The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

shaping

  • Pin It
Bread Engineer's picture
Bread Engineer

shaping

Here's my take on TXFarmer's 100% whole wheat 36 hour baguette. I am not quite as bold as she is, and hold back to 95% hydration (425 g WW flour, 400 g water, 150 g 100% hydration starter). I am limited dimensionally by my round baking stone, so make 4 half-length baguettes. Flavor is reliably good (with some variation depending on timing of the first rise and kitchen temperature - I prefer 65-70 degrees over 60 degrees both for a more balanced flavor and shorter rising time, also, for all skeptics - yes, letting your water sit on the counter overnight to dechlorinate makes a difference, even if you don't think it is causing you problems).

As you can see below, my results aren't as aesthetically pleasing as hers. I've found that simply dividing the dough and stretching it to length (a la Ancienne) gives a more open structure (this is the method I used for the photos below), while more agressive shaping produces a much finer, sandwich bread type, crumb, which isn't the goal here.

I bake in a gas oven with boiling water in a skillet below for steam. I've had some issues with the bottom getting overbrowned before the top is particularly well browned, as you can see in these pictures, although moving racks has helped, some.

I haven't tried dmsnyder's "slide it across the counter" shaping method, yet. Any other words of wisdom?