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More baguettes - best crumb yet (for me).

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

More baguettes - best crumb yet (for me).

Anis Bouabsa baguettes with Sourdoug


Anis Bouabsa baguettes with Sourdough


Anis Bouabsa baguettes with Sourdough Crumb


Anis Bouabsa baguettes with Sourdough Crumb 

KAF French Style Flour........500 gms

Water..............................370 gms

Starter.............................100 gms

Salt..................................10 gms

Instant yeast.......................1/4 tsp

 

I activated my starter and let it ferment for only about 4 hours. It did double but was not at its peak. While the starter was noshing, I mixed the flour and water and let it autolyse for about 40 minutes. Then I added the starter, yeast and salt and mixed well in a bowl.

I used Pat's (proth5) method of mixing: In the bowl, stretch and fold using a plastic dough scraper 20 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Repeat this every 20 minutes for an hour. At the end of that time, I had the best window pane I've every achieved. This is a great technique for somewhat slack doughs!

I then moved the dough to a 2 liter glass measuring pitcher with a tight fitting cover and refrigerated for 20 hours.

 The dough was then emptied onto a large wooden cutting board, well dusted with flour and divided into 3 sort of equal parts. It was less slack than my last batch and easier to shape. I gently preshaped into rounds and rested the pieces, covered with plastic wrap and a towel for 20 minutes. I then shaped into baguettes very, very gently so as to minimize bubble popping. The loaves were proofed for 1 hour on a parchment paper "couche."

 I had preheated the oven to 500F. I scored the baguettes. After loading the loaves onto my pizza stone and pouring hot water in a heated skillet, the oven was turned down to 460F on convection bake. After 10 minutes, I removed the skillet and turned the oven up to 480F, regular bake. I baked the baguettes for 25 minutes total. 

 

The loaves "sang" louder and longer than any I've baked. The crust was nice and crunchy. The crumb was the most open I've yet achieved in baguettes. I attribute this in large part to my shaping the baguettes more gently then ever before. I credit Janedo for the inspiration (as well as for the recipe).

I still need to work on scoring baguettes. *sigh*

 

David 

Comments

Janedo's picture
Janedo

David,

Those look BEAUTIFUL! The crumb looks perfect and even though you say you don't score well, what we can see looks great.

So, 5 grams less water. Do you think it made a difference or do you attribute it more to not letting the dough warm too much before shaping?

I use Pat's technique as well and find it just perfect. Plus, when you're around the house doing stuff, it's no problem to go and do the 20 folds. And WAY less clean-up.

Do you like the taste of the KA French style? 

Jane 

 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

 I tried this the other day and was disappointed in the results. I was making ciabatta and it turned out like Wonder Bread. I usually use the streatch and fold technique with great results and I'm sure this folding in the bowl method knocked all the air out of the dough. But, Jane your bagettes looked wonerfully airy so I must have done something wrong. Any ideas?

 

Larry 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

That's strange because I made a rustic style bread using this method the other day. It was 80% hydration but with some T65, T110 and some rye. I didn't poke my finger in the dough before the second rise and so with the oven spring, I got these HOLES, like caverns gone nuts. The gentle kneading is one thing that plays a role, but it isn't the only thing.  What flour did you use? Did you let the dough rise long enough after the last folds? The folding does squish the air out, but it comes back during the rise.

Another technique that I love for this kind of dough is the one that Steve shows on his blog

www.breadcetera.com 

in the part musing on mixing, I think it is. His dough is nicely formed, but it doesn't matter if yoours doesn't look like that. I show a picture of myself doing this method in my blog in the recipe for baguettes.

http://aulevain.canalblog.com/archives/2008/08/13/10218608.html

It's the picture where I'm standing and the dough looks like a mess. I do swear buy this kneading method, especially for those in between doughs. But it works nicely for high hydration ones and it gets enough oxygen in the dough.

Jane 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

I made another batch of ciabatta using my "never fail" method and it too failed. It made wonderul bread, just as the first batch did, but I wouldn't call it ciabatta. I suspect I didn't allow enough time for the final rise. I'll let you know.

Larry

Janedo's picture
Janedo

That's very strange! Any other factors that changed as well? The holes really need to form during the inital rise, after the folding.

What's your fail proof technique?

