The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

KA Baguettes a la Alfanso

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

KA Baguettes a la Alfanso

Alfanso's recent blog post about the classic baguettes that he made, gave me the inspiration to try my hand at baguettes again (I did reasonably well in my first foray, but just hadn't made them again in a few years.  I followed the recipe and process from Alfanso's blog entry to the letter, except for extending my bulk proof to 90 minutes, and reducing the retarded portion to 3 hours.  They came out......ok.  I'm definitely out of shape from a shaping perspective, my scoring needs practice, and I think I prefer a 330g dough weight instead of 310g.

They were pretty easy to do, though, and they will likely taste good, so I will chalk this up as a success, and something to keep working on.  A few pics......

Woke up to this poolish in the am:

Ready for their fridge nap:

....and, baked:

Thanks for the inspiration (again!), Alfanso!

Rich

Comments

alfanso's picture
alfanso

There's a lot of beauty in the finished bake, and they have character in their final shape.  It may not be the outcome you were expecting, but a really good stepping stone.

Good longitudinal scoring, keeping an eye on where the seam is, and generally the final overall shaping.  As far as not having ventured into the baggie world anytime recently, to me it's like riding a bike.  We may get rusty and a bit unstable hopping back on after several years away, but the basic mechanics are still there and we never forget how to do it.

Nice going, and it only took you one try, mine took eight!

I also think that 310g is a bit on the scrawny side, but was trying to stay pretty faithful to the original formula.  My 2 hour retard turned into 4 because I forgot about a Zoom call that would have conflicted directly with the entire bake. 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I think it's safe to say that your 8 bakes are why I could have a good first effort at this recipe! :)  I did lose the seams a bit, and needed to have my glasses on while scoring.  They were tasty, btw, and almost gone......which is why I just mixed up another batch about 30 minutes ago. :)

R

Benito's picture
Benito

They look great for your first baguettes Rich.  I’m going to have to order a couche on my next Amazon order whenever that is.  Out of curiosity, is the fabric for the couche the same as the fabric for the pasty cloth I have that I use to roll out my pie dough?  Does anyone know?

Benny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Fun to do something other than my standard weekly loaves (though I'll do those, too.....tomorrow or Monday.)

I think the cloches are typically made out of linen (mine is a flax linen cloche from Breadtopia), though your canvas (is it canvas?) pastry cloth would probably work too, as it's probably a tight weave.  I don't think you'd hurt it any by giving it a try, just make sure that you have it well floured! :)

R

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Rich, yes it is very floured from all the pie pastries I’ve made on it.  So you’re right I should try using it first before making another purchase.

Benny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Ok, I went for round 2 on these since the first batch disappeared so fast!  The only change I made to the formula was to increase the ingredients to make enough dough for 3x 350g baguettes.  Everything went pretty smoothly, and I did a better job shaping them.  I still need to work on scoring, as my two "end" slashes seem to be too close to the edge of the loaf, so they expand a bit strangely.  No matter, the loaves look good, I like the color, and they have a bit of rustic character to them.  I'll give these a "B".

Divided and pre-shaped:

I remembered where all the seams were this time:

Slashed and ready to bake:

Out of the oven to cool:

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Shaping better, they look good on the parchment, good coloration for an IDY AP bread.  Now the other news: scoring.  You're getting fantastic oven spring and grignes on these, as you did on the prior batch.  But you're falling a little short on the overlapping scores, where it needs to consistently be somewhere like a 1/4 - 1/3 overlap.  Otherwise, you're hitting all the right notes.* 

No stopping you now!  Really fine bake. 

alan

* reminds me of the saying "It's the singer, not the song".  If you happen to be an electric blues fan, listen to Peter Green from the late 60's.  Anyone capable could play the song's notes, but no one could interpret the music and the feel for it like him.  I kinda see baking the same way.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Appreciate the compliments and critique!  As with all things bread, repetition will be the best way to get these down pat.  Good news is they are tasty, so nobody seems to mind multiple batches (yet.)  ....and, they will be perfect for bruschetta when my tomatoes come in! :)  I finished the bake with two minutes on convection bake as the color wasn't where I wanted it after 22 minutes.....I think this helps even it out, and darken it just a touch.

And, yes, there's a difference between and artist and someone who just plays (or sings, or paints, or makes bread, etc.)  That's what sets an artist apart.

I might take a break tomorrow, but will probably get another batch of these going on Monday. :)

Rich

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, nice improvement on your 2nd bake, impressive Rich.

Benny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks, Benny!  They are disappearing fast again! :)

R