Baguettes.. baking steel and a hotel pan.
I've been having real trouble with my baguettes but finally found something that works.
As a semi Frenchmen, I've found I need to take matters into my own hands when it comes to baguettes.
60% hydration 95F
100% bread flour (Bobs Red Mill)
2% starter - I will vary this depending on the ambient temp to control for time.
salt in and slap + fold until incorporated and smooth maybe 5 min
Ferment on the counter at 55-60 18-24hrs
This was a major part of the learning curve. I pay no attention to time only the development of the bread.
If things are slow I wait. If they are moving too fast I put the dough in the fridge.
Cut and weigh for 250g pieces in the am with a rough tuck and shape. 1hr rest
roll out to baguettes and place in a couche while the oven heats 30-45
I have a 1/2" steel plate in the oven along with a 4" deep 12x20 hotel pan. Note that I have a baking steel I cook literally everything on. I picked this one up at a steelyard from their discarded cuts and paid $19 US for it spent an hour removing the mill scale and couldn't be happier.
Preheat on the broil setting for 30-40
I pull the rack out and place 2 baguettes on the steel. Because the steel is preheated I do have time. The whole motion likely takes under a minute but I'm sure I have several minutes before this would be a problem.
lame the baguettes throw in an ice cube or two right onto the steel and cover with the hotel pan push the shelf in and close it up.
oven goes to 450 from there.
When I smell bread I pull the cover (hotel pan) and let it brown.
The hotel pan makes things a whole lot easier and I'm finally consistently seeing ears on my loaves