Jane 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

 I usually do streth and folds. The first time I used the S&F was in making ciabatta and I was astounded how the dough was transformed from glop to a manageable dough and the final loaves were perfect and they have been up until these last two batches. I haven't  changed anything but during these last two batches I questioned the consistancy of the dough - you know, one of those passing thoughts that you don't pay any attention to and then, later, wish you did. It seemed the dough was not as slack as it should be. Hmmm. Maybe it's the weather. I usually do ciabatta in the winter. It goes so well with soups and stews. I'll do another batch later in the week and post the outcome. 

 

Larry 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

I should know better than to make a bread from memory. Jane, you were right. I didn't allow my dough to rise at all - just skipped right over the two hour final proof.  I guess I got my ciabatta and sourdough mixed up.  This last batch of ciabatta turned out much better.

 

 

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

So, did you do this one with your usual technique or a different one? Looks wonderful! Now you have to do the baguettes because as Anis Bouabsa said, If you can do ciabatta, you can do baguettes!

Jane 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

your invitation to the baguette challenge. Previous attempts have produced less than stellar results. Not only is the bread rather blah, but I never seem to get the proportions of a baguette right - too fat.

With this last batch of ciabatta I used my trusty stretch and fold technique, but now that I Know I was the cause of past failures, I will give the in bowl kneading  another try or two.

Larry

 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 Jando said, " Now you have to do the baguettes because as Anis Bouabsa said, If you can do ciabatta, you can do baguettes!" 

So, before even looking to see if there was water in the pool, I jumped in.

I used the kneading in the bowl technique and not sure I got the dough developed enough, but was short on time and put the dough in the fridge for the 21 hour fementaition time. Waiting was probably the hardest part of the whole process. I was very anxious to start working  with the dough and was beginnig to feel like an expectant father. 

I can't say I actually "shaped" the baguettes. I sort of stretched them into something kind of long and narrow and settled for what they gave me. My efforts at scoring was laughable, but relieved that I hadn't defalted the loaves in the attempt, I quit while I was ahead. 

Overall, I'm satisfied with this first attempt. The crumb and crust were the best I'd achieved in a baguette. I expected more from the flavor but that was pretty good too. I'm looking forward to doing this again to see if I can improve in some areas. OMG! Have I fallen into the baguette trap?

 

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Larry.

You jumped in the pool and rose to the challenge!

Your baguettes' crumb is beautiful. Couldn't be better. Scoring comes with practice. Baguette scoring is the most difficult. The slightest inconsistency in depth, angle or length of a cut gets amplified by the bloom. Keep at it. It will come.

Have you fallen into the baguette trap? I thought you jumped. :-) Welcome. Glad to have you.


David

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 I was ready for a new challenge and baguettes seems like a likely candidate.

I want to thank you and Jane for your kind and encouraging words. 

Jane, I used a 50/50 combo of king Arthur AP and Stone-Buhr Bread Flour in these baguettes. 

As a side note, I've been playing around with a whole wheat sandwich bread for a couple of years and was never happy with the texture - too crumby. After making these baguettes, I tried the WW again but used only 1/2 tsp of yest. The texture was perfect. Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I retarded the dough  in the fridge for 21 hours?

 

Larry

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Larry.

Do tell us how your sandwich bread turns out. Who knows what range of breads might benefit from cold retarding the dough.

It's interesting that Reinhart - I think in BBA - said to never retard un-shaped dough, because it wouldn't have enough "oomph" to raise the loaves. I wonder what he would say now.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

It's funny about yeast. When I bake with it, I am always shocked by the quantities asked for. My habit has always been to cut it in half. I think it's because of being a sourdough baker with a ton of patience. Every time I read something from a professional baker, they always say slow fermentation is GOOD. I think the recipes with a lot have been for people that imagine a four hour procedure is WAY too long for most people, so the easy thing to do it to speed it up. But dropping the yeast quantity, the dough will rise, but much slower and so more flavour can develop. It's quite logical. And I love the idea of mixing dough, folding over a couple hours and then just throwing it in the fridge until the next day. It makes bread making so much easier. It just demands organisation and forthought.

This said, I wouldn't put a dough that has a "normal" amount of yeast in the fridge for more than a few hours as the yeast activity continues quite a while. 1/4 tsp seems pretty good for about 500g.

Larry, what sandwich loaf recipe are you using? I never make it because we don't eat it but those recipes intrigue me. I'm sure the kids would like it.

Can you post pictures of your creations?

