The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Parisian Baguettes

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slashl's picture
slashl

First Parisian Baguettes

I just finished baking my first round of Parisian style baguettes with Anis Bouabsa's award winning recipe. I used the retarded fermentation technique for the first time as well and found the results to be very pleasing.. Did have some issues with forming the baguettes and have yet to get a proper peel which seems to make everything easier getting dough in the oven. I had to fold one of the baguettes into a bun because it fell apart on the way into the oven..

 

I've just started my sourdough starter and am looking forward to the weekend when the first loaves emerge this weekend!!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very nice Slashl,
I had a little trouble with the shaping at such a high hydration too. I decided to stretch the dough in the pre shape and then just fold from top down. Very minimal handling. Your coloring looks great.

Eric 

RFMonaco's picture
RFMonaco

..........on the recipe?  Thanks.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder
RFMonaco's picture
RFMonaco

!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Looks good! I did some sourdough ones the other day (will be posting soon) and I did sort of like Eric. I did a preshape, then a short baguette that I stretched to it's final length instead of rolling. It worked nicely.

Jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

Slashl,

Wow!  For your first try you did an amazing job.  Which type/brand flour did you use and how did they taste?  The crust color is beautiful...very nice baguettes. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

slashl's picture
slashl

Hey there.

 Thanks for the feedback. I am using a traditional stoneground  strong unbleached organic flour by Bacheldre Watermill. They have been making flour since 1575 and I bought it from Whole Foods in London. I have also been using flour by Doves Organic as well, which I find very good quality! Am about 3 days into my first sourdough starter and it shoulde be ready by saturday. very excited!

holds99's picture
holds99

Didn't realize you were in the UK.  I wouldn't have access to those flours here, but thanks for giving me the names.  Best of luck with your sourdough adventure.  Look forward to your postings.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Oh! That's exciting. Have you baked with sourdough before?

I use French organic flours that are never specified what kind of wheat. Except the T55 which is made from soft. I should go look on the internet sites of the different mills. I'm curious as to the difference with bread flour which doesn't really exist here. There is a bread flour that has leaven in it, but I don't use it because it isn't organic and isn't pure (ascorbique acid, leaven, etc). In England do they have bread flour?

Jane 

dougal's picture
dougal

French flours are rather different.

 

The official grading (like T55) only specifies the amount of bran in the flour (defined by the amount of ash left after burning). Not the protein level - at all.

But particular grades are used for particular purposes, and milled accordingly. Like T45 (lowest bran) would be used for cakes, so buyers would expect a T45 flour to also be low protein and milled very fine - even though those are not controlled by the T45 grading.

In France, breads are generally made with flour of around 11-12% protein. Hence an 11.5% protein T55 would be described as "farine panifiable" - bread flour!

That would be rather differet to the "bread flour" sold in the UK, which would likely be towards the 14% protein of Canadian strong flours.

Hence, to make good "french bread" in the UK, its better to start with "plain" (all-purpose) flour than "bread" flour!

But in France if you are looking for a particularly strong flour, you might try seeking out some "farine de gruau" in a T55 grade. (Its not at all common from what I can make out.)

 

Incidentally, the French have a rather different approach to additives.

Personally, my opinion is that Vitamin C (acide ascorbique) in tiny quantities is as near harmless as the flour itself. And in the UK its permitted in "Organic" flour.

However, French flour (and hence bread) can still be labelled "Tradition française" if it contains 2% bean flour, and 0.3% malted wheat flour, AND 0.5% soya flour.

Which I find intriguing because Calvel believes bean flour is the ruination of good bread! ("une influence extrêmement négative vis-à-vis de la flaveur du pain")

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Thanks for the info.

I took a look at the web sites of some of my favorite brands of organic flour. They really don't say much. I did see that T65 is often soft wheat and around 11,5% protein. A lot of non-organic brands add gluten. 

Most of the sites say that T65 was for patisserie which I found strange. I also saw the farine tradition, for baguettes of course. But the real bakers don't cheat!

In Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking, she often says to mix All Purpose with Bread flour to make a French style flour.

What I love about our organic French flours is the way they form dough and taste. The breads are incredibly tasty and complex. One day, when I'm on the States or Canada I'll see what their flours are all about. I'm very curious. 

Jane 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

slashl,

Outstanding job for first baguettes! Super color, crumb, and nice contrast where you slashed. I'm afraid I know all too well how you felt bringing your baguette to the oven, only to have it become a bun. Ouch that makes me mad.

Keep up the great work. Let us see the next batch!

Soundman (David)

holds99's picture
holds99

Great first batch.  Excellent crust color and crumb and nice ears.  Regardless of how it happened, that's a good looking boule bun hanging out with the baguettes. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Your colour is GORGEOUS!  Please describe your baking technique - times and temps.  Thanks.  I just pulled my first sourdoug bagettes out of the oven tonight and they were a little disappointing in colour.  I'm happy with the recipe but I need to do something different in the actual baking.  And shaping needs work, but that's coming along.  I did 465F for 10 minutes and 450 for 12 minutes.  What did you do?

Thanks,  Paul

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