Baguettes "Monge" (thanks to Janedo)
I got a (very) few actual crackles in the crust! A thrill!
Baguettes "Monge" Crust
Baguettes "Monge" Crumb
Janedo posted a recipe for Eric Kayser's Baguettes "Monge." See http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7031/kayeser039s-baguettes-quotmongequot for the recipe, photos and discussion.
I made these with some modifications last weekend, but I wanted to try the recipe sticking as close to Jane's instructions as possible. Last night, I fed my liquid starter with Golden Buffalo and, today, made these baguettes. My conversations with King Arthur Flour indicated that they intended their "French Style Flour" to be an approximation of French Style 65 flour, which Jane's recipe specified. I had a couple of pounds, so that is what I used.
When I mixed the dough, it seemed way too dry. I added about 20 ml more water. The dough was still dry, but I didn't want to deviate too far from the recipe, so I left it at that. The only other change I made was to bake at 500F for the first 7 minutes with steam, then removed my skillet and turned the oven down to 460F. Total bake time was 25 minutes.
I am much happier with my baguette slashing. I knew what to do in theory. This time the main change I made was to focus better. I think I got pretty nice bloom. The crust was the closest I've gotten to date to a classic crisp, crackly baguette crust. I think the higher oven temperature was necessary for this, at least in my oven. The crumb was actually better than my first effort, which was with higher hydration, but it was still not as open as I would have liked.
The taste is very nice. Nothing wrong with it. But it does not have as much sweetness or complexity as I would have liked. I'm not sure this recipe with its very short fermentation can deliver optimal baguette flavor. (Of course, I haven't tasted Jane's baguettes!).
The quest for a better baguette continues, but this is my personal best to date.