The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How does this very violent baguette shaping video lead to such a great crumb?

Phunkey Pharaoh's picture
Phunkey Pharaoh

How does this very violent baguette shaping video lead to such a great crumb?

Hi all,

I've been pursuing the art of the baguette in terms of both ears and crumb. I found a video (here) which produced a loaf that was amazing in both regards, but the way he shapes the bread in the video goes against everything I know since it basically consists of slapping the dough, and has no preshaping stage. Can anyone please make sense of the method and why it produced such an amazing baguette?

Phunkey

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

I think the slapping is half technique and half for show (since it's an ASMR video). With that amount of yeast I'm not surprised it works. I use half that amount for triple the dough and get similar(-ish) results! Plus they are using a poolish, which adds more strength and rising power (and flavor). You could probably flatten that dough with a steam roller and it would still work.

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

Poolish starter? 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

A poolish is basically prefermented dough. It's usually made with water, flour and a little yeast and left at room temp for 10-12 h. Other common preferments are sourdough starter, sponge (usually used for sweeter goods) and biga (an Italian version, but I don't really know the difference). The ratios and techniques vary, but the idea is always the same. They add a nice, more complex flavor as well as rising power to the dough.

If you have the time (and patience), I would recommend to do it, you always get better results. Pre-mix a portion of the water and flour (maybe 20-30%) with a pinch of yeast and let it sit overnight at room temp, then mix with the rest of the ingredients. Maybe you need to shorten your bulk-fermenting and final proof a little.

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

I think I'll give it a try on my next bake, thanks for the answer. 

Phunkey Pharaoh's picture
Phunkey Pharaoh

So using a lot of yeast can create such great results even if the dough is handled too roughly? That fits with certain results I had before on a ciabatta that rose in 1.5 hours (using a poolish and extra yeast in the final dough). I might give that a try. Thanks!

Hotbake's picture
Hotbake

He's using commercial yeast. With the low hydration, it's pretty forgiving and you can be as rough as knocking all the air bubbles out, shape and reshape, mess up the final proof and reshape and reproof and get away with it.