The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Poolish Baguette With Spelt, Rye & WW

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Poolish Baguette With Spelt, Rye & WW

Today I stepped up the complexity (for me) at baguettes by adding some whole grain flowers such as spelt, rye and ww.  I took David Snyder's advice and added 10% whole grain of the total flour amount.  This bake was supposed to be an intermediate practice to baguettes in which I was going to focus more on shaping and slashing.  My focus was diverted away from those aspects as I had a mishap during the mixing stage.  A glitch with my scale tare function forced me to play guessing games with the amount of bread flour added to the final build.  Thankfully, by now I have learned what the general feel of mixed dough should feel like.  On top of that issue, I knew ahead of time that I was going to have to add more water to the final build due to the added whole grain flours. 

Taking all that into consideration, I think these turned out ok.  I think the whole grain flours brought out some extra sweetness compared to the regular bread flour recipe.  I wrote everything down, so I will try this one again to practice the shaping and slashing, but without the scale glitch debacle.

John

This couche contraption is getting rediculous.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Progress is progressing.

It looks like you got a baker's linen couche. If your fabric is wide enough, you can just fold the excess yardage over the loaves as covering and lose the plasti-crap. It looks like it might be, if you place your loaves 90 degrees rotated (in the horizontal plane). If this isn't clear, I'll take a photo or give a more detailed description.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Plasti-crap!  Classic, David.  I will be using that one for sure :)

Sorry, I am not quite sure what you mean about the 90 degrees rotated.

Also, it is not quite baker's linen couche, but some light canvas I picked up at local fabric store.  It does the trick, just not as soft and easy to bend as linen.

Thanks for the comments!

John

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ahhh yes, yes.  I understand what you meant now David.  I also have about 15 extra yards of this canvas.  I did cut this piece a bit too short. 

John

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, I did a little tutorial, even if you do understand. I was baking today anyway. I just snapped a few photos.

See: Proofing "en couche:" or A Couching Coaching

Happy New Year!

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Happy New Year to you too David!  Thank you for the tutorial.  Now I can use my canvas couche more effectively :)

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

are making progress in leaps and bounds.  You are starting to get some nice bloom and ears.  All it takes is a little practice and I'm guessing these baguettes not only look better but taste better too!

Nice baking John,

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks dabrownman.  Yes, it feels good to get through that mishap with a half decent bake.  Again, I am not quite a fan of the crumb of this type of baguette as it resembles a typical french loaf, or (for lack of better name) Wonderbread.

I look forward to when I can start bumping up the hydration and move onto chewier, holy crumbs such as (gulp) Txfarmer's 36Hour Baguette recipe.

Already 'battled' through one baguette with some double cream brie and butter.  Don't tell my cardiologist!

John

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Dont't redicule your contraptions John, i for one did and still do funny contraptions, what matters most at the end is the bread. Think of it as an artist/painter who creats masterpieces in a messed up studio. love your baguettes by the way.. You truly have advanced your skills since the first bake. Keep them coming!

Happy new year!

Khalid

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks Khalid.  Hope you are doing well with your recovery.

I am hoping to pick up some brotforms soon. 

John

isand66's picture
isand66

I agree with everyone above John.  Your baguettes are looking real good.  Keep practicing your shaping and slashing and before you know it you will be ready to go to a higher hydration dough.  I still like to review professional videos on shaping baguettes to remind me of the best way to shape.  You want to get a tight compact log without manhandling the dough.  You will get where you want to go soon enough.

Also, if you don't want to use plastic wrap or crap as David likes to call it, you can do as I do and use a kitchen lint free towel sprayed with some water to make it moist.  I use this for 95% of my bakes.  Just make sure it covers the entire dough.

Regards,
Ian

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Ian.  I am very much looking forward to when I am ready to bump up the hydration.  I love a ciabatta-like crumb in a baguette.

I watched a few good videos in the last few weeks (over and over and then over again) such as JH King Arthur flour instructional videos, and Ciril Hitz.  It's amazing how after watching the videos, the process looks so very easy to replicate.  Then when you are presented with the rested dough, it doesn't quite work like in the videos.  Practice will get me there.  I have a problem figuring out how much or little to handle the dough.  So far my man handling doesn't seem to ruin the dough, but I am sure I could improve if I just learn the velvet glove method.  I also find it interesting that when you watch the videos, it looks like they DO handle the dough roughly and with power.  It's just their confidence with the dough that makes it look like that I guess but in essence the movements are with a light touch.

I was going to cut a larger piece of canvas so I can drape and blanket the proofing dough with the left over fabric, but I was afraid that the canvas is a bit too air permeable and would dry out the dough.  I will try it some time to see if that works, or your lint free towel system.

John

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Going by the look of that crumb, bet these were soft and v yummo with a light spread of butter.

Sometimes those little "accidents" are a godsend, I reckon. I recall being quite chuffed the first time I was forced to wing it and make the dough by feel rather than precise weight measurement. As you say, a successful improvisation is a gauge that you've progressed in your understanding of what a good dough should feel like. Onward yeastian soldier!

Cheers!
Ross

PeterS's picture
PeterS

A couche/canvas in a 1/2 size sheet pan (13x18") is just about perfect for most US ovens and it fits nicely into a 13 gal plastic bag for proofing.  

JOHN01473's picture
JOHN01473

the results outweigh any looks in the prep tools or methoids.

as they say "Necessity is the mother of invention".

and 

Isambard Kingdom Brunel said " if it looks right then it probably is right.

so bake on.

Happy New Year

John - the Baking Bear