The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SJSD Baguettes - 1st Attempt

doctordough92's picture
doctordough92

SJSD Baguettes - 1st Attempt

Having been baking for 2 months and several mediocre baguette attempts, I've finally executed a sub-par baguette with an A+ recipe - SJSD baguettes from dmsnyder. 

The recipe is great. A nice blend of WW and all purpose (I didn't have the rye on hand to use but will next time). I recently purchased a baguette pan from a baking store that has three wells with many holes to cook baguettes on. What I found was that the three I baked on the pan did not brown on the bottom but the remaining one baguette that I baked on a sheet was slightly browned on the bottom. 

I was impressed with the forty-five degree scores. I would, however, like to have them open up more like dmsynder's did. The crust was great, though. I steamed with a preheated cast iron and boiling water for the first ten minutes. 

I believe there is a size issue here. While these are good length, they are fairly skinny and haven't beefed up like dmsynder's have. What can I do to make sure these not only rise but expand out and bulk up? Did I not proof them long enough? I also have splitting at my seam underneath which makes me think it may have under-proved as well. 

Comments

alfanso's picture
alfanso

You've selected the TFL gold standard baguette / batard formula to experiment with.  What is missing from your write-up and would be helpful, is to provide details of timings for your steps, pre-bake weight, and oven temp.  Easier for others to help diagnose problems with these details.

You are off to a good start with your scoring, which a lot of folks find quite tricky.  There is no substitute for practice, and unless you are amongst the gifted few, lots of it!  But a few tips on scoring: keep the scores closer together and with less of a left/right angle across the top of the dough - almost a straight line down the length as you go.  Be more consistent with the overlaps between scores.  ~ 1/3 overlap is a general recommendation.  Review David's (dmsnyder) TFL tutorial and video on scoring, and then look up the videos for KA's Jeffrey Hamelman and Cyril Hitz'.

As you discovered, the baguette that resided directly on a surface had a superior and more consistent bake on the bottom.  You may want to ditch the baguette pan altogether and bake directly on a stone baking deck.  I have a 3/4" granite stone that covers the entire oven rack.  I never burn the bottoms of my baguettes, and anyone on TFL will tell you that I bake a ton of baguettes.  

There are a few baguette aficionados on TFL.  We like the "challenge" of shaping, scoring and baking without a Dutch Oven.  I, and some others, use a linen couche to cradle the shaped dough for its proofing.  I also proof in the refrigerator and bake directly out of it.  Doing so will enhance your scoring as the dough will be stiffer and easier to score.  My dough resides in retard for anywhere from 12-18 hours before baking.

Good luck and keep it up.  Baguettes are a 2 step forward / 1 step back process until you get the hang of it.  But it will come.  Eventually, you may decide to use other baguette formulas.  Personally, I wil take just about any bread formula that piques my interest and make baguettes out it, and you may eventually wish to do the same.  Keeps life and baking both fun and interesting.  

And keep posting on your blog.

alan

doctordough92's picture
doctordough92

Thanks for such a thoughtful response. I wish I had paid more attention to pre-bake weights and had written down timing. Next time I will. 

I'll be sure to work on *almost* parallel scoring that overlap consistently. Is there a certain depth that is preferred - I aimed for 1/2". I can't tell, based on my picture, if I should have made them deeper or if the 1/2" was sufficient. 

Lastly, is there a certain place you got your 3/4" granite stone from? I'd love to find one but am fearful of their price and finding one that is the right size for a conventional oven. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I went to a countertop fabricator and asked if they had any scrap.  And they did.  My choice from a slew of pieces and colors.  Cut to size and ready in two days.  I can't take credit for the ingenuity myself.  I think that it was Lazy Loafer who mentioned it, and so I was hot on her heels to git me one!

There are a few folks working baguettes here who produce exemplary work including the aforementioned Mr. Snyder, bikeprof, jimbtv, and kendalm.  And although mostly all of the baguettes they occasionally post are traditional, here is a sample of what can be done with just about any formula.  Hope this gives you motivation - and you can see that the scores are quite close together.