The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Community Bake - Baguettes by Alfanso

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Baguettes by Alfanso

This Community Bake will be featuring one of our very own; the "Baguette Baker Extraordinaire", Alan, aka alfanso. He is among a handful of fine baguette bakers on TFL who have spent years concentrating on baguettes, alfanso's favored craft, and his baguettes are consistently outstanding and consistently consistent.. Consistence and repeatability, coupled with breads that visually signify a particular baker are the hallmark of excellence. When viewing an image of any of Alan's baguettes, those that have been around for a while know exactly who baked the bread. We are fortunate to have him on the forum.

We have extracted the bakes of 4 participating bakers and present it in PDF form

Attention New Readers:
Although the Community Bake started some time back, it is still active. New participants are welcomed to join in at any time! It's constantly monitored and help of any kind is still available.

For those that are not familiar with Alan and his baguettes check out his blog.
 
   

    

Since the Covid Pandemic many new bakers have joined the forum. For those that are not familiar with our Community Bakes (CB) see THIS LINK. It should give you an idea of the concept and how things work.

Alan supplied the following information as a guide line to the bake. There are links below with additional resources. Alan's choice of baguette for the CB is Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat, by Jeffrey Hamelman. Jeffrey Hamelman recently retired as Head Baker at the King Arthur Flour Company. His book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, 2nd Edition" is considered a "must have" by most of the bakers on this forum.

Alan writes:

I’ve attached the formula and some photos of my most recent bake of this bread.  It is another really easy to manipulate bread that has a fantastic taste, but is not too heavy on the whole grain side. 1250g is a nice amount to create 4 "comfortable sized" baguettes.

I’ve simplified the formula a little by converting it from a 60% hydration to a 100% hydration levain.

Mr. Hamelman uses the term “Bread Flour” but in our realm this really means a standard AP flour with a similar protein profile to King Arthur AP flour, 11.7% protein.

This dough can also be mixed mechanically if you have neither developed the skills nor have the desire to mix by hand."

NOTE - for those using home milled flour a tweak may be necessary.  Whole grain (100% extraction) will absorb quite a bit more water than white flour as well as commercial whole wheat flour. Since I used home milled grain, it was necessary to add more water before the dough became extensible enough to slap and fold. I estimate the water added was approximately 28 grams which brought the hydration to ~72%. I should have taken my own advice and measured the additional water, but I didn’t. For those using home milled grains, if would be helpful if you reported the extra water necessary to do the Slap & Folds. See THIS TECHNIQUE.

   Additional Resources

 

Everyone is welcomed. Both expert and novice can learn and improve their baking skills by participating and sharing their experience. Make sure to post your good, bad, and ugly breads. We learn much more from our failures, than we do from our successes.  

Danny 

A late addition -

In Alan’s reply below he reminded us that this is not a competition. The goal of every Community Bake is to learn from one another. There are no losers, only winners. Each and every participant should become a better baguette baker with the help of others.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"I prefer to use my spare big cooking sheet on top, to reduce the effective volume I need to keep hot, and steam (since in commercial ovens the height is much smaller, I think it makes sense)."

I don't follow your logic here, or I'm not picturing it correctly in my mind. Unless the cooking sheet fits flush against the walls of the oven, then it is not actually reducing the volume, as hot air and steam will circulate around it.

If it does fit flush against the walls, it will interfere with the temperature sensors, and with natural air-flow, and you could get dangerously high temp hot-spots.

(There is a benefit to a cookie sheet above the bread: and that is to shade the bread if the oven intermittently and automatically  turns on the top heating element to maintain oven temp.)

The oven designers place the location of the temp sensors with natural air flow in mind.  If we block the expected minimum air flow, there will be hot spots. 

Without the convection fan, objects need to be clear of the walls, by about 3 to 4 cm. With the fan, the clearance can be a bit smaller, I would suppose.

I've only been on TFL for a year, but your's is the first case I've read about anyone trying to reduce the inner volume of the oven.  

--

On the other point, pre-heating the steel without anything shading it from the radiant heat of the lower element means it is in the neighborhood of 700 F and up when you load the dough.

Baking Steels were originally intended for pizzas where you want a 700-900 F heat, and quick transfer of heat.  Steels need to be "attenuated" a bit for bread,  They really do behave (transfer heat)  differently from stone.

