The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anis Bouabsa's baguettes

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Anis Bouabsa's baguettes

 

Anis-Boabsa-baguettes

Anis-Boabsa-baguettes Crumb

Anis-Boabsa-baguettes Crumb

 

Last month, Janedo visited the bakery of Anis Bouabsa in Paris. This young baker had won the prize for the best baguettes in Paris this year. Jane was able to acutally meet M. Bouabsa, and he generously shared his formula and techiniques with her, which she then generously shared with us at TFL. See her blog topic: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8066/great-baguette-quest-n%C2%B03-anis-bouabsa Eric (ehanner} and Howard (holds99} have successfully made baguettes from the recipe I extracted from Jane's notes. I attempted them once with poor results, but that was while on vacation, in a rented house on the Oregon coast. I was eager to try these baguettes again with my familiar home oven and equipment. I was happy with the results, although not completely. Formula for Anis Bouabsa's Baguettes Flour 500 gms (about 3.85 cups of AP flour) Water 375 gms (about 13.25 oz or about 1-2/3 cups) Yeast 1/4 tsp (for instant yeast) Salt 10 gms (about 2 tsp) Mix ingredients and knead. Ferment for 1 hour, folding every 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 21 hours. Divide right out of refrigerator and pre-shape. Rest for one hour. Shape. Proof for 45 minutes. Score and Bake at 250C (480F) for 20-25 (?) min. Notes: I used King Arthur French Style Flour, filtered tap water, Balene Sea Salt and SAF instant yeast. The dough was initially quite gloppy. I did a few french folds with minimal change in it. I then placed it in a covered glass bowl and folded every 20 minutes for an hour. Even before the first of these, after a 20 minute rest, the dough had come together nicely. It was still a bit sticky, but the gluten was forming surprisingly well. After the 3rd folding, I refrigerated the dough for 22.5 hours, then proceded per the recipe above. The dough actually almost doubled in the refrigerator. It continued to form bubbles after preforming and the formed baguettes rose to about 1.5 times during proofing. I baked with steam at 460F with convection for 10 minutes, then for another 10 minutes at 480F without convection. I let the loaves rest in the turned off and cracked open oven for another 5 minutes. I got nice oven spring and bloom. One of the loaves burst along the side. In hindsight, I probably didn't seal the seam well enough in forming it. The crust was more crunchy than crackly - a bit thicker than standard baguettes. The crumb was fairly open with a cool, tender/chewy mouth feel. The taste was not bad but not as sweet as classic baguettes. I wonder why. I'm going to have some tonight with chicken cacciatore (made yesterday), buttered broad beans and fedelini. Matter of fact, I better go get it all going! David

Comments

FaithHope's picture
FaithHope

Hey, it worked!  I thought it wasn't going to move, but they turned out pretty good!

I went way over the 21 hour thing, cause I couldn't get home fast enough, but looks like it still worked?

Also I just shaped them right out of the frig.  Whoops.  Read that I was supposed to wait 45 min. after a pre-shape.

Anyways, too hot to cut open.  Very easy though, excited to taste them.  Mine didn't grow too much in the frig at all, even after so much time had past, so I thought there was no way it would work!  But looks pretty good! :)

Thanks David for the formula! :)

Faith

FaithHope's picture
FaithHope

MAN!  Okay, cut it open!  I even had crumbs on my cutting board!  I was suprised!!  My mom said it was good! :)

Wow, thanks!!  So easy and totally awesome!!

tc's picture
tc

Hey guys. Thanks so much for your recipe and notes on how to make these. I made them for the first time and had a couple issues. The dough was very sticky after retarding. It stuck to my hands, it stuck to the countertop when I was shaping them - which made shaping difficult. After proofing en couche, it even stuck to the floured linens (using linen cloth napkins). When transferring the baguettes to the parchment, they stuck to the linens and their shape got a little snagged. Then they stuck to the parchment and were hard to reposition.  I used a floured plastic cutting board for a flipping board, which also didn't go so well. They stuck to that too. After getting these in the oven, they didn't rise well. I'd say the baguettes were 2 inches wide and 1-3 inches high. Some parts got flattened from the tranferring to the parchment earlier. But I expected more oven spring, as the shaped and proofed loaves changed little from unbaked to baked. Still tasted great, crispy crust and open crumb (where not flattened). Reminded me of real Parisian baguettes - this is probably as close as we'll get in America! Obviously, I need more practice handling these things but can anything be done to encourage more of a rise or oven spring? Is the dough supposed to be that sticky or should I use less water next time? I did go about 26 hours of retarding.

jamesjr54's picture
jamesjr54

In the method, it simply says "mix and knead," I believe. How long should I knead by hand after mixing, and before the stretch and folds? What level of gluten development am I looking for? Thanks for all the great tips and techniques!

century's picture
century

How are you achieving steam in a standard (convection) oven?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A 7 inch cast iron skillet is filled with lava rocks. It is placed on the bottom rack and pre-heated in the oven, along with the pizza stone, which is on the middle rack. Before loading the loaves, I cover the surface of a perforated pie tin with ice cubes. Right after loading the loaves, the pie tin is placed on top of the lava rocks, and the oven door is closed quickly.

I remove the skillet and pie tin 1/3 to 1/2 way through the bake. Then, I switch from conventional to convection bake and turn the oven down 25 degrees F from the recommended temperature for the remainder of the bake.

