The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Community Bake - Baguettes by Alfanso

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Baguettes by Alfanso

This Community Bake will be featuring one of our very own; the "Baguette Baker Extraordinaire", Alan, aka alfanso. He is among a handful of fine baguette bakers on TFL who have spent years concentrating on baguettes, alfanso's favored craft, and his baguettes are consistently outstanding and consistently consistent.. Consistence and repeatability, coupled with breads that visually signify a particular baker are the hallmark of excellence. When viewing an image of any of Alan's baguettes, those that have been around for a while know exactly who baked the bread. We are fortunate to have him on the forum.

For those that are not familiar with Alan and his baguettes check out his blog.
   

    

Since the Covid Pandemic many new bakers have joined the forum. For those that are not familiar with our Community Bakes (CB) see THIS LINK. It should give you an idea of the concept and how things work.

Alan supplied the following information as a guide line to the bake. There are links below with additional resources. Alan's choice of baguette for the CB is Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat, by Jeffrey Hamelman. Jeffrey Hamelman recently retired as Head Baker at the King Arthur Flour Company. His book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, 2nd Edition" is considered a "must have" by most of the bakers on this forum.

Alan writes, " I’ve attached the formula and some photos of my most recent bake of this bread.  It is another really easy to manipulate bread that has a fantastic taste, but is not too heavy on the whole grain side. 1250g is a nice amount to create 4 "comfortable sized" baguettes.

 I’ve simplified the formula a little by converting it from a 60% hydration to a 100% hydration levain.

Mr. Hamelman uses the term “Bread Flour” but in our realm this really means a standard AP flour with a similar protein profile to King Arthur AP flour, 11.7% protein.

This dough can also be mixed mechanically if you have neither developed the skills nor have the desire to mix by hand."

NOTE - for those using home milled flour a tweak may be necessary.  Whole grain (100% extraction) will absorb quite a bit more water than white flour as well as commercial whole wheat flour. Since I used home milled grain, it was necessary to add more water before the dough became extensible enough to slap and fold. I estimate the water added was approximately 28 grams which brought the hydration to ~72%. I should have taken my own advice and measured the additional water, but I didn’t. For those using home milled grains, if would be helpful if you reported the extra water necessary to do the Slap & Folds. See THIS TECHNIQUE.

   Additional Resources

 

Everyone is welcomed. Both expert and novice can learn and improve their baking skills by participating and sharing their experience. Make sure to post your good, bad, and ugly breads. We learn much more from our failures, than we do from our successes.  

Danny 

A late additison -

In Alan’s reply below he reminded us that this is not a competition. The goal of every Community Bake is to learn from one another. There are no losers, only winners. Each and every participant should become a better baguette baker with the help of others.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I was wondering why a stiff levain would carry less acid than a more liquid levain, and came to the following conjecture:

The growth rate of the acid producing microbiological components of the levain (the LAB) is inhibited more by higher concentrations of acetic acid, lactic acid, acetate, and lactate (according to Gänzle) and thus a more liquid starter/levain will have a lower concentration of these constituents and thus will permit the production of more acid before the process is curtailed.  And this is probably why a very liquid levain (hydrations above 200%) produces a more acid bread (because it carries more acid from the levain to the dough as well as a somewhat higher numerical density of LAB which in turn makes acid faster in the final dough terminating with a higher acidity/TTA in the resulting bread.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks,

I've downloaded the article from your dropbox as i may take a while to absorb the detail.

Cheers,

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

While the paper is not ancient, much has been learned since 1998 when Gänzle was in grad school.  I have probably read it 50 times, and I find something new or different than I remembered on many of those examinations. And there are a few things that are worth considering in the larger context:

A model is a model and is derived to serve a purpose.  In this case it was to characterize the growth rates of two LAB species and a yeast found in sourdough bread. The zero growth temperatures in the model do not have some magical physical or biological principle that defines them, they were picked to facilitate a relatively simple model and at least the low temperature reality is that the LAB continues to produce acid even if it does not replicate at temperatures below where the model declares that growth rate has reached zero.  And the yeast also continues to metabolize sugars and produce CO2 below the point where the model indicates that replication rate reaches zero.  So be careful when extrapolating the model beyond what it was intended to be used for.

Copernicus21's picture
Copernicus21

where this time I did the FFs, the full 300. The dough became so extensible, almost a different creature from the machine mixed dough I used for the first bake.

This time round I lowered the temperature to 400F for the last ten minutes, hence a lighter crust. I also did a half batch.

I much preferred this crumb, the chew was just right. Could definitely see some improvement in rolling the batons out, I felt like I pushed down too much during the motion.ExteriorCrumb shot

alfanso's picture
alfanso

These two look just great. Great shaping and scoring.

You see, I've written on TFL many times over that if I could do it, anyone with a little practice also could.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The more I bake these baguettes, the more expert Alan becomes...

Went with Alan’s formula that was listed in the original post. In an effort to produce a soft bite the dough was wixed with KAAP, Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat PASTRY Flour, and Whole Rye. Looks like the pastry flour lowered the protein enough to tenderize the bread. Yea!

All 4 bakes using Alan’s SD formula tasted great. IMO, the gluten was still stronger than I wished. Dough was mixed to 73% hydration and it was more difficult to shape. TIP - if while shaping the baguette the dough is too loose, put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Shaping will be more manageable with a cold dough

These baguettes were good, bad, and ugly.

  • good = taste and texture
  • bad = lacking oven spring, probably over-fermented AGAIN
  • ugly = ears were missing or lack luster

Lesson learned - 

  • Lowering the baking stone allowed the dough more time before the crust hardened. If the dough would have sprung, things may have turned out exceptional.
  • Lowering the stone allow me to bake 2 of the baguettes at 550F. More experimenting needed.
  • The characteristics of baguette dough is a much greater concern than other types of bread. Baguettes will clearly reveal any flaws in your process. It is unforgiving.

     

If any bakers are interested in longer baguettes that require loading the sideways, see THIS LINK for an idea.

Danny

alfanso's picture
alfanso
  • I'm still the same goofball I was yesterday and last month.  No expert, although I do excel at lining up the pairs of socks in the sock drawer (usually).
  • Not my formula.  This is Mr. Hamelman's.  All I did was convert the hydration of the levain.
  • If you are back to using packaged flour, especially a lower protein flour, you may well benefit by dropping the hydration again to match the flour.
  • Bob's RM Pastry Flour (don't know about the WW version) is lacking the malted barley flour, so perhaps a pinch of diastatic malt powder would have given the bread some oomph at BF and bake time.
  • Shaping is really good.  I've only baked the real baguette length once - on kendalm's "challenge".  Got it right but not certain that I'd be able to repeat it so easily again.
  • Scoring is the bane, well anyway one, of the newer baguette bakers.  Your previous few bakes have had some really fine scoring.  Could be partially due to "feeling your oats", or maybe overthinking things.  Two steps forward, one step back.
  • your oven peel and push rod are the makings ingenuity.  The Mother of invention is "necessity".  I keep the same piece of cardboard box partition cut to size for my sideways oven peel - if i ever go there again... 
  • Baguettes can indeed be unforgiving.
Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Double weight (or even single weight) corrugated cardboard is an incredible material for lots of things, including peels and transfer paddles. Some of mine are nearly 20 yrs old and just fine thank you.  And if you are into laminating with aliphatic resin glue, shaping with compound scroll saw cuts, and assembly with hot-melt glue,  you can make some really nice "temporary" furniture, cabinets, and tables then keep trimming and revising until it is perfect before you make templates and build it with a fancy material (if you every really want to).

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

That's some nice looking sticks right there!

Benito's picture
Benito

I agree, those full length baguettes are impressive.

I got my Amazon order today so finally have a flax linen couche for a future bake hopefully next week.

I use the most traditional French baguette transfer board, although mine is made in Italy.  See below.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, what are the dimensions of your board?

Good luck with the couche...
Now you can put those baggies to sleep properly.

Benito's picture
Benito

The first baguettes I made I tried to transfer with a cutting board, but it was awkward and too heavy.  Then I remembered seeing someone use a wine box lid in a video.  Too bad it isn’t a French wine box, oh well.

The dimensions of this one is 14” x 10.25”.  I have a Port box that is larger, but no lid.  The lid from that one would be 15.5” x 12.5”.  The lids are ideal because they are stiff and very light and it is something I already had.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

You may have to change to the panorama setting on your camera to get them in the picture. I can’t wait for my longer stone to arrive. I wonder what it measures on the diagonal ;-}

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Last night I pulled the trigger on these exquisite specimens! While I never really had to much trouble with sticking, on my thick,100% cotton, pastry cloth, I felt I could not go on living in good conscience, without spending some $$$ on my hobby! 

Pro style "Red Stripe" Couche

Flipping cool this is!

Unrelated, but equally cool as heck! (Care to hazard a guess, what this item will be used for?)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PK, we worked hard all our lives. It’s time to play a little. Or, a lot...

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Danny - you get an A+ for effort with six attempts! Keep at it. They look good and while your yard stick (the great Alfanso) is a mighty leap, you should be proud of your effort and results. Well done!

 

EDIT!  I just saw your seventh attempt! Wow. Now that's impressive!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Wait for this material to become available

Buy two yards of 53" wide material (that will be 72" x 53") and cut it into three 24" x 53" strips and zig-zag and trim the edges (the ends are good to go). Give two of them away as gifts.  The recipients will remember you for a lifetime. And you will have a lifetime couche.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Jen Bakes 5

Warning- these are the ugly loaves only a mother could love. And I just want to hug them right now. I finally have a glossy sheen to the crust and while they are not boldly baked, they are much more evenly baked. That's a win.

I've felt like taking out my oven with a hammer and like I know less with each bake. I could have sworn that I knew how to bake bread before this but now I'm not so sure! Every bake brings up more questions and more variables. Pretty exciting.

What I'm playing with right now:

Diastatic Malt

Tried 3 loaves with lower amounts of diastatic malt. I'll have to repeat it once I have the oven dialed in. This is what they looked like. The "spring" area gets progressively darker with more malt. The crumb was too tight to tell anything.

Dm oven too hot

Baking Set-Up

Used Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough.

After more disastrous bakes, this is what I've come to. A very large baking sheet with two mini loaf pans in the center with lava rocks, covered by a large aluminum pan after adding water. Previously my loaves were dull and darkened by the time I removed the steam. They came out shiny and pale when I removed the steam. Hurray!

Adding steam with Sylvia's towel and lava rocks in a cast iron skillet leaves less than 3" from the baguettes to the upper element. It seals up my loaves fast and they've been at 210 degrees and well colored at 13 minutes. With a bottom element, too, it gets complicated. I've got several ideas that'll take a lot of dough to flesh out. I'll spare y'all the full melodrama.

Bulk Fermentation Time

I've been spending most of my time concentrating on the look of the baguettes and not the dough itself. I was reading about oven spring and crumb in relation to bulk fermentation. Alan's instructions are to allow the dough to bulk ferment for 2.5 hours but his kitchen is about 10 degrees warmer than mine. I was thinking I might need to lengthen my bulk fermentation to open the crumb.

Again, this is Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough. I divided the batch of dough in 2. The instructions call for 5.5 hours of overall bulk fermentation. Batch 1 was given 5 hours. Batch 2 was given 5 hr 45 minutes.

The results were remarkable. I'm excited to see where further experiments take this.

Looking forward to playing with diastatic malt and bulk fermentation further.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Jen, as a fellow conductor of experiments, we have kindred spirits. I am watching your work closely and know how much work goes into experimentation, not to mention the time and effort to publish write ups. Your information allows others to learn without putting in the work. A Big Thank You!

What is your number 1 goal?

When working with diastatic malt what do you hope to achieve?

I amy not have the answer, but would like to follow along.

Keep experimenting and posting your results...

Danny

I do really like the shine on that crust!

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Danny,

I spend a lot of time watching your videos. Most recently they helped diagnose what is wrong with my loaves- it should have been obvious but I didn't know what I was looking at. So many many thanks back at you!

Since you asked...

Diastatic malt is in most every retail packaged bread flour. Mine does not have it. I want to see the actual difference on oven spring, fermentation time and caramelization. I feel like I should have better oven spring. How does the usage play out on bread baked the same day, 8 hr retard, 16 hr retard. What is the effect over time on the dough structure. With higher hydration versus lower hydration doughs? How do I achieve the optimal caramelization at the optimal internal temperature?

I want to quantify it all. And just about everything else, too.

I'm going to spare this thread most of that. I have a direction for now but need to research and plan well for the future. As I'm sure you aware, logic gaps are best figured out before the experiment!

Jen

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I am surprised that you can see any difference between 0% and 0.01%. And 0.05% is only 10% of the recommended maximum.

You might consider the following: Put the bread in the middle of the oven and an aluminum cookie sheet on a rack under the bread to protect the bottom from direct radiant heat from the lower oven element, then put the steam generator on a shelf above the bread but off to the side if you can arrange it.  This keeps the steam on a lower rack from cooling off the bread from the bottom but allows the upper element to see the top of the bread and contribute to browning.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

I'll correct that. It is .5% and 1%.... thank you for pointing that out! Good grief. For a half batch that was 1.7 and 3.4 grams, respectively. I shouldn't save up days of bakes and post at one time.

I've thought about that arrangement but dismissed it. For some reason I was thinking about it only underneath.  Loaf pans of lava rocks on either side from above may do it. I need to try quarry stones under my fibrament baking stone, too. Scorching hot from both directions.

Open steam would let me have longer loaves.

More to try- thank you very much!

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I hadn't thought about that. It seems so much smarter to top load your steam as you suggest. Except maybe you'd have water splatter on the top of the bread - maybe. I'm baking today and will try it your way.. thanks

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If practice makes perfect. I have a lot of practice left to do.

Deviated a little from Alan’s formula. 85% Bread Flour, 10% Hard Red Wheat, 5% Whole Rye. Reducing the whole grain to 15% still provided a nice flavor. Not as intense as 25% WW, though, but never the less very nice. Since I used an 8 hour cold (38F) autolyse the hydration remained at 68%. The idea of the autolyse was to weaken the dough and make the it more extensible. I’m not sure the affect was achieved, but the crust and crumb were more tender than any other bake. That was enjoyable. The crumb was moist but not at all gummy. The crust was still too thick. But this bake started at 550F. I wanted to see if the crust would break and produce ears. Not so <disappointing>

Can someone break the code of silence and let us all know what it takes to get the crust to fracture and allow the oven spring to manifest those gorgeous ears? I hope to break the code but, “It don’t come easy, you know it don’t come easy”.

HERE is an in-oven time lapse video of the bake. The oven was thoroughly pre-heated to 550F and ~8oz of water was injected as steam in the very beginning. Maybe someone will pickup a clue that will “break the code”.

For the most part I am happy with the baggies, in large part due to the help rec’d in the Community Bake. 
BUT those darn ears :-(...

NOTE - shaped baguette dough will shrink some. If a 22 incher is the goal, anticipate stretching out to 23.5-24” to allow for shrinkage.

I hate to throw in the towel and admit defeat. But I am tempted to increase the dough weight from 330g/dough to 500g and make some 20-22” long and beautiful batards. I think they would be a thing of beauty...

 

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

I've always been apprehensive of baking my own baguettes. having had some amazing ones in Europe, i had little faith that i could even come close to replicating anything like that in a home kitchen.  But after somewhat following this thread for the past week. i decided to give it a go.  But due to bad timing, i pretty much half-assed the effort... i had to put the dough in the fridge during multiple segments due to some things that came up.

my biggest concern was getting a crackly shiny crust, which i was able to do with spraying water mist and top and bottom heated trays for steam.  

the loafs were under proofed and didnt open up the scores much. the bottom was very flat and the crumb not open at all.

I'm not discouraged by this.  and will give it another try in a week.  but do have some questions:

- What should the dough feel like after bulk fermentation before shaping?  jiggly and full or big bubbles? or just moderately airy?  (i was afraid to over proof)

- baking on a stone will mean a very flat bottom,right? i do have a curved bread baker for baguettes but they are big. 

I also know i didnt build enough tension in the final shaping and will do better on that. but i wonder if the preshaped dough is very airy, how difficult that would be to do.  i guess i'll find out.

-James

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

James, I have had limited success, but very airy is not what you want. Think about it. If the dough was airy and full of big bubbles, how would you shape it?

For me, and I’m no expert, I want the Bulk Ferment to look slightly swollen with a rounded top. Definitely not giggly. I have not been allowing the dough to rise as much as other types of doughs. The shaping of a baguette is very different from most other breads. Who would think of patting down, then compressing a boule in the same fashion a baguette is shaped. Baguettes are a unique bread and requires special and technical skills. It is unforgiving when it comes to mis-handling and user errors. A baguette will not cut a baker any slack...

Hopefully others that are more experienced with Baguettes will provide a more definitive answer. I am also interested to learn.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

your baguettes look darned good to me!

In order to better answer some of your questions, it is always good to provide what percentages of flours you are using, hydration, hydration of your levain or amount of IDY or both, salt...  Are sticking to the suggested formula at the top of the thread or finding your own mix?

And then your methodology.  If you snapped a picture of the dough at BF completion divide and shaping, that would help too.  

Not even moderately airy.  There is a short series of videos at the top of this entire post worthy of reviewing.  Those should lend a hand to you in seeing what the dough looks like at completion of BF and shaping.  

Welcome to our little corner of TFL.  always looking to welcome new recruits!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Dan you and I are in the same boat in more ways than just being fishing guides who bake. It would be fun to share a boat someday carrying on like yahoos. I am so hooked (pardon the pun) on traditional french baguettes that I can't seem to stray too far off the shore. Glad to see you out exploring the territory and searching for the good holes.

This has been fun to add sourdough and whole grain to what has been for me an IDY baguette dogma. I want to explore Alfanso style in the future but I thought it would help others who are just starting out to see other options and possibilities in the baguette realm. 

I used two of Martin Phillips formulas from his book except for using 1/3 of the yeast called for. An all white yeasted poolish one and his sourdough/yeasted country one that I the did in the other bakes but reduced the whole grain to 8% of  half rye and wheat.They scale out at 330 grams and will be more elongated when the new stone arrives. Since these bakes don't allow us to share the taste and chew. I have been trying to improve the visual aspect and working on symmetry and shape and worrying less about holes in the crumb and getting a rustic result. No matter what recipe I use or hydration I change I end up with the same look.  We all seem to have an individually unique and distinct style, kind of like penmanship that is hard to counterfeit.

The previous one were baked straight through and were a joy to work with, but today they were lightly mixed early in the morning with two folds and retarded till late afternoon. The bulk was further along than I wanted and the dough was a little too gassy but still handled well enough to shape. I try to elongate as much as possible before rolling them on the bench which I try to do with as few rotations as possible. Sometimes only three or four. That also makes it easier to find the seam which goes up in the couche. Tension is built before the rolling out them out. My tendency to max out the hydration causes the blade to catch while scoring and that causes the jagged ears I'm guessing but the angle must be steep enough to create the flap.

Ear they are

.ears

batons MP

Poolish on the left sourdough on the right.

crumb

One oder of french toast prepped for the morning.