--

The bottom line is whatever works in your set-up. You are the boss of your kitchen. 

Congratulations on getting such excellent baguettes so soon!

And bon appétit!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I doubt that the tray does too much, really, to be honest. It is a full-size one, as big as one can fit in the oven, so I was hoping it would at least partially block the air exchange with the top section of the oven without the convection fan on. There is some space around it of course.

I don't know, maybe someone else will comment on whether it's something others have tried, and whether it actually does anything.

Thank you for the engineering insight and comments!

Benito's picture
Benito

You guys seemed to be making the Bouabsa baguettes lately and I realized that I had only made this formula once. I remember them to taste fabulous, however, when I made them before I used a 50:50 blend of bread and all purpose flour, which retrospectively both had 13.3% protein.  So I thought I’d try again but this time using my Quebecois 10% protein flour.  I did these at 70% hydration and the dough was once again very very extensible and easy to stretch out to 16”.  I’m more comfortable with seeding baguettes now although with such extensible dough one still has to be careful not to overstretch the baguettes out.

Uncertain why, but I didn’t get great ears this time, but good enough.  

I made a video showing the “endgame” transferring the baguettes off the couche, scoring and getting them from the peel into the oven, in case there are any newbies here interested as I realized it is helpful when new to this.

Benito's picture
Benito

Not my favourite crumb of all my baguettes, I still cannot figure out why sometimes I get this line of dense crumb in the middle of the baguette.  It must be related to my shaping but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to avoid it.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Yeah I see the central line and also have no clue as to why at this moment.  A problem with approaching "near perfection" is anything that falls short of that standard might unjustly qualify for hand-wringing.

I think the Bouabsa is an odd critter in that there doesn't seem to be a lot of them around that get a good lift for the ear.  Oven spring and grigne?  Yes, but if you poke around and look for it, you'll find that is fairly true.  

And now that you know the not-so-secret secret of getting a coating seeds on the surface, you've discovered that it's as easy as ABC.  I never considered putting sesame seeds on anything other than a semolina based bread - likely a product of the seed's usage from my youth.

Don't sweat this one out, you got it!

alan

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m not horribly upset or anything, but I’d love to figure this out.  I wonder if that dense line could be from a piece of dough cut and added to another when weighing them out.  I typically cut off part of an end of one to add to another.  So that piece is linear and is added close to the center of the lighter dough and then rolled into a cylinder.  I would end up pretty close to the center of a baguette.  For this set I only had to cut once to get them to weight about equal.  it will be interesting when I slice the remaining two baguettes.  If they don’t have that dense area it is possible that it could be from the transferred piece.

I’m far from certain, but this might be another possibility?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

but not so sure.  I do what you describe all the time, that is to trim and add as "needed" in order to ensure a close to even weight distribution across all baguettes.  However, as you can see here from my recent bake of Bouabsa where I also did that "trim and tuck", there seems to be no evidence of a vein in the center.

It certainly seems to be a reasonable explanation, but I'm not seeing it on my own bakes.

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes you’re probably right and I’m grasping at straws trying to figure it out to prevent it in the future.  Thanks Alan.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

A disreputable perversion of a classic. I go away for a while and this is what I find when I return. You could lose your brigade stripes for that one;-)

I have seen this line of dough in mine and others. I always assumed it was the weld from sealing up the seams.

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes I have bastardized the Bouabsa, sorry about that.  😇. Yes perhaps it is due to the shaping, I should sometime shape in two different ways and see if there is a difference in the crumb.  The problem is remembering which one is where after rotating them.  In fact, I did shape these two different ways, but of course, cannot recall which is which.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

You can also place a permanent marker "dot" on the end of one baguette.  It shouldn't burn off and you then just cut it off after the bake.  Neglected to mention this before...

'nuff said

Benito's picture
Benito

Now that is a great idea Alan, never occurred to me.

Benito's picture
Benito

I thought I’d give a go at this formula again making one small change.  With my recent experience scoring warm dough I thought I’d skip the final cold proof and be brave and score room temperature baguettes.  The kitchen is much cooler now than before so my usual 30 mins bench proof turned into a 60 mins bench rest.  I now keep the aliquot jar out on the counter with the dough when taken out of the fridge ending cold retard.  I have found it interesting to see how much the aliquot jar has fallen in the fridge almost to the original level at the beginning of bulk fermentation.  After dividing, pre-shaping, bench rest, then final shaping and 60 mins bench rest the aliquot jar rose back up to 20% rise.  Not sure that these are sufficiently fermented, like usual the crumb will tell.

