it, frankly.

I can shape and roll dough on this? It provides enough of a 'grip'? it won't shift and move i suppose, if it's heavy. Can i also use it for rolling out pie crusts, for example? Is it washable? Or is it ok if i just air and sun it?

why do i feel like i'm about to part with some money ;))) how much btw?

lumos's picture
lumos

As long as it's not too wet or sticky, yes, I do pre-shape/roll the dough on it, especially when I'm only making small amount of bread and don't need a huge work space.  It's so easy because no need to clean your worktop afterwards.  You just roll up the cloth and that's it. 

Not really suitable for kneading or  to roll a big lump of dough to create surface tention on it, though.  It does grip, but the grip is not strong enough agains big, heavy dough, as it is basically a thick cloth afterall.  

It is washable, but if you wash it in a washing machine, the surface becomes a bit fluffy and loses some of non-stickness.  Also, a lot of French baker'd tell you you never use detergent to wash any clothes to use for bread making because the smell of detergent can spoil the bread. I only wash it briefly in a bath tub (AFTER I clean the bath tub, of course. :p) when it really get yucky, but other times, I just beat out some excess flour in the garden. 

For pastry and more sticky dough, I use granite chopping board like this to work on.

This is completely useless as a chopping board because the surface is too hard, makes too much noise when a knife hit it and, the worst of all, it blunts the blade,  but great as a pastry board....and it doubles as a baking stone, if you like, by turning upside down and removing non-slip rubber pads. (Use the rough side upward)

I recommended this to my friend as an easily obtainable baking stone, but she doesn't bake breads these days at all (because she buys my breads....:p) and uses it entirely as a pastry board.

lumos

 

ww's picture
ww

*envious* what material is that slick-looking slab made of that it can double up as a baking stone? your kitchen is so neat it looks straight out of a catalogue.

i would like to order that cloth, me thinks! I just sent you a pm, no need to bother others  here on this forum. THanks!

 

lumos's picture
lumos

It's because the pic is straight out of a catalogue! :p  It's not my kitchen. ;)