The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Suas'a Baguettes

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Suas'a Baguettes

Suas Baguette
Suas Baguette

I thought I would try the formula and method pointed out by SteveB last week for Michel Suas's Baguette. You can see the original post from Steve here. The images of how to shape a baguette were I thought unusual since it requires degassing, flattening and rolling out for the length. Not the gentle handling I strive for.

The crust was slightly thicker than I usually get and the crumb was less airy than I like. The key elements of this method seem to be developing good flavor by slowing down the ferment with ice water. They tasted OK but it's my first try using this mix. Also I used a Harvest King flour which is higher gluten than the flour he recommends.

It's worth a try and not bad with red sauce!

 Eric

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.

The loaf color looks classic. Did you get a crackly crust?

The photos of Suas' technique are similar to the videos of Clavel making baguettes, available from the CIA (not the spook group, but the culinary academy). Have you seen them? However, Suas' dough is flattened even more than Clavel's.

Clavel talks about proofing baguettes to 3 times their starting size. If I did that, I'd expect no oven spring at all and maybe dough deflation when I score the baguettes.

I am thinking that the difference in approach has partly to do with lower hydration paired with longer proofing and the difference made by a commercial deck oven with steam injection.

*sigh* I may have to return to the "baguette quest."


David

SteveB's picture
SteveB

One thing you may want to consider is that dough in a home setting, because of the smaller scale, tends to "move faster" than dough at the commercial scale.  This is because the smaller the batch, the larger the surface/volume ratio, and the quicker it reacts to temperature variances.  I've found that fermentation times a bit shorter than those recommended in most bread books give me better results.  

SteveB

www.breadcetera.com

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Funny you should mention that. I was helping my daughter with 10th grade Biology last week and one of the questions was on the more efficient metabolism of smaller cells. The surface area to volume ratio being better in the smaller cells. On a larger scale the same would hold true I would think.

I have also thought that larger breads are better as a result of the increased scale and reduced surface area ratio as compared to smaller loaves.

As the season change is upon us both, I'll have to start looking for a warm place again to ferment and rise.

Eric 

Kuret's picture
Kuret

might it be that he is shooting for a more standard american bakery baguette? These do certainly look like the baguettes we can buy at bakeries here in sweden, and seeing as Suas book is aimed att proffessional baking his baguettes might just be aimed at the "regular" market?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hubby likes a tighter baguette crumb.  They certainly do look like baguettes! 

The longest baguette I can bake is 29cm.  

Mini O

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks David. They are pretty. I was waiting for them to caramelize and get darker but it didn't look like that was going to happen. At 475F and such a small form it is possible to over bake these so I stopped at 31 minutes. The crust might have better sooner which is reverse of my usual thinking lol. The cold water must be changing the sugar balance in the dough. I'll try again.

Kuret: You might be right. It turns out the recipe he uses here is posted in a news article talking about his rise to stardom in the US. His new book doesn't relate in any way to home baking from what I can tell. I found the flavor interesting and different from my normal. The color is definitely more classic from what I recall in Europe.

Mini: These were about 3 inches shorter than they could of been and I might of proofed a little longer. I'm going to try again using a softer flour. The ice water is in play here, interesting!

Eric 

holds99's picture
holds99

Eric,

They're very nice looking loaves.  Although I have only baked a few formulas from the Suas book I really like the book and the way he has it layed out.  There are so many methods and variations for baguettes---it's amazing. 

One thing that I noticed is that Suas adds a small amount of yeast to some of his final doughs and, as Kuret pointed out in a previous post, he probably does that to suit a professional baking environment---for consistency and/or as insurance for meeting commercial baking schedules.  For example, in his w.w. sourdough (levain) formula he introduces 1/4 tsp. yeast in the final dough (for 4 lbs. of dough), which makes the final fermentation time for two 2 lb. loaves approximately 1 hour and ten minutes @ 75 deg. F.  I'm sure it would work fine without the small amount of yeast he uses, it just might take a bit longer to rise, which sort of goes to the point.

Anyway, nice job on the baguettes.

Howard

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Howard, they do look lighter than I normally get. They had a nice creamy flavor that was unusual. I really think the ice water at an early stage is playing a big part in flavor development. It's strange, the preferment sits at room temp over night so it's just the start up that's cold. Same with the dough mix and ice water.

Hey you can't argue with the results I guess. I don't make baguettes very often. They go hard the next day and we don't want to eat them that fast.

Thanks for the kind words Howard.

What are you baking these days? 

Eric 

holds99's picture
holds99

Eric,

I just returned from a week away and while away I started reading Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.  Very interesting; his life and how he took the route he traveled.  It's quite a story.  As I was reading about his experience with Calvel's and Gosselin's methods for baguettes and his mention of Emily Buehler's book on bread science it got to thinking outside the box, so to speak.  Anyway, as I was reading I started thinking about effect of soaking the whole wheat and bread flour for the final dough mixture with the water, as you mentioned you had done for the the Suas baguette.  So, I tried it with Suas W.W. levain/sourdough loaves a few nights ago.  I made the overnight levain and 5 hours before mixing the levain with the final dough I mixed the water and flours for the final dough mixture (combined w.w./bread flour) and (minus salt and yeast) let it sit for about 5 hours.  It turned into a creamy mixture.  Then at the appointed time mixed the yeast into the final dough mixture, mixed in the levain and let it sit for 20 minutes before finally mixing in the salt. 

It really worked much better than my previous try.  I'll post some pics. of the results in the next few days.  For anyone who likes whole wheat this loaf is a real winner.  I'd rate it a 9.5 on a scale of 10.

I also saw your onion rolls and they looked delicious.  I copied the recipe and will try to make them in the not too distant future.  I really like onion rolls with cold cuts in sandwiches.  Have you heard anything from Norm?  He was back for a while but I haven't seen any posts or comments from him lately.  He's a treasure, really miss hearing from him.  Such a great sense of humor.

Howard

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Eric,

I spent Monday morning in Anis Bouabsa's bakery and had the pleasure of forming baguettes with him and also one of his bakers (who was a very nice teacher for me!) The technique was fast and rather pleasurable. It involves degazing and folding FIVE times and then rolled with pointed ends. He said it doesn't matter that they are handled like that, they'll spring!!!!

Which obviously made me reflect on the whole process since at home I have to be so gentle to get an open crumb. 

But several things enter in to play.

First and foremost, his flour. It is of high quality but it has gluten, malted flour, ascorbic acid and fungicide in it. Mine is stone ground organic flour, that's it!

Second, his oven. A state of the art quandruple decker, very hot, steamed at a push of a button, wonder of an oven.

The fermentation is extremely important, of course. But beyond that, getting the same result at home would be very difficult indeed, without making some changes in the procedure. We musn't confuse the two environments.

This said, I'll be trying that recipe again VERY soon now that I've got the shaping technique down pat.

Jane 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sounds like an interesting visit. I hope you will post some sequential photos or even a short video to show us what you have learned.

I wonder what the deal is on the fungicide? Do you know the purpose or name by chance?

I have seen some videos of a baker in Europe somewhere, loading his boules onto the peel with a rather firm thud. The first time I saw his rough handling I thought "if I ever did that we would be having pancakes for dinner."  I guess if the gluten is well developed and the tension is set on the surface, it will stand some rough handling.

Thanks for sharing. I wondered where you were off to.

How were the ribs?

Eric