They were not that much more challenging to score warm, they do wrinkle quite a bit and the seeds of course always mean that I have score twice per score because the first one never quite goes through along the whole length.

Overall outward appearance is good, some decent ears and grigne.  I’ll post crumb photos after dinner.

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m starting to think that those dense lines are related to shaping alone.  When I am careful while folding the dough to the center during final shaping and not pressing in with my finger tips and instead using the thenar eminence (base of thumb) or the heel of my hand to attach them folded dough, I’m not seeing the dense line as often.  But when I’m not careful and then pressing the folded dough with finger tips too much then I see that dense line more often.  Using my finger tips is probably creating too much density as the pressure is too concentrated along that line.  Whereas, using a larger fatter part of the hand like the thenar eminence or heel of the hand spreads that pressure out.  A few more bakes of consciously avoiding using my fingers should give me more evidence to support this or rule this out.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

and, I recall having to bush some flour from the suface before the first fold.  I wonder if stray dry flour might be causing this ? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It wouldn’t hurt if we continued to post our baguette bakes to the CB. It seems like a good place to document our baguette baking progress.

This bake wound up being a test to determine the change in flavor profile of CY breads that cold fermented for various lengths of time. The formula was Bouabsa (CY only) with the hydration reduced to 68%. KAAP was used. Enough dough to bake 3 baguettes was mixed. Each of the 3 baguettes were retarded with a 24hr variance. Bread #1 - 24hr, #2 - 48hr, and #3 - 72hr. All 3 breads tasted extremely similar. I was surprised to find that the increase in cold fermentation times made little to no difference in taste. A dedicated post On the subject was published here

The breads below are posted in chronological order.
It looks like I forgot to photograph the first (24hr retard) bake.



Benito's picture
Benito

I took it at face value 2 years ago when I bought my first bread book by Peter Reinhart when he said that the flavour develops in the fridge overnight of after a few days of cold retard.  Now that I’ve been baking sourdough and learned a bit about the microbiology that is in our bread, it doesn’t make sense that CY breads would develop much flavour from col retardation down to the temperatures that we are keeping our fridges.  I don’t believe that there is much CY activity in my fridge at 2ºC so why would the flavour change much.  Perhaps there is a bit of residual metabolic activity by the yeast but is there enough to created any flavor compounds?  In our sourdough breads yes, there is definite flavour progression as evidenced by the changes in pH even I have recorded so we know that the LAB and the yeast to some extent are producing acids that will contribute to flavour.  But CY I’m no as convinced and feel let down by Peter.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

The full writeup is here.  

New participating member Brotkraft, a professional baker, posted a video recently extolling the virtues of a 3 hr. autolyse in service of an open crumb.

I took the bait, and from a single bake experience it certainly seems to have some real value, although further investigation - hopefully by our stalwart crew here, will bear out. 

Benito's picture
Benito

This bake has it all Alan, that is a gorgeous open crumb and you have totally avoided lines of density anywhere, quite the thing of beauty.  And each of your baguettes have your signature perfect ears.  Not sure I could top that.

Remind me, did you also do the double stage levain build to go with the autolyse?

Interestingly because I have been making almost whole grain free baguettes, I haven’t really employed much of an autolyse.  It was my impression that a long autolyse for a while bread didn’t gain you much.  For any bread that has more whole grain in it, I have always employed at least a 1 hour autolyse and usually much more.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

to get the "experiment" started, I decided to take 80g of my few week unrefreshed 100% AP & 100% hydration starter out of the refrigerator.  Then add the rye and water, ~75g each, to get it up to the necessary amount of levain for the mix.  So in this case, no, it was a single build, although I typically go for 2 or 3 builds.

I'll take it on faith that the 3 hr undisturbed autolyse, not only allowed the gluten to create that window, but also must add some level of flavor to the dough through the continued breakdown of the starches into sugars.

I also liked the single fold halfway through the BF, something that I'd never done before.  Usually it is 2-3 and as many as 4, although that is pushing it for me.  I cringe when I read about some TFLers who do a fold every 15 or 20 minutes for hours on end during the BF. 