Jane 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

 "What sandwich loaf recipe are you using?"

Such a simple question brought on such a flood of memories. The original recipe "Honey of a whole wheat" is here  http://www.redstaryeast.com/r_honeywwloaf.html  This recipe calls for twice as much white flour as whole wheat. It contains egg, milk and honey. I always liked the taste of this bread, but was never satisfied with the texture. The bread was crumby and would fall apart in my hands. Sometimes it  turned to paste while chewing it. I blamed all this on my poor bread making techniques. I kept trying to improve. As my confidence and skills grew over the years, and I became familiar with sourdough and baker's percentage, I started to make changes  The first thing I did was cut the yeast in half and increase the amount of whole wheat flour. The bread got better. The next thing to go was the egg. The bread got much better. I replaced the milk with water and that too was an improvement. As a sweetener, the honey seemed to contribute nothing more than stickiness so I replaced it with brown sugar. Basically, I ended up with a rustic, country style, whole wheat bread baked in a loaf pan. If I had known what I was looking for, I could have saved myself a lot of time and done a Google search, but I wouldn't have had as much fun or learned anything. 

Now my recipe (subject to change without notice) is 424 grams flour (at least 50%WW), 267 grams water, 9 grams salt, 52 grams (1/4 cup)brown sugar , 28 grams canola oil (2Tbls), 1 tsp yeast.

Now my confession: I am the world's worst scientist in that I tend to change two and sometimes three parameters at a time. When I last mentioned this bread I said that I had reduced the yeast to 1/2 tsp and the texture was better. That's true. What I neglected to add was that I also made a preferment of white flour the night before and think it's additon made a significant difference in texture and taste. Here are some photos of this bread baked free form:

Shape

Slash

Bake

 

Crumb

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Thanks for sharing. I haven't done a lot of whole wheat breads, even though I do have Reinhart's whole grains. I have just been so deep in other projects, many of which I haven't even spoke of here. But your bread looks like a very nice sandwhich style bread. I'll give it a try. I might try some agave sirop or barley malt for the sweetener. Molasses could be interesting, too.

Jane 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Welcome to the baguette club! 

I find that sometimes bread baking is even more fun when it's a group effort or a "challenge". Your baguettes are great for a first try. Many would be MORE than thrilled to get that kind of crumb first go around. As David said, the scoring comes with practice. I still haven't managed that because the dough is so darn wet, nothing seems to cut through. What fun it was yesterday scoring a good-old 68% hydration miche!

As for underworking the dough, it really isn't a problem. It may seem strange if you have been kneading regular bread flour dough, but the work gets done and the fridge rest finishes it off.

What flour did you use?

Jane 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Larry.

Those ciabatta look delicious.

I second Jane's motion. Do try Anis' baguettes. And, if you like ciabatta, you will love Pierre Nury's Light Rye from Leader's "Local Breads" too.


David

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 I'll look into the Light Rye Bread. I've tried several time to get Leader's book from a couple of our loacal libraries and it is always checked out. I'll put my name on the waiting list.

 

Larry

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Larry.

Zolablue, who was the first to post on TFL about this bread, included the formula. See it here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5500/pierre-nury’s-rustic-light-rye-leader


David

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 

 Except I'm really falling behind on my baking. I've copied Pierre Nury's recipe and will make this in short order. Thanks for passing it on.

 

Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hee hee. I didn't show the less successful cuts.

I do think the 5 gms less water made a difference. Yet, that's such a small amount. 1 teaspoon! It calculates out to the difference between 75% and 74% hydration. (Not factoring in the starter.) The dough was less gloppy right from the initial mixing, so I don't think less time between pre-shaping and shaping was that important.

The taste of the bread was good. If I had done a blind tasting, I'd have guessed it was a ciabatta, not a baguette. The crumb was very cool and tender. None of the sweetness I associate with classic baguettes. There was no yeast odor or taste, but there was also no sourness I could perceive. I attribute that to the "young" starter. It was just that, if I'd let the starter go another 2 hours, I would have been up until 1 AM before I could refrigerate the dough.

This morning, I had baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. I was surprised that the crumb had stayed so moist. Of course, the crust was now chewy rather than crunchy.

I want to try this formula with a different flour to compare the tastes, but I haven't decided what to try. I'm not sure how to approximate T65. Maybe a couple tablespoons of whole wheat added to the KAF French Style Flour? With the same formula, this would make a firmer dough, since the WW would absorb more water.