 

 

 

 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

MT - your baguettes look great! As someone that's making dry yeast and sourdough side by side can you talk about chew? I'm taking all advice on creating a gentler crust with dark colour but not so much dense chew. Dry yeast seems to off that but I'm not sure I fully grasp yet how to achieve that result with sourdough baguettes. Any insights you can offer? Thanks in advance.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Dark crust that is thin can be had by brushing the surface with unsweetened condensed milk just before oven entry and reducing the temperature so that you don't scorch it.  Try 375°F and then watch it and iterate to what you want.

To reduce the chewiness try a lower protein flour and don't over-develop the gluten, maybe just stop when the dough almost passes a window pane test.  Then make small adjustments.

The yeast vs sourdough issue is more complex but you need to do both so that you learn the difference and decide where you want to operate.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thanks Doc. I slapped and folded for 20 minutes straight and got a terrific crumb. But from your note likely at the cost of a chewier crust. Maybe I'll cut the dough in half and make two with 10 minute and two with 20 to compare the difference.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Adequate steaming to start and removing it after 10 minutes is what I do and then leaving them in the oven turned off with the door cracked should help the crust. I would think that a lot of tension in the shaping would make for a thinner crust but will leave that question to the pros.
Less protein by adding rye or more whole grains should create a softer chew. I always thought a well developed gluten (think pan de mie) would soften the crumb but maybe that is the butter and milk. Baguettes are a different animal and don’t respond to the same treatment as other breads. 
My other thought would be to try doing them without retarding them. I have noticed I get a lighter bread sometimes when I bake straight through. 
IDY might come in a red bag but that should not brand the bread with Scarlet Letters. While I would not use it to make sourdough bread because I enjoy the chew. It makes for a nice baguette even with a levain in the mix. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I didn't have any rye so used whole wheat in it's place. I have some whole spelt. I think I'll try that this time around and see if it improves the chewiness of the crumb! Thanks!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

a box of Nabisco 'Nilla Wafers and they'd come out looking like your baguette scores.  A few years ago I posted that it was really important for me to exhibit consistency across bakes.  Looking at these side by side one would never know they weren't from the same mix.  But they would know who scored them!

How to do it?  As our new baguette recruit Jen said when she joined the chorus, the well-worn refrain "practice practice practice".

Super,

alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I learn so much by participating in the Community bakes. Avid bakers come together to bake and share their techniques with a focus on the same bread, at the same time. The skills of each baker has the ability to increase in quantum leaps.

Gotta’ luv this forum! Where else can we “pick the brains” of so many skilled bakers?

With that in mind, let me do a little “brain picking”. You wrote, “ I try to elongate as much as possible before rolling them on the bench which I try to do with as few rotations as possible. Sometimes only three or four. That also makes it easier to find the seam which goes up in the couche. Tension is built before the rolling out them out.“

Two very interesting points that I would like more specific details.

  1. How are you elongating the dough before shaping?
  2. How are you building tension before rolling your dough out?

Your goal of only 3 or 4 roll outs is note worthy. I am working towards that, but haven’t achieved it yet. I often have one heck of a time finding the seams. Sometimes I never do.

Hey Don, next time you score a batch, take a photo of the scored dough and post it. It should be helpful for others.

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

but spaced it out. I will make a note to photograph the scores next time. My cut is angled less than 45 degrees and I error on the side of under proofed to help with scoring and bloom.

As to elongating them out, The bulk is done in a square 2 qt Cambro container. The white poly ones release better than the clear ones. I divide the square into rectangles and and loose letter fold those which lengthens them. I then stretch them longer before shaping. I like to use the thumb stitching method that Hammelman uses in his videos. This is when the final tension is built in. They are more than a foot long by then and close to the desired diameter so as few rolls as possible finishes the job without overdoing it. All of this is predicated by having a dough that is not elastic which I try to accomplish by using an autolyse, a short mix, very little gluten developement,a higher hydration and a bulk that increases in size by only 20 to 30%  A few times, when I have tried to roll an elastic dough too much, the bubbles suddenly come to the surface and I stop and just settle for that length. I don't believe tension is created by the actual rolling except for the pressure applied to lengthen them. Much of what I stated applies to a yeasted or hybrid versions because a sourdough only baguette is different in my limited experience and someone else would know more about that.

You might glean something from this video of a lovely lady shaping sourdough sticks. Shaping and baking sourdough baguettes  It is a somewhat different method but probably more in line with shaping sourdough.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Watched that girl shape a few days ago, but didn’t pay much attention until you mentioned it. Unorthodox shaping, but she does an excellent job and appears highly skilled. Plan to give this a serious try. Her shaping seems to put very little stress on the dough. Wonder if the wood top is much better than granite.

How I’d love to get my dough to handle like her’s.

Also like your idea of BF in a square or rectangular container. I haven’t been setting up the shape of the BF dough for shaping. My last stretch and fold should be much looser with the idea of the dough having an even height and a rectangular shape for dividing with the idea that those pieces will be cut to more easily facilitate the pre-shape.

I really need to follow my own advice. As a charter guide, I often explained to clients. “The difference is not the ability to throw a fly line a hundred feet. It’s the bag of tiny little things that make a huge difference. Ask Tiger Woods about golf.In bread baking as well as most endeavors, little details separate to the good baker from the excellent one.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have used granite a few times and it seemed pretty consistent and didn't soak up the water like wood does but was also a little less grippy which can be an asset.

I have never had a dough that could be stretched so far and so easily as the video shows. I did find it interesting how the tension was added. I use that technique on other larger breads and would think it would pick up the slack in a sourdough baguette that is not as resilient as a yeasted one. It looks like they almost shape twice rather than a loose pre shape and the final shape.

I always say don't throw your fly out there without an idea in mind. Make your fly tell a story that the fish like.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

That relates to scoring was to face the ear away from the more intense heat in the back of the oven so the bloom does not dry out. Not sure if it makes a difference but it can't hurt to try for us side loaders.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, I like the way you think. It may or may not benefit but it is definitely worth a try. 

To make sure I understand. The “V” section of the score should face the back of the oven, right?

I will be baking Martin’s Poolish Baguettes tomorrow. I emailed him and asked for an image of his oven setup. He wrote in his book that his oven has multiple fire bricks and/or stones.

I intend to use the lady’s shaping technique in the video you linked today. Thinking about (3) 20-22” baguettes. 2 at 330g and 1 at 500 or so. The larger weight (long skinniesh batard) sounds interesting to me.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Total dough of 660 gr. I really liked the country baguette recipe with the sourdough levain and a yeast kicker. I cut the yeast in half and still stuck to the time recommended. I substituted 5% rye to help reduce the gluten and because I like the taste.  I thought it was better baking it straight through rather than the retard in bulk like I did with the last attempt. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

A long time ago I discovered that if I reversed the pan so the the convection air flow passed over the flap rather than in a direction that is trying to open the flap, then I had a better ear.  It is now so automatic that I don't even think about it.  When I pick up the pan to go the oven it gets reversed between the counter and the oven rack.  Of course that means that I can never remember which loaf was proofed where and can barely recreate which loaf got slashed first (or last).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

From Martin Philips book, “Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes”. 

“ Oh, the baguette. What could be so hard? In baking there is a triple-salchow, the bread equivalent of jumping from toe tip to land on one foot, on skates, on ice, no falling. The baguette is that jump. I say this not to discourage you, but only in order to frame its making, to acknowledge that the baguette is at the center of our craft; it is our basic benchmark of skills in the artisan bread world. It is the elusive bird that lands on your palm one day and drops something on your head the next. . . . I have made thousands and thousands and still hope, every single time I touch them, that they might be better, more consistent, and more beautiful. And, knowing the challenge, living daily in the place where what I want to be and what I actually am leave room for improvement, I can offer encouragement: Judge your success by the faces of your eaters. Are they happily crunching and munching? Did they ignore your uneven shaping or imperfect crumb structure? Of course they did. So take that as an endorsement and give it another shot, and another, and another.”

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

I didn't hardly touch dough yesterday and couldn't handle it..so while the real dough is proofing slowly, I threw together a half batch of Reinharts French Bread with Pate Ferment from Crust and Crumb. It was intended to test my oven too and I thought this would be a throw away batch but I'm pretty pleased.

I've watched a bunch of shaping and scoring videos and was trying to play close attention to creating a uniform shape and a tight skin. Trevor Wilson has an article that states he will leave loaves exposed to the air for about 10 minutes to create a tighter skin for scoring. I got some right and I got some wrong.

The decent looking one is my last attempt. Also of interest is the importance of a good score- as the one on the far right show. Huge difference in oven spring on that one area alone. (Unless of course I don't know what I'm talking about- if so please correct me!)

 

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Was the scoring deeper on that one or the skin was more taut. Your shape looks good. Learning something everytime you bake is building a solid foundation. Keep us posted.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Jen, scoring is progressively getting better. The one on the right is right up my alley. Like the golden color.

Can’t wait to see what you produce next...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

So the V should open towards the door is how I understand it. 
edit: this was meant to respond to Dan’s question above

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I followed the original recipe. The only difference between my first attempt and this one is: 10 minutes of slap and fold vs 20 minutes for the original post; no shattered glass; possibly less steam; longer baguettes at 20 inches.

The flavour is quite good and the crust is chewier than I'd like. But they're quite nice. I still need a lot of practice to evenly shape and improve the score. The crumb was much nicer the first time around - I think that was due to the 20 minutes of slap and fold. I think the next time I'll go back to 20 minutes and add a bit of IDY to the dough as others have suggested. It's not likely I'll get my hands on lower protein flour at this point as a way of reducing chew so I'll try to get there using some dry yeast.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

How did you load those giants?

Did you bake all 4 at once?

They are very impressive.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thanks Dan.. I did bake them on that stone in the picture. I didn't realize i had a long stone in the basement until I accidentally came across it this week - good timing. I loaded them onto a single sheet of parchment and used the back of a pan as my peel to slide them on sideways.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

You're a brave man to go after the long batons so soon.  

As far as French Folds.  It isn't the time that you spend folding, IMO, but the number of folds that you do.  Excluding the 5 min. or so rest period halfway through, with practice you could knock off ex. 300 FFs in 6-7 minutes.  It is more difficult meeting that time criterion with a stiffer dough than this.  The hands and repetitive rhythm will create a relatively rapid system of movement.  (I enjoy FFs, but really wouldn't want to spend 20 minutes doing them.)

Congratulations, alan 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thanks Alan - I actually didn't mind the S&F process. As you say you get into a trance.. I mean rhythm. :) I just had a thought as I looked at my scores. As I looked at them in the picture above I must be scoring from side to side rather than exclusively on the top ridge of the baguette. By "rolling" the score over the top of the dough I'm not properly releasing the built up rise within the dough. Am I right in thinking I'll get a better rise all thinks being equal if i restrict scoring to the middle top of the baguette as I score down it's length? IE: more long than diagonally if that makes sense.  And it's defiantly harder consistently shaping a long baton. I think I might try smaller thicker batons next time. Having inhaled one at lunch I need to improve the crumb to crust ratio to give me more crumb.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Although the scoring looks to initiate on the "side" of the top, you may have actually scored them in their appropriate "lane" on the top.  Next time try to remember to snap a photo of the bread after scoring, but before baking and then compare.  

Look at the unbaked dough in this post and where the score lines are, and then what the bread looks like after baking, and how it could seem as though the score starts from the side of the top, but actually doesn't.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64622/community-bake-baguettes-alfanso#comment-461411

And yes, longer than traveling across the roll in the dough, and as narrow as reasonable between scores, trying to over lap by as much as 1/3 of the previous score.

I'm the opposite in that I decided on baguettes specifically because there's more crust than crumb.  And also for the challenge.

All things being equal this was still a fine fine bake.

And not quite trance but there is a certain zen to the action once the rhythm is established.  While I'm doing it the world seems like a better place.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thanks for all this Al..

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Your crumb looks great as usual. The overall appearance is quite nice. I like the long wands look and admire your next level baguette progress. I hope you will try the dry yeast and see where it goes. I am curious to see what effect it will have on your well developed gluten strategy. Let's keep posting here since there is no end date on this CB. I have a Bouabsa yeasted version mixed up to bake tomorrow for posterity's sake.

A word of advice, is to sprinkle semolina on the parchment paper and use the transfer peel to straighten them out. I am curious to see how you loaded them in the oven.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I'll post here the next time I make them. Looking forward to your bouabsa version. As I said above to Dan, I loaded them onto parchment and then used the back of a tray as my peel to slip the entire thing on to the stone sideways. I took the parchment off after 12 minutes and removed the wet towel tray at the same time.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow those are super impressive Frank, well done.

Benny

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

They need work but we're getting there..

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

after taking another longer look. The scoring looks to me like it still needs a deeper slash to open up the bloom. A lower hydration requires a gash to release the pressure. Take note of how far Alfanso sinks the blade in his picture. The width of the crust between the openings needs to be thinner like you observed by staying more in the center lane and overlapping 1/3 so it won't be as constricted. The angle might even need to be more towards the horizontal. Small bread is a lot of small details.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Went with Martin Philip’s Poolish Baguettes. WOW, does commercial yeast move fast!

The Bad
Another problematic bake. I strayed from Matin’s method and did an autolyse. Problem was the dough didn’t have enough water to fully hydrate the flour. The poolish was so large. It should have been mixed in as instructed to fully hydrate the dough. The dough was mixed similar to the way butter is cut into a pie crust. Mostly hydrated but not completely. Thought it might be a good experiment. It was, with terrible results :-(  Definitely learned something. The levain was difficult to incorporate and the dough never did give up the pea sized bits of flour.

Also the dough never did come together well. It was weak and too airy. Shaping was difficult. Less yeast is probably a good call. Maybe even, much less.

We are encouraged to post the good, the bad, and the ugly. Others learn valuable lessons from our shared mistakes. Here’s a tip - make sure to thoroughly hydrate your autolyse.

The Good
This bread was the closest ever baked that came very close to the kind of “French Bread” that we make Po Boys with in the New Orleans area. The bite and chew was very nice. The crumb was squeezable soft, kind of like Charmin. When squeezed the loaf gave in without much resistance. The crust was thin, but not crackly. Maybe one day I’ll get crackly.

The scoring went extremely well. I went back to a hand made lame with a scoop bend in the blade. Scoring was reasonably pleasant considering the dough was never chilled. Cuts were decisive and confidence is growing. The crust busted ears in 2.5 - 3 minutes, but the oven spring was so huge it swelled up and covered the ears. A prettey good problem to have, IMO.

The Ugly
I can’t say anything was ugly.

The smaller (330g) baguette was baked with an aluminum cover and had 15 seconds of injected steam.
The 515g baguette was baked on the stone with a steam pan inverted about 7 inches above on a rack. Steam was provided by 8 ounces of boiling water poured into another steam pan filled with lava rocks.

Both breads bake at 550F from beginning to end. They took 17 & 18 minutes.

The larger sized baguette seems better suited for sandwiches. I know the French would frown, but...



I sincerely hope that no bakers shy away from any of our Community Bakes because they think they skills are not up to the challenge. Community Bakes are not a competition, but a vehicle for learning. Everyone is encouraged to join in and learn along with us.

MTLoaf made an observation that held true here. Commercial yeast makes the softest bread. I don’t think SD can come close when a light bite and a soft chew is desired.

Danny

 

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Danny - I suspect that your observation about commercial yeast is related to the very high growth rate and numerical population density  of yeast cells in dough made with commercial yeast. Could you get there with sourdough?  Don't know.  Haven't tried.  Might just be a place where a hybrid loaf makes sense.  But I have had difficulty using a small enough quantity of commercial yeast that it doesn't dominate the flavor.

Your crust is pretty dark and your time x temperature product is pretty high so I would expect a fairly dry crumb with fairly thick and distinctively flavored crust.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

No so, Doc. The crumb is super soft and moist, not gummy. KendalM told me that he also likes a light bite and a soft chew. He said the way to get is was a fast bake. It seems to be working exactly like he said.

The loaf when squeezed had some give. Not mushy but much more squeezable than typical SD. Couldn’t call the crust thin and crispy, but it is headed in that direction.

The more I bake CY, the more I like SD...

Yea, any amount of CY messes with the flavor IMO. I have had decent results with SD and a 0.3% CY kicker.  I learned this while baking The Approachable Loaf during our last CB. Much more and it harms the flavor according to my taste.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Danny - thanks for that.  I will think about why.

For 600g baguettes, if I go longer than 20 min @ 500°F the crumb is dry and the crust very dark.  For smaller baguettes (say 350g) I suspect it would be similar.  So I have to consider the hypothesis that without strong convection, you get a different result.  It certainly makes sense that higher temperatures and a shorter bake time should produce a darker crust without severly impacting the crumb temperature.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

There's a lot to like about your bake. Well done. !

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I can almost taste it now. Looks like the pan above blocked some of the top heat on the big boy. Why the blast furnace baking temperature? 550 seems off the charts. I mean maybe for the preheat but not for the entire bake. Is it a bold bake preference? Are you one of those people on a camping trip that toasts your marshmallows to cinders by sticking them directly in the fire and blowing out the flames? I like a dark crust on sourdough loaves but not so much on a yeasted bread.

Seeing that tablecloth makes me think of the South. Lay some paper down and dump the crawfish out with the some corn and potatoes and one of those batons rouge.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

You might say the crumb overtook the ears- but I see the ears there! Just when you despair that they'll never happen, there it is. Well done.

I played with a CY and SD combo yesterday too. It felt like a runaway train after all sourdough for 2 weeks. Tasted like the best supermarket baguette. After two weeks of chewy sourdough baguettes, some were relieved.

Thanks for sharing the things that didn't go well, too. There is a steep learning curve here, it seems. I figure if I throw about 10,000 lbs of dough at it, eventually I'll figure it out.

Love seeing what everyone is up to!

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Which why you really only need about 0.3% of the stuff in a recipe like this.  Oh that's IDY not ADY who's equivalent I think is about 0.5%. Btw danny - if you you're gonna give your loaves the royal heat treatment at 550, can I recommend you evacuate your steam around 7-8 mins then drop your temperature to about 450.  It's really only (imho) warranted at the beginning - those nice grignes your seeing (as I've said before) should be present by that time.  There's no more expansion happening after this point.  Btw nice crumb duder ! 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Using what is probably 00 flour but rebranded and clearly intended for the US market yet available from my local UK supermarket. If this is Pivetti's 00 then were looking at 11% protein and W 180 – 220. This flour was very absorbent and the final dough was very elastic despite the modest protein content. It smoothed out pretty quickly in the mix, a sign of low gluten... 67.5% hydration and SD leavened, I'm moderately ok with the result, but I would have liked more volume. Adding malt probably would have improved things and I could have easily handled a higher hydration. However, the dough was a pleasure work with and easy to roll out but greater extensibility would have been welcomed for this type of bread.

Each stick is around 16 inches and they were scaled at 280g.

Long and cold process seeded with Lievito Madre.

The crumb showed a slight creamy white colour, but this is 00 so it will naturally be whiter.

Original formula but based on Giorilli's methods.

