The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A very busy day!!

JIP's picture

A very busy day!!

I just finished a very busy baking day.......



On top of what you see in the picture I also baked 4 loaves (1recipe) of the cuban bread found here it is not what I have been calling cuban bread but I think this is more authentic than what I have been making because it uses lard (I used veg. shortening).  It is not what I am used to it was very soft and moist with a thin soft crust it had a great taste due to (obviously) the shortening and an overnight pre-ferment.  This is my second batch of this and it was better than the first one because the pre-ferment was in the fridge a little longer and had more time to develop flavor.  I also made a rustic italian from Baking Illustrated I have made this before but as you can see in the picture I got a great bloom on the crust this time.  The crumb was a little more dense that I wanted it to be but I guess this is what this bread is.


Now on to the Baguettes.  I have been trying this recipe from ABAA for a while now and I think this time I was particularly succesfull.

The first two loaves (on the rack in the first image) came out like I have been making them nice but not as much oven spring as I wanted and a weird wavy shape to the loaf.  When I put the second 2 loaves in the oven I did what I have not done before I kept adding steam.  I sprayed them, waited ab.5 mins. sprayed again and I repeated 2 more times.  Personally I think this is the best I have made this bread I really delayed the crust from setting up with all that steam and got a good shape.  I also got a real blistery and dark crust.  Actually, I think these are the 2 most attractive loaves of bread I have made. 

Crumb shot

I also got a great flavor and a nice bubbly crumb.  All in all this has been a very sucessfull (albeit tiring) baking day for me now I'm going to bed. 


tigressbakes's picture

They all look wonderful!

redivyfarm's picture

Those baguettes look really tasty!

zolablue's picture

Those are fabulous!  WOW!  I'm very impressed with your Acme baguettes.  That is one of my very favorite breads that I've made so far even with the wonderful sourdough stuff I've been making.  I was thinking about something bwraith mentioned about getting so into the sourdough and forgetting the qualities of the wonderful yeasted breads and the flavor and texture they are meant to have.

I agree with you that the baguettes came out especially well.  I also tried not steaming at times, especially because Glezer states in many cases it is a waste.  But I noticed a distinct difference when I started steaming again.

I am not familiar with Cuban bread but would love to know more about it. My neighbors just went to Florida and really raved about the Cuban breads they ate while there.  

Isn't it a great feeling when you pull the prettiest loaves from the oven.  Sigh...

JIP's picture

Well as far as steaming goes the only way I have been able to really get my baguettes to expand the way they did was heavy steam.  As I said I sprayed my oven 3-4 times in the first 10 minutes of baking.  This was actually a good experiment because with 2 different batches that came out so differently and the only thing that was different was the spraying of water I have to say for me at least it means alot.  Also, I did put a link to the cuban bread recipe if you want to make it when I first made it I was surprised at the texture I am not used to such a soft bread but after a while I liked it.   Actually the second time I made it I turned 2 of the loaves int hamburger rolls because when I tried it the first time that was what the texture of it reminded me of so I just took 2 of the loaves weighed them into thirds each and shaped 6 hamburger buns and they came out great.  Initially this was not one of my favorite recipes but for rolls it is definately a keeper.

breadnerd's picture

Very nice loaves and your slashes/ears on the crust look great.  Isn't it amazing we can make such great bread at home?  It's way better than anything you can buy--and fresh out of your oven!

mountaindog's picture

JIP - those are some of the nicest baguettes I've seen, great job! I've never tried the Acme recipe and now I will have to. Glad to know your extra steaming helped...sometimes I also wonder if it is making any difference, looks like it did for you.

lisak's picture

Wow! I need to come take lessons!

Thegreenbaker's picture

Those loaves of bread are beautiful!

I aspire to make such beautiful loaves!