The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Curvy loaves

ericb's picture
ericb

Curvy loaves

I've never had trouble with this before, but the last two times I've made baguettes, the ends have curved up while baking.


I have altered my technique in three ways.


First, I'm trying to use a couche more consistently. Previously, I used lightly oiled plastic wrap.


Second, I'm not using parchment paper. My dough goes straight from the couche to the peel.


Third, I've started "tucking" my dough once it's on the peel. It's a little hard to describe, but basically I gently tuck the dough under itself. My goal is to regain surface tension lost during proofing, and to further seal the seam. I find that this prevents the dough from spreading out in the oven.


I don't see how these techniques would cause my baguettes to "grin." Does anyone have a suggestion for how to avoid this?


Eric Brown

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I thought I remember reading it somewhere but I can't find it. 


I would bet it has something to do with your little tuck on the peel.  The newly shaped dough would then need a rest to even out the structure.  By tucking it, one part of the dough will be denser, this is not as elastic as the untucked or stretched  portion.  If it is not allowed to relax before baking this could lead to the uneven rise resulting in a "smile."   Try not to reshape after it's on the peel.  If you feel like it has gone too soft and need to reshape the loaves, then perhaps the are overproofed and you should think about putting the loaves into the oven sooner.


Mini


 

ericb's picture
ericb

Mini,


That might be the trick. I'll avoid doing the "tuck" procedure in the future. Seemed like a good idea at the time!


I remember seeing curvy loaves in the infamous "Julia Child / Danielle Forestier" video. Julia was weilding an impotent, sickly looking baguette at the very beginning of video: "Are you sick of making miserable looking French Bread like this? Want to know how to make a real French Baguette?" What a hoot! How I do miss that wonderful woman!


Thanks for your advice, Mini.


 


Eric Brown