Poolish with LM - 18 hours at 14C

8g LM
50g flour
50g water
0.2g salt

Final dough - cold bulk overnight

288g flour
180g water
100g poolish
15g LM
6.1g salt

 

I unfortunately don't have enough free time to try this again.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I love having the input and wisdom of seasoned hands with way more experienced than myself be a part of these activities.  For a person who likely does not tackle baguettes very often, if t all, I'm quite impressed by the results.  INSIDE AND OUT.  

Come back anytime you have the time!

alan

mwilson's picture
mwilson

You are very kind. Following a long hiatus and revival of my madre starter I wasn't sure about making these but Danny's words of encouragement to join the community bake were persuasive!

I'm very glad you approve of the results and I'll be sure to post an update when I bake again.

Cheers,
Michael

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

 Michael, the crust appears very thin. Is that correct and is the crust crispy? If so, how was it produced? Flour?

 Have some French T65 on order. I am hoping that the low gluten flour will provide a pleasant experience that I have yet to experience.
Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%
Mineral Content: ~ 0.65%

Question - is the SD levain increasing the elasticity of our dough?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

That's right Danny, a thin and crispy crust, although as typical the following day the crust turned to leather!

The acidity developed within a SD levain will definitely contribute to improved elasticity. Notice the small percentage of salt added in my formula, this is probably done to dial down acid development which in turn should help with extensibility.

If you didn't already know I suspect the specs of that T65 are probably on dry basis (0% moisture).

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Levito Muscolare

If the elaborations weren’t so precise and intimidating with the idea of something blowing up in my face. I would love to work with the strength of your LM  someday. Haven’t seen that flour in my neck of the woods but I would drive across the state for your discard. Thanks for finding the time to contribute to the Baguette Battalion 

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Haha! It is powerful stuff. Perhaps someday you'll venture into this field. Learning the ins and outs of LM is very rewarding IMO.

It was a pleasure to contribute and offer my take on a different type of process. The community spirit here on this forum is second to none!

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I've always thought that if you took the amount of protein in the Nutritional Values, and divided it by the Serving Size, that would tell you the protein content.....yes?  No?  If so, this would be 10%?  Seems on the weak side, but I'd love to know if it's this easy to figure out protein content of flour where you might have trouble finding the specs?

R

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rich, no.

The problem with that is they round the numbers.  So, 10.6% protein is shown as 11%. It’s a shame that flour distributors don’t give us pertinent information.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Antilope put this together back in 2013

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17045/protein-content-flour#comment-261314

This should be on the USA baker's Required Reading List, like, forever. 

Check it out, cub scout...

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Don't think I had stumbled across that one before.  Bookmarked! :)  Thanks, Alfanso.

R

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Bookmarked that one too. So many great contributions like that here at TFL that go almost unnoticed. Thar is gold in these hills!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

As Danny pointed out there is the issue of rounding figures. In the UK and EU our nutritional values are given as per 100 grams of product, which is much more useful than the figures given per serving as typical in the US.

I strongly suspect the flour I used to be a rebranded version of this product: Pivetti 00.

I found this image:

11g protein is low but the gluten it has is high quality and as with all Italian (Triticum aestivum) flours, well balanced - resistance vs extensibility (P/L ~.55).

Alveograph: W 180 - 220. So that is about right for baguettes.

Ash: 00 (0.55% max), So this is whiter / more refined than T65.

 

Michael

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

@Michael,

I have never used an Alveograph so I am totally unfamiliar with what it can do.  The methodology seems designed for a lab rather than a bakery.  I read that P is the pressure at which the bubble bursts and L is the height of the bubble when it bursts, but I don't know what the units are. If P is in N/m^2 and L is in meters, then P/L is in N/m^3 and I have no sense of what that means when I handle dough. It has the units of a spring constant so rationally captures the springiness of the dough. It would seem to me that strain rate needs to be taken into account since (I think) extensibility is really measuring viscosity.

Can you provide some hints?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I have not personally used the Chopin alveograph either, it's not a typical piece of equipment in my field. But all Italian millers use it and formulate flours to meet its specific parameters. I don't believe any other country mills flours to such high specificity.

The physical properties of dough can be described as viscoelastic and in context the property of extensibility is specific to dough rheology concepts. Extensibility can be defined as the degree of stretch before breaking and that's what the alveograph measures as L. Whereas viscosity describes flow rate / fluidity.

The results recorded from testing with the alveograph produces an alveogram. This graph shows P (y-axis) and L (x-axis), they are both measured in millimetres (mm). L describes the growth of the dough bubble and P indicates resistance to deformation based on pressure.

Units:
P (mm h2o)
L (mm)
W (10^-4 Joules)

As the test begins a line is drawn, P will increase as the dough resists deformation. The peak height (P) is where the dough resistance has equalized with input pressure, the line then descends as the resistance has been overcome. At the same time L is drawn horizontally as the dough bubble expands. The test is complete when the dough bubble ruptures.

The P/L ratio describes the resistance proportional to extension length. It is a dimensionless property but for those familiar, it's a good indicator of flour performance and specifically how 'balanced' the flour is.

Flour milled from hard North American wheats can be characterized as having high P/L ratios. They are typically more resistant than softer European wheats.

I have extracted an uploaded this for you: I. Akyar - Wide Spectra of Quality Control-Intech (2011)_356-358.pdf


Michael

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I found what appear to be two different test methods and instruments that seem to be getting at the same dough properties and thus flour desirability for a particular purpose. 
The extensograph produces R, E, and R/E.
The alveograph produces P, L, and P/L.
And both systems derive their own energy parameter W for one and and Area Under the Curve (AUC) for the other.

Do you know if R/E values be compared with P/L values? Potentially with some means to convert one to the other?  I have more experience with materials where stress and strain and their relationship are the parameters of interest, so viscoelastic materials and non-neutonian fluids are strange things and I have to do some mental gymnastics to try to convert what I am familiar with to try to understand the different properties that are important to the new area.  As I see it dough has a classic stress/strain curve at small strain values but under constant stress exhibits creep. When dough is subjected to stress levels adequate to induce creep, then the strain at failure is the measure of extensibility and W or AUC is the measure of flour strength. And I suspect, but have not found a reference that explains how, all this varies as you change strain rate.  I found references to vibrational measurements of elasticity at 2 Hz and allusions to using ultrasonic velocity and damping to measure the same properties. My objective is to develop some sense of what P/L = .5 means in a piece of dough and what it feels like to shape a loaf made from dough with that property.  Perhaps sample testing of known flours might be one way to get there.

Your thoughts?

mwilson's picture
mwilson
Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

@Michael - Wow!  It really has more utility than I imagined. Makes me appreciate custom flour blends for all of the parameter adjustments that can be tailored. And the graphics provide a much better feel for how the resulting curves relate to what is being measured. Plus the curves that show the impact of additives are useful as well.  Will store this away for reference.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Bake 7

I got some sense and dropped diastatic malt for now. It isn't that big a deal when I can't score and my oven hates me!

Anything I'm testing needs to be retested but a general direction is good enough for now.

And I'm simplifying the process while I look at individual things to improve.

I'm unhappy with my crumb. It is not as open as I would like and I've made a *few* batches of this dough. It comes out remarkably the same each time. I was reading about dough strength versus extensibility and that they must be in balance with baguettes or you can't get decent oven spring. It occured to me that my commercial flour has ascorbic acid which increased dough strength. It could be working against me. And I need a flour with malt so I put my Morbread flour up against KAF AP and Winco AP.

I deleted the original photos to soon. Lost the definition here. Coming out of autolyse there was a marked difference in the dough. The gluten appeared to already be lightly kneaded prior to any real handling. This followed suit throughout the process. The gluten developed earlier and the dough was easier to handle throughout. KAF and Winco were stickier and shaggy going into BF. The definition on the photo was lost.

I listened to the dough too. It took 4 hours to get a 30% rise.

As expected, Morbread didn't brown up as well. Anything else is attributable to lousy scores. And I know my scores aren't even...I was trying to score quickly which didn't necessarily come out well.

Crumb was fairly consistent with KAF being more open than Morbread and Winco possibily better than KAF. Hard to tell and it could be a difference in proofing instead of actual flour. Also perhaps the Morbread would do better with less manual gluten development. It appears to develop more easily owing to the ascorbic acid.

The good- all flours made good bread. Going to use one with diastatic malt though. And the wee itty bitty start of ears are there.

The bad- expected more difference.

The ugly- my oven. I need to insulate below my baking stone better. The tops aren't hardening early now but the bottoms scorch a bit and even are a but u-shaped from where that happened.

For crumb experts and anyone else...what should my next steps be to improve the crumb? Decrease manual gluten development? Increase hydration? Other factors I haven't thought of? I'm sure the problem comes down to the extensibility versus strength issue. I just don't know how to solve it.

Learning so much- many thanks to everyone.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Jen, in the future when posting images enter a number in the “width” box. The height will auto fill. 625 fills most of the post sideways. Anything less that 300 is generally too small to retain any definition. We are unable to visualize your crumb with any detail. At least, I can’t. 350 to 400 is good.

Could you repost the crumb shots at 625. It’ll be like going to the IMAX. :-)

You nailed Morbread on the head. It contains AA and the flour is best suited to long fermentation and very strong doughs. Baguettes use neither. Love, love, love Morbread for SFSD, Five-Grain Levain, ect., though.

Your scoring looks great to me. Fantastic slashing can’t over come deficient dough. The stars have to align for baguettes...

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

The amount to learn is staggering...as is my growing flour collection.

Thanks for the heads up. I will look more into posting photos properly.

KAF AP

Winco aka 9.7 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Fine tuning the oven set up will help even more. Your scoring looks good. Short easy answer for opening up the crumb is add more water. I find that an AP only will max out at 75% for me. A  shorter bulk ferment improves extensibility and you can make up the time on the final proof. It is hard to keep the dough temps down in the low 70's in the summer. My kitchen is at  proofing box temps right now and the warmth will make the dough more elastic.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Thank you. I was wondering if there was anything else I was missing. I'll start increasing hydration today and see what happens.

I live in the United States Pacific NW with AC. Our weather is never really set. Temps and humidity vary day to day greatly. It keeps one on their toes.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I am in Montana and no one has AC for our not so brief anymore summers. 85 yesterday 60 today and raining. Try the recipe I just posted it is pretty tolerant until the shaping stage. I would recommend 70% water at first and work up gradually.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

I think you get our weather with about a 2 day delay. It was unheard of before but it keeps getting warmer.

I'll try your recipe. I popped in some 75% hydration dough. I have ears. Finally.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

You have begun to open Pandora's Box. And you are discovering the much higher dimensionality of the problem than you initially understood. So recognize that the only way you are going to master it is to get a personal formula that you can execute flawlessly week after week and you understand why you see variation in the end product when you didn't intentionally introduce any change in the formula.  Only when you get there can you begin to introduce small changes in a single parameter and do either sequential trials or split batches for comparison.  And repeat and repeat and measure and photograph and refer to your extensive catalog of notes so that you understand what the partial derivatives are of the things you adjust.  There are far more knobs and switches than you currently understand.  Randomly trying new things will be hugely frustrating and unproductive.  Make a good bread.  Then hunt around for ways to make it better. Then baseline the best you can do and do it again.  Figure on 100 batches to master it at some level, and 10,000 batches to master a somewhat larger fraction of the space of all breads.

I have a compete record of the 126 batches that it took before I felt like I understood the general sensitivity coefficients for a limited number of variables associated with sourdough bread.  Some things I had explored in depth and some things I had backed away from.  But the data is still there to see if I have tried something before with notes about the experiment design, parameter values, and results. Many people here on TFL were incredibly helpful, for which I will always be in their debt.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

This formula is everything I desire in a baton. What Janedo gave to DmSnyder who may as well have been Moses coming down the mountain with the tablets when he developed this recipe. It is my go to formula. For this bake I scaled it down to make two longish side loaders.

370 KAF AP  6 grams of Fava bean flour 280 grams water 8 grams salt 1/8 tsp IDY Autolyse for 20 minutes with the yeast  then the salt and 15 grams of water that was held back. Mixed with the Rubaud method until it just comes together. Three folds every 20 minutes and up to an hour of floor time or less if it is warm like now. I just want to see a little movement to know the yeast is starting to work before retarding in the fridge for 21 hours. Divide cold and letter fold seam up rest 20 to 30 minutes and shape. The proof is seam up and less than an hour and baked at 480 on a stone with a sheet pan above with boiling water poured in after loading and removed after ten minutes. Baked for 24 minutes total.

 The dough had risen more than I would have liked in the fridge, almost doubling but was still manageable. I remembered to photograph the scoring this time.

scoring  

Just removed the steam

 steam pan removed

Crumb shot to follow

 Bouabsa baked

I feel somewhat responsible for taking this CB down a spur line with the yeast thrown in but I would have been remiss to not to include the Bouabsas in what has become a rather long compendium of baguettetry. My last bake will be an attempt at the recipe at the top and a salute to the General of the baguette battalion Alfanso

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

"rabbit hole".  Because it was the responsible thing to do.  The CB has already gone off in a half dozen different directions, and as long as the subject is baguettes, short or long, the real goal is to make the flowers more attractive to the bees!  By hook or by crook.  I'm sure that we all think that this has been a darned successful endeavor and intro to a small group of folks who may have previously been too intimidated by the "mighty" baggie.  But aren't now.  Or needed a refresher course.

This is the easiest formula in the pantheon of great breads.  One just needs to be willing to mix this all AP IDY bread to get why it is so great.  Not much of a leap regardless of how attached to levains they are.  

I have the strongest of suspicions that the magic 21 hour retard mark is nothing more than a scheduling requirement for M. Bouabsa, designed to work through the remainder of his bakery schedule without activities or bakes stepping on another's toes.

The angle of the two long baguettes above reminds me of being on my ship 50 years ago and looking down the long barrels of the twin 5" guns on the ship's mounts.  A bit less intimidating, but no less impressive. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Al - lots of talk about using IDY in making baguettes has me saying 'why not' for my next weekend bake. Can you clear the air? Should I add a bit of IDY to the original posted recipe, or only use IDY without starter/levain? Amounts, proportions? or use the recipe above in MT's post that David originally posted? Guidance please.  Thanks in advance!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

The only rules are there aren't any, just guidelines and observing what others have gotten away with.  There's a hundred ways to do something right and probably twice as many to do something wrong.

There are a few formulae out there that use a combination of the two - a levain in combination with an IDY (or a poolish or a biga).  Just a matter of proportion.  For example the guidelines which I laid out way up front for the Hamelman w/WW call for a retard of 12-16 hours).  The Bouabsa calls for a retards of ~21 hours.  The Bouabsa uses the minuscule 0.16% IDY as its only leavening agent, and look at what the heck it does!.

Sure, add away, to this formula f you wish, but be very judicious in how much you add.  If the thought is to convert from a levain based bread to an all IDY, then keep in mind that commercial yeasts are more potent than levains when it comes to rise.  Can I suggest how much to use?  Maybe, but it would likely be just as much of a swag but keep the IDY to no more than 1.0% .

Or you could sub out the levain for a poolish and get the benefit of both a commercial yeast as well as a preferment.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Ok, I think I'll go the starters-anonymous route and try the non alcoholic IDY version. Let's see what shall be.. stay tuned.. next weekend I suspect..

PS. I just thought - do people slap and fold with IDY? Is that a dumb question? I just thought why not, but then thought maybe it's not something you do.. I don't pay attention to IDY recipes so don't know.. just curious..

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

That is how I develop my IDY pizza crust. I mentioned earlier, I enjoy the one handed version S&F for a dough this small.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

It's just another way of mixing, so sure.  With very few exceptions, which beg for a mechanical mixer - like ciabatta or trying to incorporate a 90% biga dough, or a dough with a large percentage of grated cheese, etc.  All other dough I mix is with FFs/S&Fs.  

(it's how I release the emotional tension of the day after being asked dumb questions 🤓).  I grew up all my pe-adult years afraid to raise my hand for fear of asking a dumb question, and missed out on a lot that I was curious or unclear about.  That changed in adulthood.  A 180.  At work I sat in on a ton of meetings where I knew the answer but also knew others in the room either weren't going to ask the question or didn't know the question to ask, or the chair forgot to mention it.  So I'd ask it, and the chair was clear on what I was doing since we worked closely together.  I wouldn't say there are no dumb questions because we've all lived through doozies, but this wasn't one of them.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Not something to be on the receiving end of. The ease of assembly is a lot of the appeal. I often make a batch to throw in the oven after baking other breads because the stone and oven are already hot. Yes the 21 hours is not a strict requirement but controlling the bulk rise is since they rely mostly on oven spring. The crumb on these was not as open as normal and the optional fava flour did not deliver the goods this time but the wheaty flavor that the process extracts from white flour is nirvana. Using the same method and including a levain is a nice way to take the flavor further for those that need to keep their starter happy.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

.. you have "mad skills".. wow.. Those look perfect - waiting for the crumb shot. How much did each weigh? Great score, colour, shaping and development.. very nice!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Was not as open as usual and this one got a little mashed in the center. It is a somewhat delicate dough when pushed to the 75% water. They scale out at 290gr and ended up just short of my 17" stone. If you try this recipe keep the dough from doubling and the proof is not long because they rely mostly on oven spring.

Bouabsa crumb

The crust shatters when you cut them. Maybe could have rested or proofed these a little longer.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thanks! Nice crumb just the same. Olive oil, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, sea salt - I can taste it now!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

is where some of these will end up. Pesto, tomatoes, parmesan, maybe some basaltic vinegar for spice.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, have you noticed that early on in the bake the ears rise high, but as the oven spring continues they become somewhat “absorbed” back into the loaf? In other words, the scores are overtaken by the rising dough from the oven spring.

Also, since the Bouabsa is bulk retarded, did you find the dough at shaping more extensible? It seems thelong rest would have facilitated that.

Thanks for the scoring image.

Alan, should we err on the more shallow or more deep side when slashing. I realize dough characteristics dictate thta also. Is it generally easier to raise a shallow ear or a deeper ear?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

 and the lack of a fully developed gluten make them not fight back. I have overworked this same recipe and they can be quite elastic. As Doc said earlier it is a delicate dance.

As a general rule, the stiffer the dough, the deeper the slash need to be.

I like the bulbous grigne and the well developed ear but this dough seem to rip apart sometimes from the oven spring.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A slash is just a slash
A score is just a score
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

The difference between a shallow score and a deep one could be no more than perhaps 1/8th to 1/4 inch deeper.

As far as scores go, this is my take, probably nothing uniquely mine (or Id' be darned disappointed).  High hydration doughs naturally have a greater amount of water relative to the flour than low hydration doughs.  And water weighs more than flour, volumes considered.  therefore a deeper but less angled cut from a score may well be more prone to flapping closed from the weight of the water contained.  And therefore that is why I believe the sharper angle is recommended.

I think that if one creates a good taught skin from surface tension without constricting or mangling the eventual crumb, then even a shallow score will be sufficient as the gasses inside push outward.   

Whether I go shallower or more straight on my scores, I never try to insert the blade tip more than (I just measured to be sure) about 1/4 inch.  Which seems so small - except when you hold a tape measure up to the blade and see for yourself.

The absurdly gassy dough I tried yesterday - it didn't make a whit of difference because the dough was so over-active and the surface tension was too "mellow".