David

walker8476's picture
walker8476

I tried the recipe and was very pleased with the result.  I was very happy with the amount of oven spring I got.  I've always had trouble getting good oven spring until I tried this recipe.  It more than tripled in size in the oven. 

I tried this recipe again but this time I thought I'd try making a sandwith loaf.  I followed exactly the same procedure but there was very little oven spring and so the loaf turned out very dense.  Does anyone know why this might be?  The only thing I changed was using a loaf pan rather than baking freeform. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm glad the baguettes pleased you!

I've never made this as a pan loaf, but two possible causes for poor oven spring come to mind: 1) excessive degassing during loaf shaping, and/or 2) over-proofing.

Hope this helps.

David

walker8476's picture
walker8476

Well the baguette had great oven spring so I couldn't of degassed too much or over-proofed, but when I do everything exactly the same for a loaf,  the oven spring is far less.

I don't understand why making a loaf would result in far less oven spring than making a baguette.

 

zeee's picture
zeee

I tried this recipe, but with a bit smaller scale and it is the first time for me to use the Autolyse method, I let the dough rest in the fridge for 20 hours and wow it did not rise as I usually get when using other methods.

I fixed the dough with 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and 3 tablespoons of water... the end result was merely good texture, but salty.

does the amount of salt cause the yeast not to function as desired? or it it the type of salt I am using?

 

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can't tell what you did from your description, so I'm afraid I can't give you much help.

You don't say how much flour and how much salt you used. Since you give the amounts you used to "fix" the dough in volumes, I assume you did not weight ingredients. I would encourage you to weigh ingredients.

How much salt is in a teaspoon depends on how fine the salt is. A teaspoon of coarse salt will weigh much less than a teaspoon of fine salt. I use a moderately coarse sea salt.

More salt does inhibit fermentation.

David

zeee's picture
zeee

I have used half  the amount of the ingredients you have posted earlier... I did not want to waste that much of flour as I always do with my experiments :)

250 gms Flour

187 gms Water

half of 1/4 teaspoon... i don't know how to say it :)

5 gms Salt

As I am typing now, my dough is in the fridge and I will give it more time for long fermentation. I will be using the same technique you have advised  for preshaping, and proofing and will post you some pictures .. if  comes out great..

zeee's picture
zeee

since I am not using Kosher salt, I had to reduce the amount of salt, and to have the baguette fit into the baking stone, I had to portion the dough into small pieces.

the dough has gone thorugh 19 hours of fermentation in the fridge.

taste, inside texture, and outer crust are great, but the color and final shape is not as desired.. I will leave you with the pictures.

 

 

MoonshineSG's picture
MoonshineSG

I've tried the reciepe 2 times without success... I blamed it to the weather. I live in Singapore and the temperatures are just ridiculous. Around 30C around the year. The dough just cant cope with the heat.  So I build myself a "cooler box" (see this) and the results are below: 

first attempt (last bake of 2012). Success!

 

first bake of 2013 - to make sure it was not a fluke. succes!

This bread is just amazing !!!! 

Another batch. Seems to get better and better... 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think all the baguettes in the photos look great. These can be shaped and scored in the traditional fashion, but it's a challenge. They often work best as "rustic" baguettes. These are just cut and stretched to shape and not scored at all.

In any case, you all have discovered how delicious the Bouabsa baguettes are to eat.

David

KatinaP's picture
KatinaP

How many baguettes does this make for a standard size oven? Should I divide my dough on half or thirds? (or does the word divide with no number attach imply "divide in half"?)

Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know what a "standard size oven" is. They seem to vary. The limiting factor in my oven is the size of the baking stone. I scale baguettes to somewhere between 250 and 300g to fit on a 16" wide stone. So, this is 3 or 4 baguettes for a kg of dough. I think a standard French baguette is scaled to around 350g, but don't quote me on that.

So, the answer is something you have to negotiate with your own oven.

Happy baking!

David

Barbara G's picture
Barbara G

David,

I'm a very inexperienced baker with the goal of making the best possible baguettes. Have been at it a couple of months. Ran into the Jando blog and your post of the Anis Bouabsa recipe. Two days ago I made this  recipe with the best results I've achieved thus far. So thanks to you and Jane for that.

I have a question. All it says is "mix and knead". How much kneading do you do and do you use a mixer or do it by hand. I assume it's not a lot of kneading.

I'd appreciate any suggestion.

Barbara

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you look at the date on this thread, you will see it is pretty old. Soon after I posted this, I converted the recipe to sourdough and haven't looked back.

That said, your assumption is correct. Gluten development happens mostly with the stretch and folds and with the long cold retardation. The initial mixing is mostly to be sure the ingredients are evenly distributed in the dough.

I'm glad this turned out well for you. Jane and I both found we liked a version with sourdough and with some whole grain flour. If you want to see where this led me, look at the various versions of my San Joaquin Sourdough posted here on TFL. Here is my baguette version: 

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

Happy baking!

David

itsmen's picture
itsmen

@Barbara,

I, myself, like you, have the goal to make the best possible baguettes so I decided to take a shot at this recipe a couple days ago.  You may have already found your answer about the mixing time but I thought I chimed in.  I did the mixing for a few minutes until the ingredient were well incorporated, rested for 15 minutes, added salt, mixed well then rested for 15 min then began the first stretch & fold, NO kneed.  My only other deviation (not by choice) was I left the retarding period to be 26 hours instead of 22.5.  I am happy with the way they look but the taste could be better.  

Tom

image 1image 2

Pages