The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making Baguette first time...need help!

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

Making Baguette first time...need help!

I decided to try the Baguette recipe I found here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19676/baguette-making-video-80-hydration-dough

I got my preferment ready and will be making them later in my little cranky oven. I need some advice before I try to bake the Baguettes. Due to the size of my oven, its pretty small microwave+convection (fan) type of oven, I have to make the baguettes smaller than usual about 9 inches length is maximum, I can bake only 2 baguettes of that size at once. I have already cut the recipe in half but I am confused about the temperature and time for baking them. I really like a crusty loaf so I will be using a little steam. My oven's max temp is 250C which is 482 F. I would like some help with temp and time. How long should I bake them and at what temperature? I have 18 hours left to get an answer! please help!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Yuki!

Small batches of dough, such as baguettes, must be baked at high temperature (230-250C) for 10 under steam, and at 220 C for the last 20 minutes without steam. Practice is your best guide, as different ovens tend to distribute heat in different ways.

If you can hold enough steam in your oven for the first 15 minutes of your bake, you'll get the crusty effect you seek.

(IMPORTANT: if your oven has the option of controlling the fan, switch it off during the first 10 minutes of steaming, as it tends to dry the bread early on, which is not what you want at this stage. for the final 20 minutes without steam, turn the fan back on.

Best,

 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

:( cant turn off the fan. I will follow your directions and see how they bake. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so turning off the fan drops the temperature.  Might help to rotate the pan half way during the bake releasing the steam and browning the foward side.  

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

the pan keeps rotating in the oven. My oven is a small counter-top microwave+grill+convection and the glass plate on which the wire rack and pan with bread is kept keeps rotating through out the baking time. the heat comes only from one source which is at the top part of oven and heat is circulated by fan. its a small handy oven for beginners. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the black baking tray inside.  If you have two trays put them both inside, solid one upside-down on the bottom to attract heat to the bottom of the oven* and the other a little bit higher to bake on.  If you put second baking tray upside-down, it is easy to slide baguette dough with trimmed parchment quickly onto into the oven with a piece of sturdy cardboard.  With the same cardboard peel remove the baked baguettes to a cooling rack and slide the next batch in.  Works like clockwork!

Letting the baguettes rise under a wrung out, damp towel is also helpful to prevent the "skin" from drying too much before baking.   Misting the baguettes and oven with a sprayer before closing the door is often enough steam.  Protect your glass door with a dry towel while spraying.  

Have a good bake!   

Mini

*Place tray only on the bottom when no heating coils are visible or the oven floor does not heat when oven is turned on.  To test: rest your hand on the bottom of the oven and turn on convection, if floor starts to warm, coils are hidden underneath.   Also if the floor of the oven is black, there is no need to place an inverted black baking sheet on the bottom.  

 

 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

thanks for the tips :) they are really helpful. 

i will be posting pictures after i finish baking my first baguettes.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

bottoms.  Use an oven mitt or tongs to flip.  :)

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i shall do that cuz usually the bottoms dont brown to my liking. :)

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

almost shaping time and i am pretty nervous. i think the dough is really a sloppy mess to handle. wish me luck. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i made a mistake and let the difficultly shaped baguettes rise on linen cloth :( i should have just used my pan. the baguettes lost some air due to the transferring process. they do taste great but i should have not used the linen for them. 

here is my very first baguette ever baked, sorry one of them looks like a banana. i will try again next week and hopefully get better baguettes. :( Also 250C with steam made them burn a little i will try 240C next time. first try really stumped me and i burnt my finger cuz i was really sad that all my hardwork went awry. 

i need some opinions based on the picture below and if i should avoid adding wheat flour to baguette dough. i did it to bring out more flavor. 

 

carblicious's picture
carblicious

Your first attempt was better than mine.  To help with the transfer from the linen, do you have a transfer board?

Totally understand the frustration of bread not coming out right.    I made 6 baguettes and because I mismanaged the peel, they were all stubby and squat.  To fail at the last step is incredibly frustrating.

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i dont have transfer board or peel and yes its frustrating at the last step. i am baking again today only one baguette with the dough i saved yesterday. gonna give it another try and see what happens.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The cuts need a little work.  Try scoring more in line with the baguette than across it.  Note where one slash ends and the next begins.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27439/san-franciscostyle-sourdough-bread-two-ways

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

thanks i shall start learning how to slash well. :)

:( the dough was super sloppy so it was hard to make a good slash. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

this time i cut down the time and temperature:

240C    10 mins (no steam) brushed water on top of baguette before lowering the temperature.

220C    10 mins

i need to work on my slashes and find a way to give support to the baguette when its rising :( 

i let the baguette rise in the pan, i had only enough dough to make one. i made mistakes 1. slashed across 2. slashed 2 mins before putting the baguette in the oven. 

Surprise was waiting for me when i cut the baguette and took a bite. the crust was crisp and very thin!!! last night the crust was a little hard and thick. the inside was super soft, airy and chewy. i have no idea how the baguette became like this but it was great. my mom told me to spread some garlic butter and give her a few slices. she complimented me for the baguette's taste, crispiness and chewiness. She said she hadnt eaten a baguette this good and she ate the whole bread i only got to eat a slice lol :) well i guess i did good on second try. now all the dough is used up and i will take a break. after few more days i will try again. here is the picture of my second try and please let me know what you think.

i have a question: do i cover the baguette with a damp cloth when its rising or should i let rise without covering?