In summary, and this is just another SWAG, the same depth is my take, just how that depth of blade is applied makes a difference.  Of course, to be clear, we're discussing just scoring baguettes here and certainly does not apply the same across the board for all dough and treatments.

albacore's picture
albacore

- or more work required! Much to learn:

  • poor shaping
  • poor scoring
  • crumb a bit close
  • but tasty!

It looks like baggies are a tough nut to crack!

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Were you thinking, “Bloomers” when scoring? ...just messing with you.

Baguettes are so different from other breads I hope you give these dreaded beast another go. 

Calling my buddy at Pleasant Hills Grain tomorrow about the mixer. The hook is almost set.

Danny

albacore's picture
albacore

I feel like a rookie baker! I might give them one more chance!

Oh and add overproofed to the fault list.

Lance

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

to the party Lance. I found some fava beans at the local Natural Food store. They were not the flat wide ones but a small round version that sounded like popcorn popping while going through my MockMill 100. It had the same yellow look as the BRM Garbanzo/Fava but didn't produce the same results.

Your crumb looks good just rotate the peel 90 degrees the next time you score them ;-)

alfanso's picture
alfanso

imperfect shaping and one can still get a good looking baguette.  But the scoring is the unforgivable part of the equation. You should look at what MT and my baggies look like before hitting the oven to give you a clear sense of what we do vs. what you did.  Also, review the short sections of video at the top of this whole dang thread.  And then there's David Snyder's scoring tutorial on TFL to help.

I will say that if there's any rookie mistake to baguettes, you fall right in line with the majority of beginners.

Nice looking crumb, and that will take you far.  And if they're not looking A-1, just cut them into rounds and serve them that way.  No one will ever be the wiser.

Hey Dan and MT - I think that we just hooked another fish on the baguette line!  The bait must be incredible!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Like Atlantic Salmon was to fishing. The Sport of kings and the King of bread. Nothing more eye catching in the bread world to me. The look is what attracts the fish. I don't want to go down the phallic symbol path, I will leave that to the shrinks. Some see us flyfishers and bagueteers as effete but if we can spread the craft and share some fun let's roll with it.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I mixed up a batch of dough at 67% hydration 11.7% pre-fermented flour, 2% salt, using 100% high gluten white flour.  But did a couple of things differently:
1. stopped mixing as soon as the dough came off the bottom of the bowl
2. after ~40 min of BF I split the batch into two parts and finished a 1 hr BF on one half and a 2 hr BF on the other half.

But since they came from the same batch, the proof times were going to be different.  In this instance I over-proofed both of them. The biggest difference is in the crumb.  The first photo below is the short BF (60 min) loaf; the second photo is the baguette that had a 2 hr BF.  The dough was shapped into 300g baguettes and proofed.  The first batch proofed for ~2 hr before baking.  The second batch was shaped into 300g baguettes as well and was proofed for about 90 min (for equivalence it should have been 1 hr but the oven was busy with the first batch). Oven cycle was 500°F w/ steam for 6 min then 450°F with the steam generator off for an additional 11 min.  Crumb texture is good, crust is typical sourdough crust (well toasted, fairly thick, crunchy, flavorful).  All baguettes were shaped to ~20" lengths, (constrained by my 21" pans).

So next time I will use the 2 hr BF and shorten the proof time, but I may also reduce the dough temperature. The dough was quite extensible and handled easily, was very easy to shape but was so extensible that it was hard to get a uniform diameter, and was floppy when transferring to the pans.  It would have benefitted from being retarded to slow down the proof somewhat and I suspect that chilling them would have made it easier to handle when it came time to transfer to the pan.

The thing that surprises me is the irregularity of the hole sizes in the crumb of the short BF batch.   Anybody have an idea why?

short BF, long proof

 

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I am confounded by how open the crumb the crumb is with 67% in the first place. It doesn't lineup with my reasoning that open crumb is related to hydration. I haven't worked with high gluten flour much and was under the impression that it required more kneading to develop fully. To venture a guess in this riddle is a step through the looking glass into wonderland. Maybe the longer fermentation filled in the gaps in the dough or it was a shaping issue. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

These are the two that didn't get sectioned (both from the long BF batch). As you would expect for over-proofed baguettes that were too soft to score by somebody with a new lame who rarely uses an interrupted slash.  Good oven spring, just not enough tension to get the surface to fracture. Soft dough was impossible to straighten out once it hit the pan so sort of wandering from side to side.  Just a little bit of an ear at one end of both loaves but nothing you could use to pick them up with.

Anything I missed?  Or different approaches to fixing the defects?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

When I occasionally fail to have sufficient surface tension and/or over proofing, the scores may spread flat as yours have.  For those unfamiliar at rolling our a full length baguette, including me, there is at the added challenge to getting a consistent full roll across the length of the baton.

The main inconsistency in the crumb seems to me to be where the batons are pinched, and from an over proofed crumb structure and/or a heavier hand while rolling which compressed the dough in the upper photo.  If you work mainly with boules and batards, this is not the same occupational hazard as with batons.

You refer to a high gluten flour which should give the dough more elasticity rather than your stated extensibility.  A standard French baguette typically weighs in at 350g-380g before baking, so your lighter weight may have contributed to the difficulty in getting a consistent shape down the barrel of the baton.

You certainly have the scoring in "lane" and overlap correctly and your 2nd baguette in the Delta Time post has great open crumb at ay hydration, but especially for a 67% dough.

When you say "hit the pan" are you referring to moving from couche to oven peel with a hand peel/flipping board?  If so, the hand peel in combination with the open hand is an excellent way to get the baton to straighten before oven loading.

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Dough was warm, kitchen was warm, I was doing other things in parallel. Was not uncovering and checking the shaped loaves and there was not much flour on the  couche so when the time came to transfer to the pan, the loaf was a little difficult to separate from the couche, then that sticky line made it impossible to slide the loaf off the transfer peel and I had to almost invert it to get it to fall onto the pan so now essentially stuck to the pan there was not much I could do to slide it sideways to line it up.  I felt pretty good that it wasn't worse, but the impact is certainly visible in the end result.  I don't use parchment paper as an intermediary. The dough sits on the pan for about a minute after being brushed with water and then a sprinkling of kosher salt which the water helps to hold in place so that it doesn't blow off in the oven.  When the oven indicates that it is hot and the steam generator has filled the oven (which is more a measure of the boiler water temperature than anything else), I slash the loaves, reverse the pan,  slide it into the oven and shut the door.

I will go with a little larger loaves next time, probably 345g to get close to the same dough weight per inch of loaf that Danny achieved, and probably adjust the pre-shape to get a little closer to final size and reduce the need to stretch too much more on final shape.

I am happy with the 17 minute oven cycle and the resulting color/taste.

So a few adjustments and some retard time during the last part of proofing to stiffen up the dough before it is slashed.  So we will see sometime later this week.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Are you open to using parchment? I don't have a picture at this time but I've gone a little OCD on this....I've been taking a piece of parchment longer than the length of the dough and creating a crease in the center. I hill it up in the middle like you would a couche. I place one on each side and fold the sides up over the dough and then into the couche. When I bake, I carefully move the parchment until it flattens. Everything stays neat and straight.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

But now no longer bake on tile or stone and find it to be an expensive and now unnecessary addition to the process. If I stay focussed it is not an issue.  I know better so I take a dope slap and start again.

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

Took me a week to get around to it but glad I did. I made a few mods to the formula and process:

  1. included 516 g poolish, 230 g levain, both at 100% hydration maintaining total dough hydration at 68%
  2. only used 25% Bread Flour (local supply issues) so 50% AP flour
  3. no slap & folds, stretch and fold only
  4. retarded bulk fermented dough in batch
  5. out of fridge, pre-shaped & proofed for 1 hour, then shaped & proofed for another 45 minutes Before baking

Otherwise stuck to the challenge. Nice crust, good flavor.


Crumb a bit tighter than I would like, though I have yet to open one of second batch which proofed for an extra 45 minutes. Tastes great, though. Have not had a lot of experience at sub 75% hydrations but I’m encouraged to try more. This dough seemed very easy to handle. I’ll add this formula to my repertoire where Gosselin and Bouabsa (thanks to @dmsnyder) have been my gotos for baguettes & epis.

Thanks, Dan and Alan, for organizing and shepherding...

Phil

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Most traditional baguettes hover around the upper 60s for hydration with plenty of room for experiment above the 70 mark.  Whether folks are sticking to the posted formula or not, as long as it is close, this is a really tasty crisp crust bread for those whose whole grain "requirements" are not that high.

I love the color of the dark bake. And scoring shows super promise.

alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Phil, I don’t know your total flour weight, but 2 pre-ferments totaling 746g seems like it would have produced a very extensible dough. Did you find the dough very stretchable when shaping?

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

I had some trouble with maintaining a consistent circumference on final shape. Frog in a snake’s gullet—lumpy kind of thing... Thought I saw another mention of it upstream of here. Scoring was tres simple.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

WOW! 9 bakes. Some people get it right away, and others learn quite quickly. But for those of us that struggle, persistence is the driving force that leads us on.

Used Alan’s take on Hamelman’s SD Formula, but tweaked the whole grains, 83% KAAP, 10% Hard Red Spring Wheat, 5% Spelt, & 2% Fava Beans. Each of the 4) 440g loaves were baked individually. The idea here is to try different baking variables (oven & steam settings, etc..

Settings shared by all 4 bakes
550F for 10 minutes, 550F w/convection for 7-10minutes
Dough was retarded approximately 24 hr.

NOTE - Bake #1 is on the bottom and #4 is on the top.

Bake #1
Pre-steam 90 seconds of injected steam
1.5 cups of water in pan w/lava rocks - steam pan was inverted over the dough positioned 2 slots above
90 seconds of steam injected after loading
Bake time - 17 minutes

Bake #2
No injected steam
3 cups of water in pan w/lava rocks - No inverted steam pan
Paint dough w/water after scoring
Error - Forgot to turn convection of for the first 5 minutes of bake
Bake time - 16 minutes

Bake #3
2 cups of water in pan w/lava rocks - no inverted pan
Dough was not painted w/water
No injected steam
Blocked of top oven vent attempting to hold more steam
Bake time - 17 minutes

Bake #4
Pre-steam 90 seconds of injected steam
1.5 cups of water in pan w/lava rocks - steam pan was inverted over the dough positioned 2 slots above
180 seconds of steam injected after loading
Blocked of top oven vent attempting to hold more steam
Bake time 17 minutes

Only 1 loaf was opened, the other 3 were given away. I’ve baked so many baguettes, I fear I may be running out of eaters. Believe it or not, baguettes are not a favorite of mine or my wife. But the challenge is a great one...

 

 

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Your skills are on fine display. Your shaping has always been good, your scores are precise, your fermentation is mostly on point, at least wanders no more than the rest of us and now a nice appealing COLOR! I like the bakes with the pan above best. Did you back off the 550? Fava? Is that what they are bitin' on? It's supposed to open the crumb and improve oven spring with a whitening affect on the crumb. We shall see when you filet that trophy.

My new stone that arrived today is going through the new stone drying bake. I am thinking about placing my old stone on the top rack to radiate some heat back down. Perhaps something you might think about to temper the top element going on and off throughout the bake in your oven.

Look forward to seeing the crumb. I am betting on #1

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, the oven temp was never lowered. I wanted to bake them hot and fast.

I don’t have enough experience with baguettes, but the Fava Beans didn’t appear to make a difference. I mill the dried beans into flour.

Albacore sent me THIS EXCELLENT EXAMPLE of highly extensible dough. I have Nutritional Yeast on order. I’ll try most anything once.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Feed some IDY with a bit of sugar and water.  Let it run to exhaustion, then heat it to 160°F to kill the yeast.  Use the resulting liquid in your dough.  But be careful. It is a powerful reducing agent and you can get really slack dough if you use too much.  A slow oxidizer such as ascorbic acid will correct it over a period of time but you have to match the quantities and before you ask, I do not have a table of equivalents.  I have a supply of 500mg L-cysteine capsules that I break open if I need a little, though I don't remember using any since 2011.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your timing is great, Doc.

Yesterday I rec’dTHIS Nutitional Yeast and I read that is has glutathione!

 Nutritional yeast contains the antioxidants glutathione and selenomethionine, both of which can help protect your body from chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress.”

Lance, aka Albacore sent me A LINK that blew me away. Talk about extensible. He also turned me on to Fava Beans. I Tried 2% Fava Beans last bake, but didn’t notice a difference, but I could have missed it.

I will try the combination...

 

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

They look very nice. I was wanting to play with steam- excited to see what happens when you open them up.

My theory is that if you throw enough dough at it, eventually you get it right! I have yet to prove that, of course.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

would be a welcome addition to just about any Parisian restaurant table.  Just about all around goodness.  Symmetry scoring, shaping.  These have it all.  If I had to grab one and take off with it, my choice based on looks alone would be #1.

When does the student become the teacher?

alan

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

I'm afraid I'll be sent to the principles office for cheating after posting this. It goes down the IDY train pretty far. But the hydration was right- 75%- and I wanted to see what would happen. And I had 6 day old dough in the fridge.

This is the master dough formula by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day series. It is mixed, left to rise and just fall and then refrigerated. Shape from retard, brief rise and bake. Say what you want about it...but the ability to have pizza or rolls or whatever on the table in an hour has a place in my home.

680 g lukewarm water, 10 grams idy, 17 g salt, 910 g ap flour

This was my old Morbread flour so the crumb is soft and squishy but still...not bad in under an hour.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

subway" my mother used to say), the point of the CB was less about adherence to the proffered formula and more to try and hook folks like you to come on board and enjoy the ride.  The point is less to adhere to the rules (of which there aren't any) but rather to explore and widen one's baking horizons.  To coax the servants at the altar of the humble bread to leave their cave and Dutch Oven behind.

With just about every bake of yours we're seeing improvements, and if it weren't for the CB, you might be wondering what it must be like to bake a baguette.  Or maybe wondering what time dinner is served ;-) .

As mentioned way way up in this thread, it is generally a two step forward, one step backward process for those like Dan and you that have the gumption too improve.

alan 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

 Not baguette crumb, but for sandwich breads it would be very nice.  I own Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. As you know the book is about the convenience of mixing a large dough and having it available to bake breads during the week.

The even crumb is indicative of over-fermentation.  Love the taste of over fermented bread, especially sourdough!

” so the crumb is soft and squishy”. I like soft and squishy, maybe I ought to over ferment some dough and give that a try. We learned during this CB that CY makes a softer bread.

Jen, your interest in experimentation is a welcomed asset to the forum. 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Stated the answer to Doc Doughs crumb riddle in his last post above. The shorter bulk produced the open crumb when logic dictates otherwise. The more we learn the more we realize how much we don't know. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

My more open crumb came with the longer (2 hr vs 1 hr) bulk fermentation.  At some point I will do a three way split of a single mix and BF for 1, 2, 3 hrs (or 1.0, 1.8, and 2.6 hrs) and characterize the results.  There is clearly some cell consolidation that takes place during bulk fermentation.  Need to get a sample on the far side of optimum to know there is a local min/max in between.  Does shaping want to happen before or after consolidation has begun? Of course the part about "all other things being equal" is the tricky bit to control.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

There is a reason the nobles demanded white flour and the use of it is so common now. Flavor. I was a reluctantly coaxed into whole grain baking because it meant leaving behind that pure flavor.

My pizza dough is basically that method with 70% water. On the second day in the fridge I divide it and ball it up so pizza can happen any day of the week. I use ADY for that job because I learned it has a slower but longer lifespan. I wonder if a pre shape letter fold and then a  thinner shape with a longer proof would open up the crumb more?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Cest la vie say the old folks. It goes to show you never can tell. Maybe I should have put these in the lead off spot in the baton order. I finally got around to the recipe for this CB last because I am a yeasted baguette devotee. The crust and the less lively dough which is not as fun to work with just never yielded a very good stick for me. Well my dogma just got run over by my karma so to speak. 

I used the basic recipe 675 total dough with a 5% of the whole wheat swapped out for a more white flour so 20% instead. The leavain was an overnight that was all whole grain at 100% hydration. I planned to up the hydration to the limit but that ended up around 75% anyway and to bake it straight through with my usual short mix and a couple of coil folds. Life intruded after 3 hours of the bulk so I tucked it in the fridge.  Got home after 4 hours and pulled the dough out and let it sit for an our before dividing and letter folding this time seam down. I shaped a rather loose and lifeless dough about 40 minutes later and turned the oven to 500 with my new Fibrament stone in place. The dough had shown some growth after a 45 minute proof and the scores went ok but I was not optimistic about the outcome. They went flat in the oven but started to show some  spring and the cuts opened so maybe all was ok. They came out looking better than hoped not a lot of growth and I was expecting a dense crumb.

SD baggies

crust

The crust wasn't light but it was crisper than expected but the crumb!

SD crumb

 The crumb was unlike anything I have ever produced with sourdough baguettes.If the results are because of my new stone that has been named "Third rock from the sun" after the Jimi Hendrix song. I am sorry I didn't get it sooner. I think I just got lucky but my faith in the SD baggie has been restored.

The Other One

crumb 2

What are the holes for? Show? No PB&J 

Natural light bleaches out the whole grain. The crust had a beef jerky like quality to it today but another day under wraps should meld it in in with the crumb.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

All the good things to say.  Someday you'll have to teach me how to get an open crumb like that!.  I can get some baguettes under 70% hydration to display open crumb, but this, and Doc Dough's recent foray, are in a separate universe, with Dan on your tails.

Bravo, and welcome to the joys of levain baking.

alan

As long as you were referencing J.H., here is a quite unique cover from that same first album by one of my heroes.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

As a preeminent goal but it leads to disappointment more often than not. I suppose it is that delicate dance between gluten development and fermentation that doc mentioned. I used a weak off brand bread flour for this bake and it never showed any clue that the crumb would end up like this. I did do about 10 S&F but minimal effort because the flour was sticky and wanted to tear rather than smooth out.  I have to say that the flavor and texture was the least favorite of all the others because it was all crust and no crumb and just a little off.  I am thinking the massive new stone puffed these up like pancake batter. The shaping was with minimal rolling and clumsy because it kept sticking so I just tried cinching in some tension like the gal in the video I linked to earlier. At least my new stone has some good mojo on the baptismal bake. That’s life. Back to work  

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

But I could be mistaken. The retard takes some time to chill bulk dough (as opposed to shaped loaves which have a shorter maximum dough thickness) and 4 hrs at even an unspecified refrigerator temperature should be enough to stabilize it. And during the cool down there continues to be yeast and LAB activity in the dough so the BF is effectively a couple hours longer than the stated three. The result at that point is a dough that you thought too stiff to shape? So you waited an hour for it to warm up somewhat but that is not enough time for it to fully come back to room temperature - so I am going to guess that the center of your dough was still below 60°F when you shaped, so less viscous but not really soft. Letter folds provide a gentle shaping that doesn't collapse the cell structure so you continue to preserve what the long BF developed and subsequent chilling did not destroy.  Very much following Trevor Wilson's guidance to not do anything to damage good open crumb potential.

I suspect that the new stone had little to do with your results, but we humans are built to detect correlation and assume causality.  We also rarely go back to verify an assumption that was apparently supported by a single experiment even if there were many changing variables. So this is a case where I for one would like to see you repeat the process but use your old stone as the only thing that changes.

