The Fresh Loaf

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Baguettes made with firm levain

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguettes made with firm levain

I wanted to make some baguettes today. I had some excess active firm starter. I usually make sourdough baguettes with a liquid starter, and my best sourdough baguettes take two to three days to make, but why not try a formula for one day baguettes with firm starter?

I decided

  1. To make 3 ficelles weighing 200 g apiece.

  2. At 70% hydration.

  3. Using 25% pre-fermented flour.

  4. And to use a bit of instant yeast to have the baguettes done before dinner time.

 

Total dough

wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

323

93

WW flour

17

5

Medium rye flour

9

2

Water

245

70

Salt

7

2

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

0.5

Total

601

172.5

  

Firm levain

wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

46

70

WW flour

13

20

Medium rye flour

7

10

Water

33

50

Firm starter

33

50

Total

132

200

 

Final dough

wt. (g)

AP flour

262

Water

201

Salt

7

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

Firm levain

131

Total

601

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the firm levain and ferment for 12-14 hours at 70º F.

  2. Mix the flour and water in the final dough to a shaggy mass and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the salt, yeast and the firm levain is 12 pieces to the dough and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  4. Ferment at 70º F for 2-2 1/2 hours with folds at 40 and 80 minutes. The dough did not double but showed many tiny alveoli. (Visible through the walls of my glass bowl.)

  5. Divide into 3 equal pieces and pre-shape as balls or logs.

  6. Rest for 20 minutes.

  7. Shape as baguettes.

  8. Proof at 70º F for 45-60 minutes.

  9. Transfer the loaves to a peel and score as desired.

  10. Bake at 460º F with steam for 12 minutes then in a dry oven for another 8-10 minutes. Note: These are light and thin loaves. For larger baguettes, the baking time would need to be increased to a total of 22-25 minutes. If a lighter-colored crust is desired, the oven temperature should be decreased to 450º F.

  11. Cool for 30 minutes (at least) before eating.

 I treated each of my three baguettes differently, as seen. I made one into an epi de blé, one into a seeded baguette and one was made as a traditional baguette.

 

The crust was crisp and the crumb was tender – just a bit chewy. The crumb structure was nice and open. The flavor was good, but not great. There was no perceptible sourdough tang and less sweet flavor and less complexity than I want in a baguette.

I think this formula, with the added yeast, resulted in a short fermentation that did not allow for full flavor development. In addition, the levain I used had been taken from my refrigerated stock starter and only fed once. 

My judgement is that this formula is worth playing with. Next time, I will use a starter that has been fed at least twice and will omit the instant yeast.

David

 

 

 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You proved that a one day baguette bake can be a good looker inside and out even if the SD tang is missing and the full flavoer is lacking.  Better than not having baguettes for 2-3 days I say.

Nice baking David.