If you couldn't get T65, what would you do to replicate it, assuming you started with T55 flour?


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Interesting. Well, I'd say not to put whole wheat but maybe a bit of high extraction flour. I don't know how much gluten is in it, but you will get a nicer flour, I'd say. Maybe even some bread flour, some AP and then some high extraction, the latter in the smallest quantity. The blend could be very interesting and produce a very nice tasting bread. Keeping a high hydration (even higher with the high extraction) and the over night retardation will guarantee a nice open crumb anyway, so I think you can experiment any type of blend that stays light.

"Real" baguettes here lose their crispness after a day and are basically inedible, so I'm not too worried about the softer crust the next day. I never hesitate to place the day old baguettes in the oven a few minutes to crisp them up because the taste and crumb are still very good. And for my morning toast, the toaster crisps it up again. It gets crunchy while maintaining a soft inside, unlike a real baguette that even after toasting is fairly bad the next day.

Jane 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane.

I'll add a bit of First Clear Flour or Golden Buffalo next batch. Hmmm ... My starter loves high extraction flours. Maybe I'll add them to the starter when I activate it.

I like baguette toasted, but a half baguette, cut lengthwise with butter and jam has such wonderful associations for me with breakfasts in Paris. Maybe I'll toast some tomorrow.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

SYLVIAH

For USA home baked baguettes scored from one to ten you get a ten...these are beautiful...love the colors!

Congradulations for some gorgeous baguettes.

Sylvia

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

*BLUSH*


David

proth5's picture
proth5

Tight editing does wonders, but I am sure all of the cuts were just fine.

The mixing method comes directly from the book "Bread, etc."  It's a fabulous method, but I do like to give credit where credit is due.

I'll bet that if you used the classic "tartine" cut to display the crumb, we would all gasp in delight.  And then the bread would be ready for the toaster...

Happy Baking!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

When I first read your description of that kneading method, I said, "Nah. Too much work." But it ends up being less work. There is no mixer to clean. The kneading actually takes less time than either "traditional" hand kneading or by machine. The results are outstanding. I am now a believer!

I didn't realize this was Hamelman's technique, although I have "Bread" and have read and re-read the intorductory chapters. I guess it didn't register until you wrote about it.

I did cut a half-baguette lengthwise for breakfast. You'll have to take my word for it, but I did indeed "gasp in delight." It looked a lot like the photo Jane posted on her Au Levain blog, except mine had a few holes almost big enough to hide a ping pong ball in.

This is a classic instance of "intermittant reinforcement." You struggle and struggle, then ... Poof! ... things fall into place. It's no mystery why bread baking is so addictive.


David

proth5's picture
proth5

I use it almost exclusively.  I find it brings a nice rhythm to baking day and is no work at all. No mixer to clean, no flour on the bread board - just a bowl and a scraper.  On a typical baking day I like to do at least four different breads (my neighbors love me...).  With this method all I need is my set of nested bowls - having 4 bowls for my mixer or transferring dough and washing bowls would be so much more difficult.

It is not in the introductory chapters.  It is buried back in the recipes in something like "Six Fold French Bread"- a formula that is not exciting in itself so much as for the technique it introduces, but because the formula is not an exciting one people always brush past it.  I used to know the page number (but it has fallen out of my memory for now) because I like to point it out when folks tell me that the book has no hand mixing techniques.  It does and the technique is a great one.  But you know me - I am all about the technique...

Congratulations on your success!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I was like David and when I read your baguette recipe with the folds every half an hour, I thought "Too much work". But then your results were so lovely. I was in my garden flipping through Bread and fell upon that No-knead recipe and thought about you and decided to try. It is incredible with the high hydration dough and so little clean up. I am fortunate enough to be at home and be able to just stick a timer on and go about my business, coming back when it rings to do the folds. I still use the slap fold method for less hydrated doughs because it's fun.

So, next time you have a revolutionary technique, you must remember to bang us on the head with it, insisting on its wonders. OK? 

Jane 

proth5's picture
proth5

I never insist.  I can only share what works for me.  Who am I to insist on anything?

But the smallest detail of the "Bread..." book is always worthwhile, in my opinion.  As of late I have been paying extra attention to and practicing "How to stand..."