It would also be a great idea if a few others here would take a run at it in their kitchen with their flour, mixing technique, refrigerator, stone, steam generator, and oven. But to do that we really need a more complete ingredients list and process description - which only you can provide :-)

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

As a lack of luck would have it, I have two batches of dough that unexpectedly had to be retarded pre-shaping, exactly like this. I'll be interested to see if I get a similar effect.

Life through me lemons yesterday but I was trying to compare same dough, different mixing lengths. Oh well. That'll wait for another day.

It is interesting how happy accidents happen sometimes.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

They were small diameter and almost popped up like bread sticks( Gressinsi ) is the reason I said the stone baked them. The recipe I used was Alanso's last one White flour was 80% Big J Golden loaf bread flour 15% winter wheat berries and 5% rye berries milled and used for overnight levin( I am never again fighting autocorrect with that word) 100% hydration that was 16% total prefermented flour. It was used in the fermentolyze 10 hours later. 20 minutes added the salt and 10 more gr of water. short mix rest 10 then some mixing and 10 slap and folds dough. It was very loose and sticky. Big J doesn't take water like other bread flour and seems more like AP. I did two coil folds in the first hour and it rose maybe 25% total in the bulk. The dough never had any strength and I had to handle it with velvet gloves in zero gravity. It didn't want to roll so I cinched it in place by using a few 2 handed palms up karate chops under the dough. Not something I normally do. They were not difficult to score and I baked them at 480 for 22 minutes and put them on the top rack with the oven off and the door cracked to get more brown on top because they didn't want to darken.

I am a believer in science but I am still an illiterate in the science of sourdough. I get by solely on repetition and intuition. I believe you are correct in your ventured guess as far as the bulk fermentation. They were on the verge of over proofing and were rescued by intense heat is how I see it. I nearly fainted when I cut them open

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You and Benny are turning out show piece crumb shots. I hope we don’t loose you two to Instagram :D

I have a set of shaped baguettes retarding now. BF the dough a little longer in hopes of better crumb. We’ll see...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I see like you that the long and thin look is not only appealing but they bake up better with more relative expansion. I may go for the end loaded smaller ficilles (flutes) to get a more practical bread and that requires less special packaging. Maybe even 5 wide on the new stone. Thanks for the recommendation on the stone. The standard size 15"x20" fit perfectly

Benito's picture
Benito

Awesome baguettes Don, the crumb and crust are amazing.  The crumb is so open and you have your usual amazing ears.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

After falling down a rabbit hole for 2 consecutive bakes, I had to find some comfortable footing.  Following instructions on two different YouTubes about French Baguettes, and both were severely over proofed.  For example yesterday's bake had me build a 115% hydration poolish.  The instructions for it should have been the tipoff.  My choice of either the countertop for 10 hours or the refrigerator for "overnight".  There was no correlation to these two choices.  

Anyway, the salvation was good oven spring and crisp crust on both, and the first, levain version had a lovely sweet taste.  But it is hard to get these to brown enough.

Last night I went back to the Weekend Bakery Pain Rustique formula.  With no intention of making it "rustique", as I also didn't do three years ago.  it is a strange formula in that the poolish, containing 50% of the total flour, was part WW and also uses a small dollop of levain rather than IDY to get it going.  Low hydration of 65%, it doesn't open up a lot but is another nice crisp crusted bread.

Another shot of how the dough was scored/

Here are two of the three from the over proofed last bake.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The color as always is outstanding.

Your scoring seems to lap more than most instructions. Some say an inch over lap, other 1/3. Your scores are proof, they always look exception.

Benito's picture
Benito

Happy Canada Day!  To celebrate I started a double batch of baguettes yesterday and just pulled them out of the oven.  I decided that I wanted to try an almost all white flour recipe since white flour baguettes are what remind me of Paris most.  I used Abel’s recipe that Alfanso kindly posted here.

I added a small amount about rye to the levain build but otherwise followed the recipe.  Edit - I actually also dropped the hydration to about 70%.  The rye was 2.5% of the flour.  Because I cannot cold retard six baguettes in my fridge I decided it would be interesting to see the difference when cold retarding shaped baguettes vs. unshaped until after cold retard.  However, because I cannot bake six baguettes at once, the shaped baguettes went into the oven after 13 hours of cold retard.  The second three were shaped after 13.5 hours of cold retard and then placed back in the fridge until the oven, baking steel, cast iron skillet and Silvia towel were back up to 500ºF.  Oh because I forgot to drop the temperature from 500ºF to 480ºF at the start of baking the second set, they baked at 500ºF until halfway after removing the steaming gear.

Because I didn’t weigh the dough when I divided, the first of baguettes were larger and didn’t fit well on my cookie tray or baking steel.  The second set fit much better.  I think for my set up 280-290 g per baguette is optimal.

Oven spring seems pretty good especially on the second set.  There are a bit of ears on some.  The crumb will tell the story I guess.

Now the second set, I forgot to take a photo after scoring these, but I think scoring was a bit better as I did each score faster, I need much more practice.  I also forgot to brush off the excess flour prior to scoring.

I’d love feedback on these.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Here’s the crumb on one of the first set with the shaped cold retard.  I’m liking the flavour more without as much whole wheat and the crust is fairly thin and crisp.  My favourite hybrid sourdough IDY baguette for flavour and texture so far.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Benny - we are accumulating evidence through many distributed formula variations during this CB that seem to be pointing to some sort of consensus.  You last run seems confirmatory.  Well done!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Doc.  I think the crumb on the set that was shaped after cold retard is better than those shaped before cold retard.  Of course the shaped after cold retard set had more time in cold retard which for my fridge I had down to 2ºC.

Here’s the crumb from the set done prior to cold retard.

 

Here is the crumb from the set shaped after cold retard.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like the crumb on the retard in bulk ones better. You can just use the same basic Bouabsa method with sourdough added.

The shaping only improves with practice. Long and thin is currently in! Nice job on the fermentation and hybrid use.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Don.  I guess if I compare the two sets, because of the greater dough mass the cold retard in bulk set took longer to cool in the fridge and continued to ferment.  This was definitely the case because they were more challenging to shape.  I still have challenges while shaping trying to get just the right amount of flour on the dough in order to prevent sticking but not so much that there isn’t any friction to allow elongation.  I suspect many more bakes are needed to get this right.  My 4th set of baguettes were thinner, I’m going to have to try to get that shape next time.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Even 1/4 tsp of yeast needs to be put into the barn before it gets to a full gallup.  As Abel in his succinct way stated keep the dough in the low 70's so it doesn't get too strong. Someday you should try the Gosselin baguette that is mixed with ice water. It has an amazing flavor but shaped in a ciabatta kind of way.

Don

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I agree that the smaller surface area to volume ratio for the "retard before shape" batch delays cool down and allows some additional fermentation. But once the dough reaches 4°C, there is VERY LITTLE additional fermentation.  A 2°C setting gets it there marginally sooner but serves as some protection from opening the refrigerator door for other things.

Your comment about getting the right amount of flour on the dough is a good observation, and I have never seen a good tutorial on what it should be or how to do it. There is a HUGE difference between working on unfinished hard maple, stainless steel, granite, Corian, cloth, or an inverted Silpat/silicone baking mat (which is what I use). And it is super important that you get it right because you can't shape well if you don't have the right friction between the dough and the surface it is being shaped on. Watching somebody shape on a surface that does not match what you are using is almost useless from a training/learning perspective. Now throw in all the different variables that affect the dough handling experience (flour/flour mix, dough hydration, bulk fermentation time and temperature, dough temperature, and of course whether you flour or wet your hands) and the combinations are too many to teach individually. So this is an area where we are left to discover for ourselves what works, and since you don't know yet what it feels like when you get it right, you have no sense of what you are doing wrong or how to correct it.  No wonder so many folks give up.

Benito's picture
Benito

You can see how different each baguette is from each other.  On a couple I think I had the right amount of flour and was able to elongate well.  On a couple I did experience the sticking and then on a couple more a bit too much flour and the dough not having friction and just moving without rolling under my hands.  I have quartz countertops and I’m not sure if they are stickier or less sticky, but it seems that most professionals use wood.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Never consciously gave a lot of consideration to the counter surface and it’s affect on shaping, especially baguettes. When friction is lost, the flour is removed and a very light spritz (tiniest amount) of water is applied. Mine is Corian, but I like the idea of trying a Silpat mat. It is pretty “sticky”.

Benito's picture
Benito

Of course a very light spritz of water, didn’t even consider that, good idea Dan.  I have a Silpat mat and also a largish maple board.  Would you consider both to be sticky or just the Silpat?  Is the maple board less sticky than a quartz countertop?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Never shaped on any kind of wood, Benny.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Any polished surface (stone, plastic, or metal) will be "stickier" than wood that has a thin coating of flour. The issue with the polished surface is that it is nearly impossible to lay down a uniformly thin layer of flour. And flour will stick to bare wood just fine. So try it both ways and see what you are successful with.  There is no "right way", just what works for you.

Benito's picture
Benito

I may have to try the wooden board, it is a decent length, but I wish it was a bit wider.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Put a couple of drops of water on your squeeky clean Corian countertop and put the baking mat smooth side down over the wet spot and pat it down.  The silicone is now effectively stuck to the counter and this works equally well for any smooth surface (Corian, granite, marble, or quartz). Then put a little flour on the back (what is now the upward-facing surface) and spread it around so that the irregularities defined by the encapsulated fiberglass mat hold it.  Now you can turn out your dough and use a bench knife to divide it into the desired size. Pick up a dough piece and toss it onto a floured couche to get some flour on the cut face or put it on the scale with the already-floured side down.  I usually put a line of bench flour along the back edge of the mat so that I have some immediately available when I need it.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, I’ve got a few Silpats, but none of them have a smooth side. Please send a link to the mat.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Silicone baking mat

This one is from Bed Bath & Beyond. 

The smooth side of a Silpat is the side with the printing on it.
The back is a slightly different texture.

Benito's picture
Benito

I have Silpat baking mats, I may have to try a few things or just continue to use my countertop and figure out the best way to get just the right amount of tackiness without too much or too little flour.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Benny - very very well done. Those look amazing!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Frank, nice to achieve a good crumb.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You knocked that baby out of the park... Everything looks gorgeous to me.

That crumb would have the Instagrammies drooling.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Everything here looks wonderful, especially the crumb.  The final part of the puzzle is to figure out how to get your scores to grigne and rise up above the surface of the baguette.  You are a stellar student!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Alan, I am learning with the group here and have everyone who has contributed their time to thank.

Yes the ears, this is just like last year when I was trying to get ears on my batards.  It came down to structure, tension, fermentation and scoring, did I leave anything out?  I guess it will be the same here.  I’m leaving out the baking because I think I have the steam working given the oven spring these were able to achieve.  

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Benny - for some reason I had not noticed (or you had not mentioned) that you use a baking steel (I presume in place of tiles or a stone). And this is the first mention I have seen for baguettes though I use my "baking aluminum" for pizza because it heats up fast and delivers lots of heat to the crust quickly. How thick is your steel? Carbon steel (I presume - but I have to inquire in case you have a source of stainless plate)? And does it alter anything else in the process?

Benito's picture
Benito

Doc the baking steel is made by Vermont Castings and its specs say that it is mild carbon steel.  I originally purchased it to bake pies on to ensure the bottom pastry got hot fast and browned.  I am now using it to bake these baguettes.  

Another variable with the second set and the longer cold retard is that I baked at 500ºF by accident for about ¾ of the bake time.  The bottoms of these baguettes were definitely a bit over baked.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Benny - with a 3mm piece of sheet steel, heat moves through it pretty fast and will scorch the bread if you don't reduce the heat flux from the bottom by putting a couple of layers of crumpled up and re-flattened heavy duty aluminum foil between the steel and the rack it sits on.  The steel will pre-heat and then provide instant heat delivery to the loaf on loading, but once that stored heat has been sucked out by the dough, there is still a route from the sides via lateral conduction through the plate and from the bottom through the foil but the heat delivery rate is not as fast as it would be if the bottom was not protected. Tile or stone with the right thermal diffusivity provides just the right heat delivery rate without burning while delaying thermal input from the back side.  You would like the combination of crumpled foil and steel to provide the same effective thermal resistance as 3/8" clay tile.

Benito's picture
Benito

This is starting to sound like what I am now doing with my dutch oven when I bake sourdough batards.  I had sometimes had problems with over browning the bottom crust.  What I have figured out is that if I can shield the dutch oven from direct heat, I no longer have problems with burning.  I now place the dutch oven on top of the broiling rack that comes with the oven, made of granite ware.  I wonder if placing the baking steel on the granite ware broiling rack would help shield it from direct heat and prevent burning as well.  Since I already have the broiling rack it is worth trying.  Thanks for the ideas Doc.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Sorry Doc, I missed your question about the thickness of the baking steel, it is only 3 mm thick.  In regards to whether it alters anything else in the process, that I do not know because I don’t have anything else to compare it to.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I wanted to post this to the baguette CB because it may be a valuable asset for shaping baguettes.

Instead of hijacking the CB, the short video and message was posted to a new topic. If there is any discussion, it is probably best to use the other post. This CB is a behemoth... Alan takes the honors for the highest number of post to any CB as of this date. At this time we're at 446 replies.

Alfanso, has been promoted to The Fresh Loaf hall of fame. His star shall be prominently placed somewhere in the universe.

Back to the alternate post. See it here.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64855/extensible-dough-nutritional-yeast-and-fava-beans

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

My TFL Mt Rushmore would have ALfanso, DmSnyder, Dabrownman, and of course Minioven. That doesn't leave room for TXfarmer, Bwraithe, PatRoth and many others including you. This is your baby so take some of the bows along with the allure of the baguette.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Dan when he was a child.  The DNA was already there!

We're going need a bigger mountain reminded me of two movie quotes - apropos for the two of you.

  • "I think we're going to need a bigger boat"
  • "Never get out of the boat, never get out of the boat"

P.S. Conceptually I enjoy the reference, how could I not, but leave me off the mountain.  I'm afraid of heights, my head is not my best side, and mostly because I'm just a doofus who figured it out.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Put you heads above the rest. The place just wouldn't have the vibe without you. The next line from Apocalypse Now quote was one of my favorite as it relates to guiding and life in general " Unless you plan on going all the way"

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Lt. Colonel Hamelman Kilgore

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Same dude

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I was a cute kid. Even back the I was a fan of long baguettes. :D

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

"We're going to need considerably bigger buns"

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Got a chuckle out of that one, Tom.

It was a great movie. Going to try to watch it again soon...

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I found the time to bake again and I am pretty happy with the results!

Same formula but tweaked slightly:

Increased hydration to ~70%
Increased total content of Pivetti (11% protein) flour to nearly 100%.
Added Malt
Increased bulk
French (slap and) folded to full development.

Better oven spring, better volume, better taste, better colour, better texture.

----

Each baguette weighs 220 grams, they were scaled at 290g.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

They've got all the good stuff I admire and want in a baguette.  Love the crunching noises too.  That's my kind of coloration as well.

Well done, and they are well done.

alan

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Alan, that's great to hear. I really wanted to up my game with this bake and the deeper colouration really elevates the flavour too.

I tip my hat to you sir.

Michael

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hehehee. The sound of crunching noise in the video tells it all... Well Done!

Alfanso, had best keep his skills honed. There are a number of bakers barking up his tree. <LOL>

Love the color, the rugged crust near the scores, and the shape. These are exceptional.

It seems apparent that many of the bakers that joined this Community Bake have benefited by leaps and bounds. I know I have.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Danny.

The community bake is proving very fruitful to all involved. Can't thank you enough!

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, beautiful baguettes.  Your scores open up so nicely and distinctively, I don’t think I’ve seen any others posted here that look like that.  Again a signature look.

The Beaujolais Villages must have been good with that.

Benny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Benny, certainly I was very pleased with how the baggies bloomed.

The Beaujolais is my go-to wine and indeed it was perfect for an afternoon aperitivo with the baguettes, cheeses and cold cuts.

Cheers,
Michael

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Knowledge, skill, flour, formulation, and process all come together nicely. The result is a piece of edible art. And the audio track in the video says a lot.

What was the oven cycle to get such a uniform coloration?
Or is that related to the malt?  Which raises the question of how much malt was in that batch?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Doc. I am quite taken aback, thank you for your glowing review.

I trained and worked as chef before venturing into baking, so like a chef I tend to bake instinctively. I have a domestic fan oven and it does a good job at giving even colouration without any help from me. The flour I'm using isn't already malted and so the addition was very worthwhile as the previous bake struggled to colour.

I added 1% diastatic malted barley flour in accordance with Giorilli's methods.

Elsiebake's picture
Elsiebake

Please share your method of creating steam in your home oven!!! 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

The main element in my oven is at the top (typical for UK I think). At the bottom of the oven I keep a tray full of ceramic baking beans. After pre-heating them thoroughly I add boiling water and turn the oven off and allow the steam phase to occur.

I also bake on a cast iron "stone" (requisitioned from a barbecue) that gets an extra blast of heat on the gas hobs before loading it and the dough into to the oven.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

They have a twisted, glazed, pastry look to them that almost had me drooling.  Glad you found the time to put your fine skills on display. Alfanso style from across the pond.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Don, I'm glad you like. I guess the pasticerria influence is immutable. 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Some added info regarding my process. Naturally leavened with lievito madre (LM).

 

SD Poolish

Final dough

 

22hrs@13°C

~2hrs @ room temp (24°C)
Fridge 8 hrs @ 5°C
~2hrs room temp to warm up.

 

(g)

(g)

Flour (Pivetti, 11% protein, W180-220)

50

288

Water (tap - report)

53

190

SD Poolish with LM + Salt (assume 100% hydr.)

---

100

Diastatic malt

---

3

LM – refreshed twice, (50% hydr.)

8

---

LM (storage) - after 24hrs, after lavaggio (~67% hydr.)

---

20

Salt

0.25

6.1

Total

 

607.1

 

  

 

  

TW (g)

 

248

TW %

 

70.9%

TF (g)

 

350

PFF (g)

 

62

PFF %

 

17.7%

Note: I'm not treating malt as flour. Because of the way my process works some calculations can only be estimates. E.g. during the washing (lavaggio) of the storage mother (LM) dough pieces starting at 50% hydration soak up additional water, which increases the hydration. The SD poolish has some transfer loss and there are moisture losses throughout.

Bulk volume increase ~80% (not quite double). Shaped baguettes were proofed for about 2 hours.

PS. The storage LM added at the final dough stage was in place of what I originally intended to be a portion of dough from the previous day (old dough / pasta di riporto / pâte fermentée).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

After Bake #9 I thought I was finished. I feared the neighbors were being over-whelmed with baguettes. Well, they weren't. They all told me to keep them coming. Thank God, I didn't stop at #9 because this latest bake has changed the way I think about baguettes.

