The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Maurizio's 50-50, as baguettes. But wait, there's more...

alfanso's picture

Maurizio's 50-50, as baguettes. But wait, there's more...

The first time I tried Maurizio's 50-50 I added figs and pecans and had an unusual experience with: shaping as baguettes / retarding / unretarding / reshaping the three as one batard / and finally retarding again.  All documented here.  

But one must (kinda) soldier on.  This time I made only baguettes.  Without the interruptive figs and pecans.  And also a second difference.  I cut the hydration down from ~87% to 82% - super high hydration and baguettes seem to have an anti-affinity for one another, so I chopped 5% off the top.  

My limited experience with baguettes at so high a percentage of WW (50% as the title implies), close to nil, seems to also create some problems with density and loft.  Perhaps typical, or perhaps my inexperience with this blend of flours.  But shape and bake I did.


And finally, slathered up with butter for my morning toast.

That was yesterday.  Today I was meeting our old building manager for lunch.  He was a regular recipient of my oven goods, and so I also baked up a batch of Vermont SD this morning and included 1 and 1 in the goody bag.  

As usual, the oven spring on the Vermont's is pretty explosive, quite a feat for a 65% hydration bread.  And for those who think that one needs high hydration for good oven spring, I'm here to testify that it just ain't so. 

All three came out shaped a little club-like.  Can't exactly explain it.

Side by side, there are some differences I wish to point out about the two, other than the overabundance of WW in Maurizio's.  

50-50 WW:

  • 50% WW and 50% Bread flour.
  • 100% hydration levain of equal parts BF and WW.
  • 6.5% total flour in preferment.
  • 82% overall hydration.
  • minimum of 2 hour autolyse with just water and flour
  • 5 Letter Folds every 30 minutes for 2 1/2 hours.  Additional ~45 min. bench rest before retard.
  • Dough remains very slack throughout shaping, but did start to tighten up on 3rd Letter Fold.
  • A lot of flour on couche.

 Vermont SD:

  • ~90% AP and ~10% WW/Rye blend.
  • 125% hydration levain of predominantly Rye then equal parts AP & WW (this was built from excess Maurizio 100% levain)
  • 15% total flour in preferment.
  • 65% overall hydration.
  • 30 min. "autolyse" with flour, water and levain.
  • 2 letter folds at 50 and 100 min. Additional 20 minute bench rest before retard. 
  • Dough remains extensible but firm through shaping, having tightened up at first Letter Fold.
  • Just about no flour on couche.

And as you can see, there is no comparison as to oven spring between the two, with each starting off at ~400g apiece, and the WW shedding considerably more weight in water during the bake.  


kendalm's picture

But before just a quick wow!


Ok are you saying that the higher the ww percentage the hydration should bump up ? Since I am now starting to venture into other areas (mostly croissants) I am finding this has has captured my interest, a bit more so than variation on baguettes. So far I'm discovering sourdough based vienoisse pastries are a lot of fun and was thinking about flour blends. As with bread, laminated doughs also require a lot of the same qualities such as strength extensibility etc albeit in a stacked layered structure, the basics of oven spring still apply and require similar attention to detail. I am also experimenting with hydration variations preferring to push a notmal 50% hydration to 55% (yes it very low with these pastries compared to bread ... Thank all the fat for that). But back to the question - is that your contention that added ww should be accompanied by added h20 ?

alfanso's picture

as the common wisdom is that WW is a thirstier flour than white flour, and therefore can take more hydration.  Since I'm only following what other folks say, repeatedly across this forum and elsewhere, I'm just reporting the news.

How much more water can a WW mix take?  I'm really pretty clueless on this and only following the formula laid out, here for example, by Maurizio.  I suppose that stretches the definitiveness of my expertise on the matter!!

thanks, alan

bottleny's picture

I saw this Rustikales Weizensauer-Baguette (Rustic Wheat Sourdough baguette) from Home Baking, and thought you might be interested. The recipe uses a soaker with a mix of various seeds and roasted old make this baguette have rustic look.

alfanso's picture

Thanks for the link, and thanks to which translated the entire page into English in way way less than 1 second.

If I do get around to it, I'll have a few minor challenges.  Such as: having never created or used yeast water, and never used a soaker before.  And one major challenge -I've never really warmed up to the flavor of an overwhelmingly WW bread.  

This Maurizio 50-50 was more of a "Can I do it?" kind of thing as I'd seen a few postings here and there on the bread, especially Maurizio's fabulous looking boules.  Plus some products are ambiguous as they didn't translate.  Oh well, maybe someday for the back burner.  Thanks for the thought, alan 

dabrownman's picture

 better with the 50% WW when it comes to an open crumb and your couche would have soaked up the water on the skin to make it easier to score.  His recipes are known for low pre-fermnented flour making for longer times and better flavor, higher hydration, although 87% for a 50% WW bread isn't too bad but he isn't trying to make baggies out of it either.  I'm thinking if anyone can do it t is you though.

These great and has to be tasty.  Love the toast but would want some kind of jam on the 2nd piece.  Well done and happy baking Alan. 

alfanso's picture

in the baked volume department, that was okay because I knew what I was getting into.  And it also wasn't so much whether the dough would release from the couche - although that was one primary concern.  It was the shaping at 87% that had me concerned, as I didn't want to have to wrangle with an absurdly extensible dough and try to roll it.  Even the 82% that I did make was way too extensible and by the time that I completed folding the pre-shape on its way to rolling, they were already about full length and floppy.

I'd had no such concerns with the higher hydration batards as far as shaping - those I can handle - whether by hand or by drywall scraper ala the SFBI video.  And as far as releasing from the couche, I look at it in this context.  A boule or batard has such girth to it and is shorter than a baggie, that its own weight helps it release.  With a baguette, the dough is more slender and longer and therefore there is that much more dough with length and minimal weight to be released from a wet couche.  I've been there and it isn't a rewarding experience.

And as far as jam goes, I'm more of a butter purist, but this one's for you...

pul's picture

You can really master a great crust! I am also a crust fan.

Nice baguettes as always.



alfanso's picture

One of the reasons that I settled on baguettes/long batards is that there is so much more crust to the bread than with boules.

thanks, alan

Filomatic's picture

Nice work as always.  Really love your breads.

alfanso's picture

A fun and tasty pastime, as long as I don't don't dip the bread into my favorite heavy ales, I can keep the calories under control - fingers crossed ;-) .