Happy Baking!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

SYLVIAH

Your Welcome.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Really great job David. I'm pushed for time so can't say much more than that but they are beautiful and as soon as I get time I'm going to study your post.                                                       weavershouse

paddyboomsticks's picture
paddyboomsticks

Between you and Jane, the quest for the perfect home baguette has already yielded _amazing_ results.

I'm so impressed you've stuck with. That looks _devine_!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think we do have a winner with Anis Bouabsa's formula, especially with the sourdough addition. After so much frustration, it feels wonderful when you get on the right track. That experience is what motivates us to persist.


David

mcs's picture
mcs

Wow, those look really great.  Like I said before, I appreciate the detailed descriptions-it's almost as if I can picture the methodology and its outcomes as a result.  Very nice.
-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

As you know, the "detailed descriptions" take thought and time. I'm happy they are appreciated by others.

The difference between "good" and "great" is in the details. It's the little tweaks. I am trying to capture the ones that generate substantial improvements, and I'm happy to share what I'm learning. It's a small payback for all I've learned from others here, you included.

I am amazed at the difference 1% in hydration can make, not to mention substituting one flour for another. With this particular batch of baguettes, I've acquired a better understanding of the difference made by how the dough is handled in forming the loaves.

Writing instructions forces me to turn tactile and kinesthetic experience into words. This helps clarify and capture what's "important" for future reference and allows me to build on experience rather than losing it before motor automatisms have developed.

If some one else who prefers to communicate in pictures and videos can "picture the methodology and its outcomes" from my words, I think I've done a good job. Thanks for the feedback.


David

mcs's picture
mcs

The 1% difference in hydration seems like it wouldn't make a difference, but it reminds me of watching my mother cook something she had given me the recipe for. I'd make her recipe, and it wouldn't turn out quite right. Then when I'd see her making it, she'd pull the ol' "It looks like it could use a little more" trick. She wouldn't write it down, but I'd be sure to. As you say, the difference is in the details.
-Mark
http://thebackhomebakery.com

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I'm so pleased with this technique!  I've had two major successes using this formula to the letter, and I am really encouraged.  I got a nice brown color, a beautiful thin crust, and great oven spring.  And the taste was just great -- I couldn't ask for much more!

holds99's picture
holds99

Don't see how you can ever top these baguettes.  You did an amazing job.  Thanks so much for sharing your recipe and techique. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Ohhhh ... I can still think of a few improvements I'd like to achieve. :-)


David

ejm's picture
ejm

These look fabulous! And not just the crumb. The crust looks equally pleasing.

While the kneading method must  contribute to the success, I think it has to be in the shaping that gave such stellar results. You mention that you shaped into rounds first, let them rest and then shaped them into baguettes. What method did you use to shape the bagettes? It wasn't simply stretching the rounds, was it?  

-Elizabeth 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Elizabeth.

I shaped the baguettes using an abbreviation of the traditional technique - one less folding.

After pre-shaping and resting, I gently patted the pieces into a rectangle. I gently folded the near edge up to the middle and gently sealed it. I then brought the far edge gently over the whole piece to the bench and sealed it. I then turned the dough toward me 1/4 turn, so the seam was on the bottom, and gently rolled it out to a demi-baguette shape. I then gently transfered the loaf to parchment dusted with semolina to proof.

Did I say I executed each step gently?


David

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you for the nicely detailed explanation, David.

I've never been very successful at shaping baguettes and generally stick with rounds - using a similar method of handling the dough very very carefully - I liken it to handling a very small wild animal - softly enough to not hurt it but firmly enough so it won't be able to bite or scratch.

Just one more question though, do you do your baguette shaping gently? (snort)

Next time I have a slack dough, I'll try to drum up the courage to make baguettes instead of rounds.

-Elizabeth

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

 Those are some amazingly beautiful baguettes!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


David

plevee's picture
plevee

Kneading/mixing - please Proth5 could you give us the page from Bread.. or the link to your post where you described this method? Patsy

plevee's picture
plevee

I finally found it - it's page 249 - I will try it with tomorrow's ciabatta, I'm not skilled enough to make baguettes yet. Patsy

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Forgive my ignorance, but since you adapted this recipe for sourdough, and I can't wait to try it, may I ask why the yeast is still added?  I realize this thread is ancient, too.  Sorry!


I am editing my question here to say I found a thread that answered my question.  Nevermind and thanks for the great recipe!