The latest group of breads have changed my opinion on baguettes. I was not a fan of the skinny loaves. But low and behold out of the oven popped a loaf of bread that had a crispy crust with a little bite, but the crumb was creamy and soft. When the loaf is squeezed, the outside has a slight resistance, but there is also the promise of a soft interior as the loaf compresses and smoothly regains it's shape. The bite is extraordinary. First the resistant crunch, followed by the pleasant surrender of the creamy crumb. The distinct, but smooth lactic sour is evident in every delectable bite. After baking so very many loaves, I was fortunate to arrive at "Baguette Nirvana".

If you’ll notice, this time the writeup was about texture and flavor. A departure from my other bakes, where oven spring, ears, and coloration was the goal of the day. Without attempting, the bite, flavor and texture turned out to be king. After all is said and done, it is the flavor that always rules.

The bread is so special (IMO) it seemed good to post the spreadsheet encase others wanted to experience what I have. Notice that this baguette utilizes Nutritional Yeast and Fava Bean flour. I can't say for sure that they contributed to the taste and/or texture, but I am convinced that the resulting dough was as extensible as any 68% hydrated dough that I've ever handled, BY FAR!


Note the white colored crumb, even though there is 10% whole grain. That is a direct result of Fava Bean flour, which is an oxidizer. Michael Wilson tells me that the Nutritional Yeast is a reducer and that both can work well together.

I appreciate the help and patience of so many bakers on this forum. Without which my breads would not be nearly as nice.

Danny

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Dan, now that is a grand slam!  Beautiful shaping, gorgeous scoring.  You are perfecting your technique and incorporating some new ideas to enhance the extensibility of your dough, remarkable.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I've been shouting for years now on TFL.  That is, if I can do it, pretty much anyone can.  Just takes some perseverance and a lot of practice.   After your bake here, we should just shut the lights, close down the shop and go home.  It isn't going to get any better.

Over these past two weeks we've seen a lot of able troopers come marching through, and I'll venture to guess that just about every one of them who made the effort is now a better home baker than the day before they decided to participate.

What we've seen here is not  much short of a Daytona 500 of baking skills upping the ante for each other.  And happily for folks like me to observe and perhaps help foster, a whole new appreciation and enjoyment of baking baguettes has come to light for our participants.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

There will be a Bake #11, and it is scheduled for Saturday morning. The starter is fermenting now...

I need to make sure this can be duplicated. I’m not kidding, this bread is light years better than an other baguette I’ve baked. To the Nutritional Yeast and Fava Beans go the credit. I will try to replicate this one exactly as the last. Nothing substituted or altered.

This bread is terrible for those wanting loose weight. It keeps calling to me from the kitchen. If it can be duplicated, it will take the highest honors on the side of Hamelman’s Five-Grain and Teresa Greenway’s Sanfrancisco Sourdough

A big thanks to Lance for sending my the Instagram link.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Nice wands. To earn a spot on your mantle. You would have made a fine captain in the Star Fleet bravely exploring new worlds. Was the taste of the NY baked off? My Bob's Red Mill NY smells like stale beer on the basement floor after a frat house kegger. I am reluctant to try for fear of the French baguette police knocking on my door but on your recommendations captain I may have a go. If you are looking at other tangents I understand that pizza yeast has L-cysteine which will relax the dough. Weirdly it is made from human hair so it may help with bald spots.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, I mixed another batch today. I need to know they can be duplicated.

The smell of the NY is wonderful. I am pretty sure the NY also contributes to the flavor of the bread. In my book the taste is out of sight... I’m not sure much can be done to improve yesterday’s batch. It was completely SD and so far there is not staling (~30 hr).

 

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Danny,

I ran a BF temperature test yesterday (at 24 C and 27°C for fou rhours) and will look at the results in a little while, but now that you have changed two variables (added BOTH fava bean flour and nutritional yeast) we have to get you to run the same process with each individually so that we can tease out what the contribution is from each one.  And if somebody else does it we have no confidence that "all other things are equal".

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I tried the Fava Beans without Nutritional Yeast before this latest test. I didn’t notice any difference at all. Not taste, handling, or loft. Maybe I missed something.

I am retarding a duplicate of the last bake now. Will bake in the morning.

BUT, even with the NY I have no idea how others are Slap and Folding 300 reps with this 68% (some whole grain) dough. Today I forced 150 reps, rested 20 min and quite after 20 more. The dough was way to resistant. No one else is stating a problem, but I have consistently. Next attempt with increase the hydration to 70% and see if that helps. I’m not going to force the slap & folds any more. I can’t make it happen, and I’m mixing by hand, and no machine gluten development.

It takes a fair amount of work to fine tune a formula, if excellence is the goal. As I know, you know...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

In dough form now. So "throw all the other things being equal"out the window. The NY dough is like pulling toffee and nearly as sticky. The FB gluten is much stronger. With Dan's mix I was reminded of the Steven Wright joke that went "I put a humidifier and a de-humidifier in the same room and let them fight it out."

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I may retard in bulk rather than shaped It's just how I roll. Frankly I seldom have a problem with a baguette dough resisting stretching but that might be because I do far less kneading/FF/SF and let time do that for me. It's easier for me to build tension than take it out. I'm going to stretch the next one out like pasta with the NY just for the sensation. Maybe even laminate it out and roll it up like a newspaper.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, I keep forgetting to Bulk Retard. It sure makes things a lot easier when storing in the fridge. Do you think Bulk Retarding causes less open crumb? I ask because it seems that when the cold dough is stretched out that the cell structure is pushed down. But if the dough is shaped, then retarded the cells have a long time to slowly recover. What are your thoughts?

Guess what? the NY made the dough so extensible that the dough was inadvertently stretched out too far. The dough got away from me. Wanted 22", got 24. had to tuck it up, the stone is only 22" wide.

I shaped the dough using Doc's Silicone Baking Mat idea and it worked very well. It seems better than straight on the Corian.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have not made many sourdough baggies. I am not familiar with any popular or common baguette recipe that retards the shaped bread is the reason why I never did it. I see it used while waiting for oven space but not as standard practice. I assumed Alfanso did it to adapt to the recipes like the Hammelman batard versions and it suits his style. I worry that the crust is affected most by the long exposure and the crumb would relax too much. The scoring should be easier but a prefermented dough will age out after too much time.

Timing on the floor before retarding and recognizing the right time to shape after resting is critical in the bulk retard method but the dough is more lively in what is essentially the first rise of a yeasted dough.

I shape on wood which I like because it responds well to a light dusting of flour and has a maximum grip when you want it. It is not as good as others for mixing and slap and folds because the wood sucks the moisture out if it is not oiled first. I tried S&F on a Silpat with water underneath but it ended up pulling off with the dough and i could not use a metal bench scraper on it. Wood requires some care occasionally but I see the pros work on it so I can't use it for an excuse when it fights me. I have done some baking on a stainless steel table and liked it and the bakery in my head would have all the different elements stone, wood, steel, hands.

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m not sure if what I experienced with my hybrid baguettes is pertinent, but the crumb on my bulk retard was more open than the baguettes that were shaped prior to cold retard.  Of course I think the main reason is that the bulk retard dough mass continued to ferment longer than the shaped doughs.  But shaping after cold retard didn’t have a negative effect on the crumb.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

In YOUR Original POST introducing your latest bake, you don’t mention how the dough was handled and also the timing.

I want to know exactly your method. Did the dough BF before retarding in bulk? How did you handle the dough after it was removed from the bulk retard? And any other pertinent info.

It was be super great to be able to get excellent results with a bulk retard, especially with long baguettes that don’t easily fit into the fridge.

I may give your process a go in the morning. Levain is percolating as I write this.

Benito's picture
Benito

I bulk fermented the dough to about 30% rise.  I then divided the dough into two halves, one to do final shaping and the other half was shaped into a boule and put into the fridge.  After about 13.5 hours of cold retard the dough was divided into three.  I loosely shaped each into a longish loose roll keeping in mind that I was trying to be able to get the final length without too much extra elongation during final shaping.  I let them rest about 10 mins (I probably should have waited longer) and then did final shaping.  I say I should have waited a bit longer because there was some resistance to elongation and a bit more bench time may have helped.  After shaping I put them back into the fridge so they wouldn’t over proof while I got the oven back up to 500ºF with the Silvia towel and cast iron skillet back up to temperature.

Is there anything else you’d like to know Dan?

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, to be sure I understand.

You BF to 30% rise, the  bulk retarded for 13.5 hr. Preshaped (long log) the cold dough straight out of the fridge with no bench time. Then after 10 min rest shaped. You put the dough back in the fridge for an hour (?) or so to preheat the oven. Once the oven was up to temp you baked.

Did you use CY?

Benito's picture
Benito

Bulked dough taken out of the fridge and divided immediately and pre-shaped cold.  Bench rest 10 minutes then final shaped.  Returned to the fridge for about 30 minutes or so for the oven to get back up to 500ºF for 15 mins.  This was the time after the first set was taken out of the oven.  

I used Abel’s Pain au Levain which includes 0.07% IDY.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

These were bulk fermented for four hours at two different temperatures to see if there is any significant difference in the resulting crumb. While the lower temperature should result in less fermentation and that may be the case, it did not show up as a major differentiator in the end product. The upper loaf in the photo was fermented at 27°C and the lower one was fermented at 24°C. Both then went into the retarder set to 3°C/38°F for four hours after which they were divided and shaped into baguettes weighing 383g each. Counter proof time was a little over 45 min and they were OK to handle but soft with fairly large bubbles visible at the surface. Oven cycle was 525°F preheat with 100% steam, then 2 minutes of steam only which drops the oven to ~400°F, then 6 min@ 500°F and 9 min @ 450°F at a humidity of 20%.  Convection fan speed was low.

Next time I will reduce the BF time depending on whether I decide to work at 24°C or 27°C or at some other temp.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, what was the rise difference between 75F & 80F?

Which formula did you use?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Formula was similar to last time with a longer autolyse because something came up that I had to attend to: 12% pff, 67% hydration, 100% high gluten flour, 2% salt, no additives. Water was iced down to 60°F to get the dough temperature below 73°F at end of mix.  But the long autolyse (1:20) allowed the dough to warm up some and it finished the mix right at 24°C. Since I was going to fold every 20 min for at least 3 hrs I didn't overmix and let time and folds develop the strength it needed.  My impression was that the cooler dough was more extensible while I was folding them, but after the 4 hrs of retardation I could not feel any difference.  Both batches were getting puffy at 4 hrs of BF and I knew that they had gone too long but did not cut it short.  The bulk retard was four hours while I was away so there were no intermediate pokes or temperature tests.  Both handled well when preshaped, then rested for 20 min, then final shaped, but they were somewhat delicate due to having a lot of gas stored in the matrix.  I could feel the bubbles rolling around under me as I final shaped.  Probably could have gone to the oven 15 min after shaping but that just seemed too soon so I waited.  Crust was a little light at 12 minutes so I turned the fan back up from intermittent to 1/2 speed and that quickly brought on the browning.

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

I've been baking a bit without time to post. The conversation went the same direction so here is mine. Life threw me some lemons with two batches of dough in the middle of bulk ferment...which forced a round of doing the cold retard before shaping. I had something else in mind to test...but oh well. They were in retard for about 28 hours.

I'm using Alan's Hamelman's Pain au Levain w/WW without the later revisions except I've swapped some WW and Rye into the starter and the ap into the final dough, respectively. I find that using this starter intensifies the sourdough flavor. In fact, baked without retard it is approximately the same flavor as the entirely all-purpose starter with retard.

From cold retard, the dough rested for 10 minutes and then preshaped directly. 20 minute rest. Final shape and then rest for 10 minutes before baking.

The two on the left are 75% hydration, original formula on right. 

 To be honest, the circumstances are such that I don't remember which had a longer bulk ferment prior to retard...but since the crumb was more open I'll probably go with the higher hydration.

One nice change was that the crust was thinner and crisper versus loaves I've shaped before retard. It didn't have the pretty bubbles but I assume since the shaped dough wasn't exposed to the open air as long, it didn't dry out.

I've realized I'm overlapping too much. My scores are better on either end with more surface tension. Going to focus on that.

Shaping after cold retard makes me think of experimenting with a wild yeast version of "Bread in Five Minute a Day" breads. Essentially, creating a formula which can be made and retarded to cut a hunk of dough off of and bake in little time for daily meals. Mix once, use for several days before it becomes glop.

Is there anyone who has written such a book written with sourdough in mind?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

How was the shaping experience with the cold dough?

I am wondering what the results would be if the bulk retard was pre-shaped and shaped as you described, but then bake to the fridge in shaped form for 4 or more hours, then slashed and baked cold.

” One nice change was that the crust was thinner and crisper versus loaves I've shaped before retard.” This is encouraging, may try the bulk retard to tomorrow.

Jen, how long have you been baking SD and baguettes in general? 

SassyPants's picture
SassyPants

Honestly it was late at night, it had already retarded over 24 hours and didn't want the dough to go to waste. I was attempting to warm up the dough a little faster by elongating it. I didn't like how the cold dough compressed when I divided it. On the second batch, I used a knife to gently saw through it instead of using a bench scraper to divide it. The second batch shaped easier because of this.

You are thinking right up my alley with a preshape and then retard. I was wondering the same thing. In particular, I watched a baker that used Alfanso's shaping as both preshape and shape. Rolling the dough into an elongated cylinder as the preshape. Lengthening it as the final shape with a very light touch. I wonder how this would work in combination with the retard. Bulk, preshape as elongated piece, retard, light shape and bake.

I baked sourdough a smidge years ago but didn't have time since. I've been back to it for a couple of months. In the past, I got frustrated because I couldn't achieve the results I wanted. Finding this site was...wow! I think my first bake here was my third baguette bake, overall.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve baked a lot of bread for each and every Community Bake, but this one tops them all. This bake attempted to duplicate Bake #10. A few exceptions, dropped the Fava Bean, eliminated the Slap & Folds, and raised the hydration to 70%.

It is reassuring to know that my favorite baguette (bake #10) wasn’t a fluke and can be easily duplicated. The crispy crust and creamy medium soft interior doesn’t disappoint. I detect no noticeable difference with or without the Fava Beans.

Two separate batches were baked, the main difference being the first was 550F and the second, 485F. In all images below the first bake is at the bottom of the image. The crumb shot shows bake #1 and also #2. 

The varied bakes may have taught me something. High heat, darker coloration but more importantly, the crumb was more open. 

A shaping mistake may have also lead to an important discovery (to be determined). The loaf at the very top was shaped without pre-shaping, and then stretched out. Contrary to popular belief, can it be that a super tight shape is not necessary? And the slightly looser shape may facilitate more oven spring due to less compressive force. Much more experimentation is needed before any type of conclusion can be drawn. This also causes me to consider whether weaker flour will produce more open and lofty baguettes.





I hope some don’t find these post obnoxious. Am Im pleased with these latest bakes, absolutely! But these post are not meant to brag, but to share. This is the purpose of the CBs. 

Spoiler Alert...

If these post are irritating, please don’t check in tomorrow. I’ll be baking #12 and it may succeed. But I’ve baked enough bread to know that “ugly” is just waiting around the corner to humble the proud baker. <I am laughing out loud>

Benito's picture
Benito

It is incredible the progress you have made Dan, these baguettes are incredible.  The shaping is so consistent, even, slender and long.  I like the colour of the ones baked at the higher temperature.  My baguettes baked at a higher temperature were my favourite as well.  Your shaping mishap will be interesting to repeat and maybe you can expand on what happened as well once you have repeated it.

Amazing baguettes Sir.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That's incredible- congratulations on this ! 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Just trying to summarize what we learned so that we have it in one place:

High hydration is not terribly important and is probably a hindrance, the dough needs it to be stiff enough to handle at the temperature you choose.  67% to 70% (with successful excursions as high as 75%) hydration is an acceptable band depending on your flour.

Both commercial yeast and sourdough starter (in multiple forms) can be used effectively for baguettes.

Salt at <=2% was adequate and I didn't see any formulations that used more.

Strong flour is not necessary and perhaps makes the job harder, a somewhat weaker flour either by selection or by combining multipe flours seemed to yield very nice baguettes.  I don’t see any particular protein level wining out and you can make good baguettes from AP or high gluten flour. Reducing the mix time somewhat was a successful approach to getting less gluten development in the dough.  There was no explicit  measure of how much mixing was enough or optimal.

A long cool fermentation  (20-25°C and at least 2 hrs and up to 4 hrs) seemed to promote a more open crumb. 

A bulk retard before shaping seemed to produce good results for everybody who tried it. There did not seem to be any consensus on how long to retard, with times varying from 4 hours to 24 hrs and all yielding good results.  Retard temperatures corresponded to typical residential refrigerator temperatures (~38°F/4°C) So perhaps the value of the retard is simply in thoroughly chilling the dough enough to effectively stop fermentation.

Shaping right out of retard works well, and adding some nutritional yeast (as a reducing agent) to the initial mix seemed to help promote a more extensible dough. The specific guidance on quantity awaits further testing but 2% nutritional yeast enhanced extensibility (but at 2% impacts the taste in ways that may or may not always appeal).  There is a suggestion that pre-shaping may not be required with doughs that are sufficiently extensible to shape in a single step, but this requires further investigation.

Fava bean flour (at a 2% level) as an essential additive was not supported by the evidence.

Diastatic malt at 2% (well above the more typical 0.3%) promoted a darker brown crust than smaller amounts or no addition (i.e., just using what is added at the mill). Gummy crumb was not explicitly noted to be present at this level of use.

High initial baking temperature (500°F to 550°F) and plenty of wet steam produced shiny and well browned crusts. Reducing oven temperature to 450°F after some period of time produced good results while maintaining 500°F or higher appeared to char the tips of the ears, and the bottom of the loaf if precautions were not taken to reduce bottom heat.

Baking times depended on the oven and the baker and probably the bread being baked so no generalization seems practical at this point.

What did I miss?  And what did I misstate?
(I am making edits here as corrections and suggestions come in so check the date/time of this post - Doc)@@@

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and should I venture into baguettes this will be a great start and summary....I am trying to learn about machine mixing at the moment and deciding what 'beast' to buy...so as I was catching up in the Michael Suas book...He also mentions there the use of nutritional yeast for extensibility. 

All those amazing bakes... Kat

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Thanks Doc for putting the summary together.

"High hydration is not terribly important".  I've found my own sweet spot in Doc Dough's range, not often going much north of 70% hydration.  My belief with no actual proof, is that French bakers will roam within that same 67% - 70% range, unless they are trying to create some "boutique" product.  Of course as we've learned, M. Bouabsa's standard baguette is at 75% hydration, so whose going to argue against that?

"Strong flour is not necessary and perhaps makes the job harder".  The more I look at it, the more I agree with this. No clear consensus re: true French flours. T55 & T65 are equally bandied about.  When I first started with Mr. Hamelman's Bread, he calls for "Bread Flour", which I took to mean what is on our supermarket shelves as Bread Flour.  But what he seems to mean is the KA AP flour at 11.7% protein.  Our kendalm's preferred brand is Le Moulin d'Auguste, if I have that correct.  Their T55 is ~12% protein, their T65 at ~10% protein.  Throwing the proverbial monkey wrench into the mix, other millers and references state that T55 has the lower of the protein percentage!

