The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first baguettes

joc1954's picture

My first baguettes

Some time ago I promised alfanso to make baguettes once and they are here. Not really very nice, but not too bad at all for the first time. Definitely I have to learn baguette scoring.

I used Alfanso's recipe with a small change that I was using 100% hydration starter, the rest was the same.

I was baking them in my steam oven at 230 dC and high steam for about 25 minutes and at the beginning I dropped 2 ice cubes on a hot skillet to generate a steam blast.

Those ones which are darker baked and look better went into oven on a cold tray,  while the lighter ones were loaded on a hot tray. The crust was pretty thick and crunchy, actually too thick much for my taste, the crumb was great but not too open. However, my grandchildren loved them and didn't complain at all :-)

Next time I will do them I will definitely change the baking parameters to see if I can get thinner and slightly softer crust. I think I have to use less steam and bake with steam for a shorter time.

Happy baking, Joze


alfanso's picture

For a first time, these are just wonderful.  Great shaping.  So a bit of attribution is in order as the formula belongs to Jeffrey Hamelman, with some of my own tweaks. applied  

If I may, and this was the exact same advice I gave to Danni just the other day on scoring.  The secret to getting good scores lies in the longitudinal cut through the dough as well as the blade angle.  The good videos out there like Martin Philip of King Arthur and Ciril Hitz, for example, all stress the importance of maintaining the scores within this imaginary 1/3 column down the length of the dough.  The seemingly - but incorrect cut that we see a lot is to go outside of this column and across the dough at something like a 45 or even a 60 degree angle.  But this will not allow the dough to bloom because there is just too much of a transverse cut and insufficient overlap.  

Going against "nature" requires a long, let's say 80-85 degree score down the length - assuming that straight down is a 90 degree slice. And then the standard ~1/3 overlap starting the next score back in the center of the column.  And then repeating the almost completely longitudinal 90 degree once more.  It's easier to write about and ponder than to do, but it will come quickly within a short time.

Congrats!  These look really nice.



joc1954's picture

I must admit that it was a challenge. Shaping was the funniest part. I had to reshape twice at the beginning as the baguettes were simply too long for my tray. I made a lot of stupid mistakes and I was feeling as a complete novice to the shaping. 

Scoring was another problem, probably smaller than shaping. I watched those videos before but when you have to score them I was just too excited to follow the instruction the way I should. Next time I will do them I will watch the videos again just before scoring and hope that I will be better next time. Honestly speaking, it looks so simple, but is not and one needs a lot of practice to get the optimal result.

Once again thanks for challenging me. It was really a great fun.

Happy baking, Joze 

Danni3ll3's picture

I would never have guessed that these were the first baguettes you have made. Your scoring is so much better than mine. Intellectually I know what is needed to score correctly but as soon as i get that razor blade in my hand, I forget to angle the blade and to stay with that imaginary middle third. Practice, practice I guess!

joc1954's picture

As I have responded to Alfanso it was a great fun and challenge for me and I agree with you that it is hard to strictly follow the instructions for proper scoring. Yeah, practice, practice, practice!

Happy baking Danni!



Ru007's picture

Those baguettes look absolutely incredible. It's hard to believe that was a first attempt :)

Great bake Joze, I'm looking forward to seeing the next lot of baguettes. Keep at it, I'm sure you'll nail the scoring soon.


joc1954's picture

I was lucky for the first time and my next attempt can turn into complete disaster. I will definitely try again because I have to change some parameters and see if that will make better baguettes.

Happy baking Ru!


PalwithnoovenP's picture

Looks like they were your Nth baguette!  I'm sure with practice you will get at it soon.