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

i have a question: do i cover the baguette with a damp cloth when its rising or should i let rise without covering?


Since it's a high hydration dough, cover it with an oiled plastic wrap. A damp cloth would probably stick to the dough. For the last 5 or 10 minutes, remove the plastic wrap to form a slightly dry skin, so slashing would be easier. After making the slashes, spray the surface of the dough with water. The water will moisten the dry skin and allow it to brown better. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

thank you very much :) 

 

you solved one of the mysteries on my mind. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

this time i made them with AP flour and followed a 65% water recipe, baking time was 240C for 10 mins and 220C for 15 mins.

the crust was thin and crisp and crumb was chewy and nice. it tasted a little bland to me cuz i didnt add wheat flour :( they also browned a little too much. i worked on my slashes but so far i am no good need more practice. i also added a little too much salt cuz my puppy scared me when i was mixing salt and flour.

here are the pics and please give me your opinions. how can i not let them brown too much? and how do i get the airy pockets? i am using the stretch and fold technique but i am guessing that i am doing sumthing wrong. 

have i done any progress? :(

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguettes should bake in 22-25 minutes. That's for full-size baguettes. Smaller versions should bake in 20 minutes, in my experience. I usually bake baguettes at about 240 C.

Slashing baguettes takes practice. I gave you some suggestions in another topic, but, again, watching Ciril Hitz's youtube videos will help. Mini O's point about slashing almost parallel to the long axis of the loaf and overlapping the slashes by about 1/4 is important. Having your loaves at just the right degree of proofing is also really important, as is having adequate steam for  the first part of the bake.

Many factors influence crumb structure - adquate gluten development and fermentation are essential. I think the hardest factor to master is shaping though. The goal is to shape with a tight, smooth gluten sheath around the dough and, at the same time, handling the dough gently enough so you do not press out the air bubbles. Frankly, I didn't really get this until I took a workshop where I could see experienced professionals do it and could practice making dozens of baguettes under their supervision. Short of that, watching good videos is probably next best. And lots of reflective practice.

Keep it up! The skills will develop with experience.

David

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i shall follow your advice. there arent any good workshops where i live esp artisan bread is out of question. the only place that teaches any baking, specializes in cakes, cookies, dinner bread and bread rolls :( i have to learn by watching videos and advice available on forums to increase my skills. i bake cakes, cookies etc pretty well and recently started to pay attention to breads. i am good with baking milk/egg breads which are sweeter and have a soft crust and pillowy soft crumb. Artisan breads particularly french breads are new to me. i have baked thrice after i joined this forum on advice from everyone :) i feel happy i am learning. its like an online workshop to me (^_^) i will follow advice given here and do my best!! i will bake again this time and i will practice my slashes. i am using a blade stuck on a skewer for slashing which isnt working well. i will try to find a knife or another blade that work well with baguette's dough. i have noted the points down and i swear i will improve my small baguettes!! 

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

here are the pics and please give me your opinions. how can i not let them brown too much? and how do i get the airy pockets? i am using the stretch and fold technique but i am guessing that i am doing sumthing wrong. 

For an airy open crumb, maybe you can try cold fermentation or cold retardation. After mixing and stretching and folding the dough, you put the dough into a large container with lid and put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight . Next day, take the container out and let the dough relax at room temperature for two to three hours. Then preshape, shape, and bake.

These are the Ciril & Mitch videos on baguette shaping and scoring:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI-WstoakmQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdNRogR10nM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QdzHuhJ-ls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4e3NPvih-8

 


Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i watched Mitch's videos earlier on shaping and scoring a baguette. You are absolutely right about putting the dough in the refrigerator over night. once i left some dough in there over night and next day the air pockets were bigger. i shouldn't hurry too much if i need good results i guess :) i thank everone here on TFL for teaching me so much i am very happy.

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

This time i made baguettes out of sourdough with 75% water. i find that for me working with sourdough is easier than yeast dough. i baked the baguettes for 20 mins and lots of steam. My oven's fan dries out water very quickly so there was only steam for first 5 mins, so to make sure the crust is crisp i brushed some water on the baguettes before baking them and another brush after 5 mins (i dont have a spray cuz mypuppy chewed it up). The crust was very thin and crisp :) and the crumb was slightly sour and chewy, just the way i love. here is the result of my fourth try. My next post maybe be late cuz i will be practicing more on scoring and S&F techniques. :) i would like to know how i am doing so far. 

PS: i lost half a baguette when i was busy taking pics....culprit was my puppy who grabbed the cut baguette and ran away. 

 

 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

i got the crumb right i think and the crust too but i am failing with the scoring or getting ears on my baguette. i think i need more practice in that area or it maybe due to my oven. there isnt any good rise inside the oven :(

well here is the best i could do so far. i think i came a long way with a cranky little oven. i am getting a gas oven after 4-6 weeks. :) i guess i can bake the normal baguettes then. for now i am happy with what i have been able to do thanks to everyone's help. i have learned a lot and will practice more.

aytab's picture
aytab

Make sure you give that puppy plenty of water to drink and make sure he/she goes to the bathroom, dogs don't digest bread easily and can get constipated from eating to much bread. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

no worries puppy is taken care of. i ran after him and took the baguette from him then threw it in trash.