"A bulk retard before shaping seemed to produce good results for everybody who tried it."  This is something that I did pretty much right out of the chute, although I would divide and shape somewhere about halfway though the retard time.  And always worked well for me.  It is only in the past month or so that I began to divide and shape directly from BF and then retard the couched dough for the "required time" 12-16 hours or whatever.  And I find two things - so far.  I don't yet see a distinct difference, if any, by shaping before retard.  Shaping dough that has not yet had time to stiffen up via retard seems to be a simpler and cleaner task, and I believe that I'm "fighting" the dough just a little less by doing so.  Still too early in my own experience to have any true meaningful opinion, but so far I've really liked the change.

"adding some nutritional yeast (as a reducing agent) to the initial mix seemed to help promote a more extensible dough".  Although I'm anything but a traditional French Baguette formula guy, going far afield to try just about anything in baguette shape, I've been steering clear of ingredients not labeled flour, water or salt (or IDY).  Exclusive of any fruit, seeds or nuts, I try to stick to this ideal. However, the recent foray into Nutritional Yeast has been pretty eye-opening based on field reports from our intrepid CB participants.  As I am one of the recalcitrants when it comes to rolling out a full length baguette (I also usually also refer to what I do as "long batard" thanks to M. Calvel's definition), I've barely, if ever, yet to experience a dough that would not roll out with sufficient extensibility.  That may well be due to their length - the depth of my oven.  So it is with a fair amount of curiosity that it is worth exploring the addition of the NY.  Dan is already swearing by an increase in smell and taste.  If his extraordinary progress in these few short weeks is any indication of how he has stepped up his game with NY, who can argue with that kind of success? I'm so far still a fan of the pre-shape and rest before shaping, but willing to be convinced otherwise.

"Diastatic malt at 2%".   King Arthur website states that addition of Diastatic Malt should be in the ratio of "1/2-1 tsp. of the powder to 3 cups of flour."  That works out to somewhere between 1.2g - 2.4g of Diastatic Malt to ~380g of white flour.  Which works out to ~ 0.3% - 0.6%.  (check my math on that please!)  If we want to call a baguette's pre-baked weight 380g, then adding between 0.3% - 0.6% would seem to be appropriate.  Of course many mills do add Malted Barley Flour to white flour in the USA already.  Caution should be applied to how much you're willing to experiment to get that added boost in BF and darker crust without sacrificing it for a gummy crumb. 

"High initial baking temperature".  This also is dependent on the baking deck.  My understanding that thick metal decks will quickly scorch the underside of the dough.   My 3/4 inch thick granite is an incredible heat sink once sufficiently up to oven temp.  and depending on the mix it may be able to sustain a 500dF bake.  Even when the oven temp is dropped, the baking deck will not be compliant for the duration of the bake.  A lot of variables here: baking deck composition and thickness, heating elements, where the baking deck is placed in the oven, electric or gas ovens, introduction of convection baking post-steam release.  My own personal experience is that I get a well browned crust while keeping the oven set to between 460dF-480dF for all bakes, rarely going above or below that.  As our venerable Dr. Snyder occasionally writes, YMMV.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, the CB enlightens me once again!

 "A bulk retard before shaping seemed to produce good results for everybody who tried it."  This is something that I did pretty much right out of the chute, although I would divide and shape somewhere about halfway though the retard time.”

Your idea to shape the bulk retarded dough at some time in the middle of retardation is interesting. It may provide the very best of both worlds.

I’m thinking complete a bare minimum of room temp BF (25-30%), then bulk retard. A minimum of 2 or 3 hr and possible much more before the bake is to commence, divide and/or shape, then return to the fridge. Outstanding! This way the dough should (theoretically) be more extensible because of the room temp BF and long retard combined, and it is cold to slash and bake. It is only theory at this time to me, but the thought is exciting!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

"I’m thinking complete a bare minimum of room temp BF (25-30%), then bulk retard"

I went to "full BF" prior to the initial bulk retard.  And as I've mentioned many times before, I do watch the clock and not the dough.  So full BF is based on when the timer goes off, not when the dough reaches a certain point in fermentation.

I don't necessarily expect anyone/everyone to follow my regimen, just reporting the news here.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Mix, BF, then bulk retard long enough to fully chill the dough, then divide and shape, then put back into retard, then remove, slash, and bake.  That description has no final proof that I detect. When, and at what temperature does final proof take place, or is there really no final proof? 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Just realized that this might have been directed at me...

Your sequence is the exact playbook that I've followed for the past 5 years on most bakes.  There is no final proof in my kitchen when I go that route.  

When I load the oven with a Sylvia Steaming Towel, I set my timer to 13 minutes.  When it goes off the couched dough is removed from retard, and without hesitation loaded onto the baking peel, scored and placed into the oven with a fresh dose of 2 cups of near-boiling water onto the lava rocks, which sit directly below the baking deck.  

I reset the oven temp as soon as the oven door closes to force the oven to re-fire and bing it back to desired temp.  I do the temp reset every time the oven door is opened - basically at steam -release time and then toward any final stage to shuffle the bread around further.  The final 2-3 minutes are reserved for venting with the oven usually turned off, and the door left ajar.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Popping this up here after reading Alan's point on the two types and in particular the protein content.  To my knowledge (and I will verify with Phillippe at lepicerie.com) they should both be in the 10% range.  The primary difference between the two is ash content where T65 is a pinch higher at .65 percent or something like that.  What you notice about T65 immediately is it is more of a yellow hue whereas T55 is whiter owing to the varying levels of 'ash' which I understand to be the pulverized bran.  The flour is milled 'close to the bran' and as such is like a whole wheat / white blend but without chunky bran dispersed through the particles.  I'm pretty sure that this milling technique is one factor that lends to much less resistant dough compared to similar protein content american flour.  

I would be interested to see what Danny has to say now that he has acquired a shipment as of yesterday.  The one thing is for sure in my humble opinion - The flavor is quite dramatic and its (again) my primary motivation for baking with real french grown and milled T55/65.  It's just one of those things when once you've had it in france from a small boulangerie you become quite addicted to it and most experiences eating domestic 'artisan' baguettes leaves you usually disappointed :/ 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Geremy, you’re the pro here, but according to the importer/distributor (L'Epicerie) T65 is ~10% protein and T55 is 12%. Odd though, they list T55 as “Pastry French Flour”. 

From their site -

Pastry French Flour T55 Appropriate and recommended for use in all your cakes, viennoiseries (croissants), brioches, crepes, and recipes calling for pastry flour. All of our flours are Unbleached, Non-bromated, and GMO-Free!

Moulin d'Auguste is a traditional artisan meunier (artisan miller) and all of our imported French flours are produced from French grown wheat or grain in his mill located in Normandie, in the northwest of France. A dedication and passion for well-crafted flour is at the heart of his endeavor, and each year they produce a limited quantity of refined flours sought after by the most demanding pastry chefs and bakers.

Additional important information: Quite a number of our customers who have experienced feeling ill or other reactions while eating bread and pastries made with flour in the U.S. , have reported that while traveling in Europe they are able to enjoy all forms of sandwiches, breads, and pastries without any similar reactions. A pastry chef friend of ours had the same experience: while eating bread or wheat-based products in the U.S. makes him feel ill, he has no such reaction to bread in France. Some experts we contacted think this could be related to either a GMO issue or due to additives in some U.S. flours. While we are not claiming to have run a scientific experiment or have the definitive answer on this issue, we wanted to share the experience of some customers who have contacted us about this.

To be clear, the French flours available at L'Epicerie are NOT gluten-free, and if you have a medical condition that prevents you from eating gluten you should continue to follow the advice of a medical professional.

Please note: Not all French flours are created equal! Due to the economic realities, a number of French millers are importing less expensive U.S. wheat in to France and milling it into flour. Since the flours are produced in France they do not have the U.S. origin on their label. All of the French flours at L'Epicerie.com are imported from France and come from certified non-GMO wheat, guaranteed to be grown and harvested in France before being milled into flour.

French classification for flour is based on the resulting amount of residue after processing 10 kg (22 lbs of flour) in a 900_C (1,650_F) oven. T45 or Type 45 is the lowest and whitest flour with only around 45 grams of mineral contents left after the burning process and no part of the bran (outer enveloping shell of the grain) remaining. T65 to T150 are considered whole flour classifications with a higher degree of mineral contents and more bran leftover (higher number means higher bran content). A T45 flour corresponds to a 00 (doppio zero) italian flour type, with T65 a 0 italian type.

Gluten (protein) content: ~ 12%
Mineral Content: ~ .55 - .60%

*************************************

Organic French Flour T65 

Appropriate and recommended for use in all whole bread recipes or applications. All of our flours are Unbleached, Non-bromated, and GMO-Free!

Moulin d'Auguste is a traditional artisan meunier (artisan miller) and all of our imported French flours are produced from French grown wheat or grain in his mill located in Normandie, in the northwest of France. A dedication and passion for well-crafted flour is at the heart of his endeavor, and each year they produce a limited quantity of refined flours sought after by the most demanding pastry chefs and bakers.

Additional important information: Quite a number of our customers who have experienced feeling ill or other reactions while eating bread and pastries made with flour in the U.S. , have reported that while traveling in Europe they are able to enjoy all forms of sandwiches, breads, and pastries without any similar reactions. A pastry chef friend of ours had the same experience: while eating bread or wheat-based products in the U.S. makes him feel ill, he has no such reaction to bread in France. Some experts we contacted think this could be related to either a GMO issue or due to additives in some U.S. flours. While we are not claiming to have run a scientific experiment or have the definitive answer on this issue, we wanted to share the experience of some customers who have contacted us about this.

To be clear, the French flours available at L'Epicerie are NOT gluten-free, and if you have a medical condition that prevents you from eating gluten you should continue to follow the advice of a medical professional.

Please note: Not all French flours are created equal! Due to the economic realities, a number of French millers are importing less expensive U.S. wheat in to France and milling it into flour. Since the flours are produced in France they do not have the U.S. origin on their label. All of the French flours at L'Epicerie.com are imported from France and come from certified non-GMO wheat, guaranteed to be grown and harvested in France before being milled into flour.

French classification for flour is based on the resulting amount of residue after processing 10 kg (22 lbs of flour) in a 900_C (1,650_F) oven. T45 or Type 45 is the lowest and whitest flour with only around 45 grams of mineral contents left after the burning process and no part of the bran (outer enveloping shell of the grain) remaining. T65 to T150 are considered whole flour classifications with a higher degree of mineral contents and more bran leftover (higher number means higher bran content). A T45 flour corresponds to a 00 (doppio zero) italian flour type, with T65 a 0 italian type.


Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%
Mineral Content: ~ 0.65%

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I don't know why I thought the T65 was 10%.  I've spoken to phillippe at lepicerie a number of times and somehow that number stuck in my head (10%).  What I can say is that you dont notice any difference between they way the doughs handle - you can only really distinguish by the color and maybe a little more character in the T65 flavor.  As for the pastry 55 - I've actually ordered some on Philippe's recommendation for croissant.  I tried laminating with the T45 once and it's impossible, so while chatting with him last week he mentioned he has T55 pastry that is a strong version of the regular T55.  Keep in mind his inventory really fluctuates based on availability, customs etc so I believe the regular T55 for bread is out of stock at the moment.  Back to the point, the flour naming does not really tell us much about the protein and you wont see it on the label.  One last point - this flour seems vary quite a bit with each harvest.  At one point a shipment I received had to be reduced by about another 3-5% hydration because it was very slack, which, I'm sure you will find out very soon. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%
Mineral Content: ~ 0.65%

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I mentioned before but again I'm confident these specs are on a dry moisture basis as per the European standard.

Converting to 14% moisture basis as used in the US...

T65 = 0.62-0.75% (*0.86) = 0.53 - 0.65% Ash
10% protein (*0.86) = 8.6% protein

00 flour can perhaps be more closely approximated with T55 than T45.

European designations of Ash content: 0% moisture basis.

T45< 0.50%
T550.50 - 0.60%
T650.62 - 0.75%

source:https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farine

Type 000.55% max
Type 00.65% max
Type 10.80% max

source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farina

And T45 that is suitable for croissants and puff pastry will be significantly higher in protein as these items require strong gluten. Therefore the term pastry can be said to mean refined (low ash) rather than to mean weak or low gluten. Not all pastry items are shortcrust. e.g. croissant, brioche and other leavened pastry goods.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Maybe what I’m about to say is understood by all, maybe not.

I am now able to rationalize the calculating differences between the European method and the American.

  • American calculation is based upon the assumption that the flour contains 14% water (moisture)
  • European bases their figures on a flour with no water content what so ever
  • If you took 2) 100 grams packages of flour and sent 1 to an American lab and the other to a European lab, the European lab would remove all moisture from the sample and then measure the remaining 86g (less a hypothetical 14% moisture), where as the American lab would calculate their percentages based on 100g (including the 14% moisture). 

A working example -
2) packages of the identical flour is to be analyzed. Each sample contains 10g protein. One in the US, the other in Europe.

  • US 10/100=10%
  • Europe 100-14 (moisture content)=86   10/86=11.6

Question -
If the American lab found the sample to contain only 12% moisture would they add an additional 2% to make up the difference?

Its easy enough to realize that if the Europeans had any amount of moisture in a given sample that all of it would be removed.

I am aware that post like this reveal my simple mindedness, but I am willing to be exposed in order to learn. And maybe others who dare not ask these types of simplistic questions will benefit at the same time.

Your simpleton,
Danny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I notice I have done the conversion the wrong way.

Mental rule, more moisture therefore more dilute and so figures decrease.

Correcting now...done

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Michael, When you wrote the flour was in the 11% neighborhood, confidence arose, but 8.6 is causing that to quickly eroded. 


Real glad I checked with Geremy. He told me to hold back 5%. I thought that sounded ridiculous, but held 10% out for bassinage. Thank God! Ended up adding 4% more which brought the total hydration to 69%. So 6% was actually held out on a formula that called for 75.

French flour is a huge change from the handling characteristics that I'm accustomed to. This is an exciting adventure and plan to precede with caution.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Danny, hold fire. I think I am going crazy. My mind is completely numb (lack of sleep). I think I was correct in the first place! I need someone with a fresh mind to help me out!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

My brain is sputtering over here trying to rationalize this, also. I’ll standby before they call out the padded wagon.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Just arrived - 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

How could I mix French flour with Morton’s table salt? Perish the thought. Broke out the mortar and pestle and pulverized some flakes.
Vive la France

Question - at $2.60/pound will tomorrow bring a happy face or a sad one? Either way, I had to see for myself...

kendalm's picture
kendalm

With this flour is 72%.  Maybe just maybe on occasion to 73% and will depend on the shipment.  Any higher and you making ciabatta ;) 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Geremy, have you noticed the the moisture content is 15.5%? The US is typically 14%. This may account for some of the hydration differences.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Not quite. The methods of analysis are carried according to certain standards which are actually for the most part, the same. In both cases the flour must be dried out to 0% moisture initially. However the US analysis adjusts the figures afterwards to assume 14% moisture.

US methods are defined by AACC.

In reality the moisture content of flour is of course variable. But maximums exist to ensure stability 14-15%.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/hints-tips/cheat-sheets/european-flour-numbering-system

It seems to me that  a miller could produce flour that meets each of these definitions (and I don't know if the definitions are complete) from different batches of wheat and the resulting bread-making properties might vary quite a bit.

The French system of grading by ash content guarantees nothing about the protein content or the quality of the gluten but gives you an idea of what the yield is on percentage of input wheat weight. You might make a T85 flour from a strong Canadian hard red winter wheat that behaves rather differently than a T85 flour milled from a soft white spring wheat.

And to Michael's point about moisture content, my understanding is that millers have to pre-condition wheat to a known (if not always 14%) moisture content so that the kernel breaks into bran, germ, and endosperm in the first (and perhaps succeeding) stages of a roller mill.  Successive stages (after screening or whatever they do to separate the mill streams) then get milled further before being recombined into commercial products. I think the standard of 14% is the moisture basis for buying bulk grain (at least wheat). But in a lab, it doesn't make any difference and having any moisture in the flour just makes things inaccurate so zero moisture is the default baseline.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

for summarising this.  with so much happening here daily it has been hard to keep up.  

I am encourage to try again soon! 

thanks again, we have learnt such a lot.

Leslie

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

Hello Alfanso, 

Danny Ayo emailed and told me of your CB project, which I have just checked out. I am so impressed with your endeavor, and the decision to use a naturally leavened formula for the baguettes. And I'm so impressed with the great range of responses from other FL bakers. I suspect that the crust of the pain au levain baguettes is thicker than what I typically prefer, from yeasted baguettes, but that does not diminish my respect for your broad view. Like so many others who are FL devotees, you are a classic "amateur." By this I mean the following: here in the US, "amateur" is considered to be a somewhat demeaning term. But etymologically speaking it comes from the Latin and means "lover." Yep, it's the amateurs who exhibit a great love for their chosen hobby, and often they are more experimental and inquisitive than the professionals. Undoubtedly, home bakers in the US and elsewhere are making a palpable and excellent evolution to the world of bread baking. Isn't this wonderful?

All the best,

Jeffrey Hamelman

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I believe that I can comfortably speak for the many TFL adherents to state that your skills and knowledge are considered revered.  

Dan enlisted me to co-host this CB, and I saw my participation in large part to help "goose" along the willing, and perhaps the not-so-willing.

We have had a fair amount of enthusiastic participation in this CB.  Some entered with their baguette skills already in superb form, other dabblers with varying degrees of baguette skills are represented, and then the newly indoctrinated.  And almost universally we've seen a tremendous uptick in quality in their posts as they rapidly increase the skills at this "most difficult" shape. 

Without our own Dan riding herd, the real host of the CBs, this wouldn't have been possible.  And it is quite likely that Dan has progressed the most, being the "Thomas Edison" type.  His most recent bakes have exhibited an extraordinary level of accomplishment and could justifiably sit alongside baguettes in the windows of the finest French bakeries anywhere.

As I'm sure that you know, our CB bakers inhabit not just the USA but are from across the globe, making their participation in the CB and elsewhere on TFL an international affair.  Perhaps we should use bread baking as our way to foster world peace, as it seems to be a multi-national cooperative of friendly, helpful and supportative meeting of the minds (and hands).

With the recent surge in nascent or long-gone and returning bakers, thanks to the worldwide lockdown, we are assured of fostering a new surge of amateur bakers for the love of it all.

Thanks, alan

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

 Fourscore and seven baguettes ago our Alfanso brought forth, on this community bake, a new damnation, conceived in sourdough and yeast, and dedicated to the proposition that all breads are created equal. Some just take more practice.

I went off the rails a little on my last bake with the additives. Adding fava bean flour to one batch and nutritional yeast to the other. The FB did noticeably strengthen the gluten to the point of needing more water to loosen things up which I didn't add. The NY did the opposite and made a dough that you could pull like toffee. Two percent FB is about a tablespoon 2% NY is at least a 1/4 cup and overwhelmed the mix in color, texture and taste. The FB had lesss affect on flavor but still a stepped on quality to the all white flour mix.

I used the Bouabsa recipe 400 gr total flour roughly 73% hydration on both and a rounded 1/8 tsp yeast. I used ADY in the NY and it worked the same. It seems that no matter what recipe I use I get the same looking baton out of the oven more or less. It seems to me the scores account for much of the appearance of a baguette and we all have a distinct way to make the same cut.

