My first baguettes
So after much prodding from certain people, you know who you are, I finally tried making baguettes. I decided to try to keep it as simple as possible and just try an IDY recipe. I had a look at Peter Reinhart’s recipe and decided to have a go at that. It didn’t require a poolish nor levain, just IDY.
I did run into several problems. I decided to make his whole recipe which turns out makes four baguettes, well it turns out my cookie tray I was doing cold retard on is a rather tight fit for four baguettes. My couche which I have only used to make pie pastry with and was well floured, decided that it loved the baguette dough and when it was time to turn them out and transfer them didn’t want to let go. This was a bad problem because I ended up having to use my hands to separate the couche and the dough which quickly deflated the dough : ( I should have cut my loses there and only baked two at a time, but instead I went ahead and tried to bake all four at once on my baking steel, again it is too small for four baguettes so of course crowding on a baking steel causes uneven baking. So the sides of two of the baguettes were touching and they were all too close so the sides of the baguettes didn’t brown nicely. Well, what else went astray. Scoring next, my first attempt at scoring went OK. I think I did the overlap not too bad, but I should have scored more longitudinally and less across. The poor dough was already deflating from my transferring them to parchment and then the scoring deflated them further. Perhaps they had overproofed in the fridge overnight as well because they had very little oven spring.
They certainly won’t win any prizes for looks, fortunately they actually taste pretty good. Nice soft crumb, crisp and thin crust. We gobbled one up with dinner just now. Not sure how to store the other three.
Lesson learned, next time just make three baguettes and don’t be too lazy to do the math to reduce the dough by 25% for this recipe anyhow.