The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello and recommendations on what to try first?

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FeelingFoodish's picture
FeelingFoodish

Hello and recommendations on what to try first?

Hello all!

I'm somewhat of a newbie in the bread baking dept, but am familiar with windowpaning, and baker's percents.

I'd love to try my hand at baking baguette's. I'm interested in trying TxFarmer's baguette recipe. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Also, any suggestions for making steam would be appreciated. I've read a few different tips for doing this, but am interested to hear what's worked best for some of you?

Many thanks, and looking forward to sharing and seeing your creations!

Marie

 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

First, making a really good baguette is so difficult that it's rarely done by novices.  There are just too many little things to know, all of which have to be gotten right.  If you insist on going this route, be prepared to tolerate lots of mistakes.  And I mean lots.  If you have the opportunity, take a class from an expert because baguettes are rarely learned well from a book.

Second, if you're truly interested in developing the skills to make a baguette start slowly, using a text book (few commercial bakers learned from bread cook books; they went to school and learned from real text books.)  I always recommend DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  There are others; DiMuzio's just the one I know best.  Read it from beginning to end, doing all the exercises, and you'll end up knowing why the baguette's as hard as it is.

Watch all the videos linked to on this website and all the ones you can find that aren't linked here.

Find a local bread hobbyist who claims to bake a good baguette and who's willing to teach you the choreography.  You can do this by posting your city and desire on this website for all to see.  Maybe you'll find someone.

 

 

FeelingFoodish's picture
FeelingFoodish

I appreciate your candor. It has taken me several years to get even close to making a good NY style pizza, so I can only imagine how long the baguette journey will be to making a baguette.

Funny you mention classes because I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to take King Arthur professional series class in Vermont. But I have young children and so I'd feel a bit guilty leaving for a week to learn how to make bread. 

I've seen that Viking school has a few classes, but I'm not sure about their knowledge level of teaching bread making. I just ordered a few books from Amazon (Hamelman's and  Suas) based on comments I've read here.

I'd love to find a local baker - anyone here from Media, PA (right outside of Philadelphia)? I'm also near West Chester, PA

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Marie,

I am the type that just jumps in and starts where I am which means lots of experimenting.  I have yet to try making a baguette because that is not the type of bread that I am trying to make.....  So my response doesn't relate to the type of bread but to the baker you choose to aspire to.

I have followed txfarmers directions for many of the breads I do bake - 100% ww sd breads - and I know her instructions are very thorough.  I have  learned a lot just by working the dough as she suggests.  

I would recommend just jumping in with her formula and if questions arise you can always ask her.  I have always found her to be very willing to help when I get stuck which is what is so nice about this site.  She has lots of experience with baguettes as she works and works on a specific bread until it meets her standards and, in my opinion, her standards are high :-)

I know Ciril Hitz has a good shaping video so you might do some youtube searches to see what you can come up with.  Fun stuff out there and all for free :-)  HERE is his baguette one for you.

Have fun and remember -'if you don't make mistakes you don't make anything' :-)

Janet

FeelingFoodish's picture
FeelingFoodish

Thanks Janet! I had planned to try TxFarmer's recipe as I've read so much about it. I'll also be sure to watch the video you recommend. I appreciate your help!

Marie