FB NY

FB on top first time to get 7 scores on a baggie. The NY had a nice yellow open crumb but the taste was just off putting to me. If I were to use it again I would cut it by at least half

  FB  NY

After trying different recipes I am back to where I started. I prefer the yeasted batons with or without sourdough for eating qualities. The crust is far better, the PB&J sandwiches are easier to bite into, the french toast is lighter and the croutons are not rock hard. Maybe because of where I live my breads are all north of 70% hydration and besides I just like working with a wet dough. I am fascinated by holes and drawn to them. Sometimes that comes with a cost but other times a big open reward. 

I also want to add that baguettes freeze well wrapped in plastic and reheat to good as new (325 degrees 8 minutes) So there is no excuse not to keep on practicing.

Edit: For the international viewers the first paragraph was hacked from one of the greatest speeches in our US history that we don't have to apologize for. Gettysburg address

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The NY-enhanced loaf above exhibits a very open crumb and the dough is described as being very extensible. But the impact on taste is assessed as a negative.

This suggests that we should be looking for a lower bound on NY usage that still provides adequate extensibility. The increments I would examine to uncover the range of interest would be 1%, 0.5%, 0.25%, and 0.1%, and since I am not baking today, I will let others sign up for which one they want to try. Since I suspect that it is the L-cysteine that is the active component I will probably start at the low end with the option to go lower if 0.1% delivers sufficient extensibility to avoid pre-shaping.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Taste is so subjective! Watch the cooking shows and notice that the panel of world renown chefs disagree on many things concerning taste. One baker can’t get his or her breads sour enough, and another is turned away at any degree of sour.

For my taste buds NY gets an overwhelming A+. I would use it even if it did nothing to increase the dough’s extensibility.
...and both Don and myself are correct.

Ain’t baking great?

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I should say that the aroma of my NY had declined since it was opened a few months ago and maybe between brands there is a difference in flavor. It weighs almost nothing so it was a lot in volume and I should have stopped before the 2% level. In combination with the FB might be the best way to let them fight it out but at minuscule proportions depending on the flour being used and the hydration.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow Don, nice length you’re getting on your baguettes now.  Still your consistency of the shaping and scoring is on display for us to admire.  

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I am glad you are enjoying the process. Your breads are showing remarkable results for someone just diving in and putting them out there. I wandered in the wilderness for a long time.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Love these rustic loaves - nice work ! 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

As much as I try for that neat and tidy city baguette look with the pointy ends it comes out the same way. I guess you roll who you are which in my case is a slash-happy rustic country boy with his shirt untucked. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your image seems to confirm that the Fava has increased strength (smaller circumference - 2 top loaves) and the NY for extensibility (less strength - larger circumference - 2 bottom loaves)? I ask because if the top and bottom baguettes were shaped the same, it seems apparent that the bottom  2 opened more (larger circumference) than the top 2.

But upon further investigation it looks like the bottom 2 were shaped shorter and consequently larger circumference.

Looking forward to trying some T65 French flour, which I expect to be a weaker flour than what I am accustomed to working with.

Don, what percentage of yeast are you using to supplement the Levain? 
what in the % Pre-fermented flour?

 

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Because the 20 inches that the first batch were rolled to were at the limit of my stone and the ends curled upward too much. My new stone needs to be moved up a rack off the bottom because these were too black on the bottom. So maybe steam from below from now on. The NY spread out more and had a flatter profile.

Both of these are CY only which is how most of mine are made for taste, texture, and convenience. When I bake other breads I try to have a batch ready to roll  while the stone and oven are hot. They are simple to throw together and have a wide window of readiness

end view 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, extensibility seems to be the “open sesame” security code for baguette excellence.

In the past I’ve read much about baguettes and extensibility, but after 12 consecutive baguette bakes the reality of that point is well taken.

Prior to the NY, I struggled to get the dough stretched to 20 inches, now I am concerned about over extending them.

What I’ve learned in the Baguette CB will make a huge difference in many, if not all of my other breads. Someone (maybe it was you) jokingly mentioned in the beginning of this CB that I hosted the Community Bakes so that I could learn to bake better breads. That is slightly true. I always take away priceless nuggets from every CB, although the focus is always towards advancing the knowledge of all interested bakers.  Hope everyone benefits from each and every CB as much or more than I do.

Your avid participation and so many others like you are what makes these events so informative and beneficial.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Bad dog.  As you may have seen, I did my first NY bake this morning using the same 2%, and wrangling the dough to 22 inches.  I'm in your court as far as flavor.  The standard bake has lost some of its sweet crisp flavor, and I'm not getting the usual enjoyment out of the loaf.  I could be wrong but it seems as though the crust is a little tougher too.  Did you have any opinion about the crust, aside from the standard great look?

I'm far from throwing in the towel on NY after just a single bake.  For my next bake I'll cut the NY from 2.0% to 0.5%, staying well above Doc Dough's lower proposed threshold of 0.1%.

And now I'm also curious as to how well I could roll out this formula dough, or a Bouabsa, without any additives.  For some good reason, regardless of their qualities, just the word "additive" gives me a bit of the creeps, and I'm no Mr. Natural  (from the most appropriately named R. Crumb).

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Is water. It's what my preference is. With a little more H20 it will go to any length. We simultaneously posted the words north of 70% the other day and that is where I live as an outlier in Doc's summary. My version of the CB recipe was just upped to 75% and they came out loose and open as all get out.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

in the till.  Has no relevance, I just felt like typing that!  And then there's my hands are down Till's pants...

I'm not sold on the whole NY thing, although I'd be my standard foolish self to write it off after a single bake.  I think that I'll do the MT thang and bump the hydration up to 70% for my next go-round.

(I don't mean to be rude, but did anyone else on TFL notice that you have a dog face?). It looks like Tanner's wearing a tux in your avatar.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Standard colors for for a Small Munsterlander a German Versatile Hunting dog. The breeders must have liked chocolate sundaes. "You would leave Germany for the land of cheese, snails, and baguettes" Is your movie quiz quote for today 

Tanner

In his glory days when we were both younger and able to go afield. Does kind of look like a brown tuxedo

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Same formula as the last few bakes. The only exception is 70% hydration and dropped the Fava Beans. The retard was also done in bulk which was new for me. All loaves were bakes with ~9 oz. of low pressure steam. A foil heat shield was placed on a rack 2 positions above the baking stone to minimize the affects of top heat for the first 10 minutes and then removed.

First bake was 2 loaves and they are located at the top of the images. The dough was removed from the fridge and pre-shaped and/or shaped right away, then shaped minutes after. Shaping went very well with the chilled dough. The first dough on the very bottom was shaped without pre-shaping as part of an on-going experiment.

The second 2 loaves, located at the bottom of the images were forgotten on the bench. I intended to put them back in the fridge after shaping. They sat for ~1 hr @ 73F. Another experiment was born.

I know the bottom loaf was over-proofed. They were accidentally left out for at least an hour @ 73F. General consensus would surely say they were under-proofed. The things we know, we only think we know...

I will be bulk retarding baguettes in the future.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The two cut loaves are different, but I don't understand exactly what the difference is. From your description the one at the bottom sat on the counter for an hour.  But I don't know what the proof time or temperature was for the one above?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc,
The top loaf (crumb shot) was removed from the fridge and immediately pre-shaped, shaped, scored, and loaded.

The bottom loaf was left out shaped and in the couche and on the bench (in error) for an hour @ ~73F.

Wouldn’t you think the the bottom loaf was under-proofed by looking at the image?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The mix of open and well distributed alveoli and areas of dense crumb is not an underproofed look to me.  I will note in the record that an overproofed loaf can look like this without falling.  The dense areas may be a result of dough collapse after oven entry but it really doesn't look tight enough for that.

But what I find notable is that you could shape, score, and load the first loaf without any additional time for it to relax.  I think that may just be a tribute to your shaping instincts.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Danny these are next level amazing sticks - great job ! 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Geremy, do you have a fix for turned up ends?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Well, I knuckled under to the urge of adding the NY to the standard formula as posted at the top.  I added 2% to the mix, which worked out to 14g.  I didn't really notice the difference much until it was time to pre-shape and shape the dough.

The pre-shape was soft and malleable in my hands, and knowing that I was shooting for the longer baguette on this bake let the pre-shape be a longer barrel than typical for me.  30 minutes rest and time to shape.  While not quite a disaster, the shaping was like trying to play with a thick loose piece of rope.  Almost unmanageable in its extensibility.  It was an absurd attempt to try and wrangle the dough to be only 22 inches in length, the width of my baking deck.  A fair bit of struggle.

Couche, support base to hold couche, hand peel, baking peel all had to be improvised.  Not hard, as I had some things to employ, but I was sweating out whether the baking peel would be too wide for the oven.  It had to be shortened on my first effort as it was a hair too wide.  Which meant that it might be too short for the baguettes.  But it was okay if everything was a snug fit.

The dough was mixed, BFed, and shaped last night before the overnight retard, a relatively short retard at ~9 hours.

Considering the issues, I can't say that I'm displeased with the outcome.  But the lack of some oven spring, grigne, and shaping down the barrel likely can all be tied back to last night's wrangling.  The opened crumb shot indicate how the shaping of the barrel of the baguette was difficult to control. The final post-bake length of the baguettes is 21 inches.

It'll still come down to taste, a first bite so far and I'm barely convinced about whether I even like the flavor as much as before.  It was still worth the effort, certainly as a learning experience, and on my next bake I'll be cutting the NY down to 0.5% or 1%. 

3 x 400g baguettes

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I always love your signature color on your bakes. As I work to perfect my baguettes, I plan to work on color. Yours will be my goal. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll give your 480F pre-heat and baking @ 460F a try.

Needed a change. Tomorrow Bouabsa...

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I'm impressed by Alfanso's photography and color/hue/saturation too.

Though, be advised that the ambient lighting has a lot to do with the apparent color of objects in a photo, in addition to the natural color of the objects.

Going by his videos and your videos, I'm guessing he has "full spectrum" or "daylight" type bulbs in his kitchen, and you have flourescent.  Nothing against your or his bread or photography, it's just a fact that you guys have different types/frequencies/temperatures of lighting.

If you do have flourescent, the long tubes,  next time you replace the tube bulbs, look for "full spectrum" or "daylight" or a higher "temperature."  The least expensive tube flourescents are 2700 - 3000 K.  Look for 5500 K or higher, though they are more expensive.  

It's not just a matter of "brighter", but the frequencies of the light, and which _range_ of frequncies,

(Heh. Just  like not all flour is the same flour, not all water is the same water, not all yeast is the same yeast.... not all light is the same light.)

This is why those golden blooms on loaves look so much better in sunlight as opposed to artificial light.

(BTW, both you guys are on my bread-heros list.)

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I just point my iPhone at the dang bread and click.  And as with your analysis, I've mentioned many times on TFL that the coloration is reddened by the incandescent lighting above, and perhaps the black surface below.  Even these I moved away from the normal photo spot to the open, but they still come out pretty similar.  In the open kitchen space, the lighting is by overhead LEDs in recessed cans.  The crusts are in actuality a dark "chestnut brown".

Thanks for the fine compliment, but these days, elsewhere and especially on the baguette front, there's a long list of folks putting out really high quality bakes.  A lot of kudos to be shared.

alan

pul's picture
pul

These are great looking baguettes with perfect crumb and crust. Nice to see the long sticks too.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A few years ago kendalm forced me to bake a full size baguette (as full a size was my oven would accommodate) and I thought on review that those came out better than this bake.  Those were three inches shorter and 40g lighter than this bake.

Thanks, alan

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I stumbled over this post by bikeprof - to date I think this is the king of longies although we dont see the full loaf which boy I'd live to see - we know bikeprof is a kinda low profile kinda baker on TFL.  Popping on every once in a while a dropping a photo that really makes you go wow - checkout the beautiful loaf about half way down - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/51627/my-attempts-bouabsas-baguette 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

One or my my favorite things to see here on TFL when alan goes all the way ! Really great color as usual.  Funny thing is your first attempt I think turned out better.  That's kind of the way it goes with baking tho.  Notice the ends of these took all the spring.  I think thas pretty typical for me and I'm always pulling for the center to respond in the often touted '5 minute window' that I harp on about.  Also the logistics of loading sideways requires some tuning over repeat bakes.  For me I have a sort of muscle memory on how I do that and I think it's really important step when going sideways. Other thing - maybe you should try the standard size of 350g - you'll have less dough to 'spring'up that way.  For a levain longy I gotta say I'm really jealous of this bake. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

As you were posting I was just typing up the same conclusion.  Good memory.  I can just about roll out my standard long batard shape in my sleep now, but zero muscle memory in place for these.  Felt like a rookie with the tape measure sitting just above the shaping area.  As far as loading, as mentioned, I was sweating it out about whether my baggies would wind up with Jimmy Durante noses on the ends.  But was able to load the three in at once with parchment under the dough, and nary a MM to spare on the sides of the baking deck.

Lots of quality levain bakes to go around in this ever longer CB.

Thanks, and looking for you to "get off the schneid" and throw some lovely levain into your wonderful bakes.

alan

kendalm's picture
kendalm

...you know ... criss cross ! That the first thing I thiugh about just now - another 80s movie reference.  Pretty sad living life in seclusion but at least we have TFL to pull us from the dull torpor that is covid.  Ftr I got a starter on day 3.  Will see if it can mature.  TBD (wink emoji here) 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I'm a lifelong Hitchcock fan.  If you don't know the original reference, but I'm sure that you do, it was from Strangers On A Train.  If you've never seen it, do yourself a favor.  

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I think the one that really roped me in was torn curtain - also loved north by northwest.  Will probably watch strangers on a train tonight.  Thanks alan ! 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Of course throw mama from the train references strangers on a train.  Oh jeez now it all makes sense even the titles - duh - https://youtu.be/yZnjAz9Yu4g

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The stampede is on. Erase the first page we are headed to new territory. The side loaders are winning them over. Nice looking baguettes. I have the bulbous ends issue too and the NY didn't sit right on the tongue for me either. Next thing you know you will be rummaging through the pantry for that lonesome pack of IDY and running with the herd.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Now I'm just flaunting my 80 and this case 90s movie references.  Can you guess the movie that this line comes from ? 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

^^^^ for the above correct movie reference and clarification of era ^^^^

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Contact with Jodie Foster.  Didnt mean to derail the baking focus here but holy crap this thread is ginormous.  By virtue of its size it kinda warrants some imposter topic dont ya'all think ? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Needed a change, so went with a commercially yeasted Bouabsa @ 75%. Even with KAAP it was surprising how well the high hydration dough handled. The shaping will require a little adjusting and the crumb needs work, but for a first attempt, it’s a great start. Each baggie weighed ~320g. Seems they were a little light for the length.

A possible point of interest to some. The baguettes were pulled from bulk retard after 8 hr. They were immediately divided and then shaped. There was no pre-shaping. The whole operation took only a few minutes and they were placed back into the fridge couched and sealed in a plastic bag.

Notice the image below. One dough was slashed towards me and the other away. The dough has been scored slashing towards me in the past. So many experienced bakers slash away from them, so it was given a try. It felt very good and the scores may have been slightly better. But the big plus about scoring away was the hand position when slanting the blade felt more comfortable and there was no need to lean way over the dough to see. Will consider slashing away from the body in the future.

Lessons derived during this bake

  • If thin, crispy, & crunchy crust coupled with a super creamy and soft crumb is you bag, commercial yeast is the way to go. SD, although much more complex in flavor will not get the texture and chew you desire.
  • There is no need to fear 75% hydration. Even with all purpose flour
  • Commercially yeasted baguettes are more simple and less complicated (relatively little work).
  • Alan taught me to pull the bulk retard (half way through) to shape, then send back to the fridge (sweet idea).
  • Scoring away from the body seems better and feels more natural.
  • The Biggie - Steam

Steam

 My steam comes from an external source that is injected into the oven via the top steam vent. High pressure steam is not desireable and has powerful affects. Low pressure is definitely the way to go.

Notice in the image below how one side (circled in red) is more browned and heavily blistered. You could call these third degree burns :-).

The blister in that specific location are a result of high pressure steam streaming down upon it. It is apparent that some type of diffusion will be required to more evenly disperse the steam and also high pressure steam should not be used once the dough is loaded. High pressure steam (used to release Pressure Cooker pressure) will only be used to pre-steam in the future. This won’t relate to many bakers, but Albacore and anyone else incorporating External Steam Injection may benefit.

This (image below) has become my best teacher, although many bakers around the world have provided priceless assistance.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

In Bake #13 the crumb is nice, but could be improved. The concern is the tight crumb around the perimeter of the loaf. Any suggestions are appreciated.

I noticed from an image in the prior bake (pictured above), a distinct difference in cell structure. In the image below the lower loaf was mistakenly forgotten on the counter for an hour. Notice the tight cell structure around the perimeter. As a result of an error on my part it proofed at room temp at least an hour more that the top loaf. Is this issue with the image above and the loaf on the bottom below completely fermentation are or other things coming into play?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

You pulled the dough out of bulk retard half way through.  But we don't know the temperature of the dough at that point, and it may be significant. Since you retarded the shaped loaf for some additional (unknown) time, followed by some (or none) recovery time on the counter prior to oven entry, it is impossible to judge the relative temperature and thus the degree of additional fermentation that occued in the center of the baguette compared to what has happened near the surface. One hypothesis might be that the center of the shaped baguette had additional time at a slightly warmer temperature to mature the crumb and was thus more open than the crumb closer to the crust where, being directly exposed to the refrigerated air in the retarder, it did not undergo much additional fermentation/maturation and so remained fairly tight through the bake.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc,

  • It’s pretty safe to say that the DT was 38F after retarding 8 hours in the fridge.
  • out of fridge for ~10 minutes
  • no counter proofing at the time of scouring
  • didn’t pre-shape, went straight to shaping
  • Once dough was couched it was tightly sealed in a plastic bag

Sure would like to solve this one...

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Shot of the crumb so we can gauge the crust thickness.  I'm happiest when the crust is about a thick or slightly thicker than and egg shell.  That close up might support doc doughs hypothesis maybe.  Is it a thick crust dan ? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

As my mother-in-law might say. “mais, dats sum tin crus der chere”.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I've never seen the edges like that before.  Maybe me Hammelman can bless this thread again and weigh in.  The interior crumb looks really great almost gelatinous which every once in a blue moon I just get it that way and really love it.  Not gummy but gelatinous.  

Btw way - dat be creole ? Definitely very 'Tin' alright ! 

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Dan,

When I saw the crumb on your Bouabsa it immediately reminded me of the crumb that I got from Maurizio's Levain baguettes, back in Sept. 2018.  I infrequently ever get a crumb that has the same characteristics as yours here, which seems to be an unusual crumb structure, and I thought so then too.  The gelatinous crumb seems so unusual to me.  

Pretty much the only things they have in common with your Bouabsa bake are the mixes being in the 70's hydration range, and the bassinage step.

These are Maurizio's Levain formula at 70% hydr. and 75% hydr.

The 75% hydr. version was fairly difficult to shape cleanly, I've never had an issue with shaping the Bouabsa dough.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

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