Quite pleased with the way that these opened up in the crumb.  Very consistent across the entire length and width of the baguette.  Repeatability is going to be where it is at for me to feel confident that this can be an ongoing result..  I also see that the crust is paper thin as well.  All good signs.

Boy, the amount my own skillset has shown improvement over these past few months since the CB began is obvious to me.  We have all prospered since then.

Benito's picture
Benito

This CB has really opened up the eyes of all participants and made each of us consider methods that we hadn’t before, I know that it has had the effect on me.  Alan, it was your method of throwing it all in at the onset that I had never done before, and has been working with these baguettes, maybe because the baguettes I’ve been baking are no whole grain.  In fact with all my other baking I have always done a strict autolyse of some sort 1-3 hours.  More recently, I have been utilizing a much longer autolyse but with salt after a conversation with Doc, Elsie and Michael during which Elsie ran an experience to that showed the salt had little discernible effect on reducing the amylase activity.  With that in mind, I have now been doing an overnight saltolyse of the dough (not yet tried for baguettes) with the overnight levain build and so far have loved the results.

Now I wonder how I might add an autolyse or saltolyse to my baguette baking?  One major difference is the lower hydration of my baguettes vs my hearth loaves.  I may have to make a lower hydration levain to add to my baguettes to match the final dough.  Would that make it easier to incorporate the levain into the dough?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

these past few years is adding the levain to the water (sans any bassinage saved off for later), getting it completely mixed in and then adding the flours.  As we mix by hand, I'd almost always found that mixing the levain in post-autolyse was a messy and somewhat incomplete affair, and the lower the hydration, the more difficult.

For this mix, I just played around with hydration levels until I found a "sweet spot" where the hydration of the autolyse was sufficient in avoiding clumping or incomplete incorporation. And that's how I settled on 72% overall hydration, which gave me something like 67% hydration for the autolyse.  But I was able to maintain the 100% hydration levain without going to something like 75% or lower.

Was it heretical to change the Vermont SD formula from 65% to 72% hydration?  I'd say no, as any author's formula is really a starting off point for experimentations and "making it your own".

Benito's picture
Benito

I may have to try doing something similar to see if an autolyse can do anything for my baguettes.  However, being that they are almost 100% white flour, I wonder if it is even worth trying?  If there more to autolyse than fully hydrating the flours and allowing the amylase to work?

One thing Brotkaft said in his video that didn’t make sense to me so I’d like your opinions guys, is that he states during a three hour autolyse the proteases will start to work on the gluten enhancing extensibility.  It has been my impression that the proteolytic enzymes aren’t really very active until the dough reaches a pH of 4 or less.  If that is true, then what proteolytic activity will be happening in autolyze because I’ve never seen a levain free dough in autolyse have a pH anywhere near the range where proteolytic enzymes might be active?

Brotkraft's picture
Brotkraft

Search optimal pH for protease...

"Acidity (pH) of food system: protease performs well within the pH range of 4.5–6.5. Temperature: chemical reaction rates double for everhiy 18°F (10°C) increase in temperature. Contact time between enzyme and substrate: enzymes need time to act on the proteins."

Autolyze is not only about allowing amylaze to work, but maybe more importantly about allowing protein bonds to form and protease to work upon them. This decreases mixing time, lessens oxidation, retains flavor.  Dough is easier to shape, and produces bread with more volume. 

My autolyze method, by the way, is not a timed 3 hours. It's about feeling the dough for an achieved level of extensibility and gluten development. Time can vary depending on the hydration, temperature, flour composition, etc. and is a judgement call each and every dough. 

 

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

There is a widely repeated claim that autolyse results in proteolytic degradation of gluten proteins.  However, there is to my knowledge no peer reviewed research that supports that claim.  In fact, there are a number of papers that present countervailing results.  See for example

Gluten Hydrolysis and Depolymerization during Sourdough Fermentation
CLAUDIA THIELE, SIMONE GRASSL, AND MICHAEL GÄNZLE

Any pointers to research results supporting the claim would be greatly appreciated.

And I totally agree that you have to do what works, irrespective of the "common wisdom" or "rules" established by others. But that may still leave open the question of WHY things work that way.

 And another also with Michael Gänzle as a co-author:

Fluorescence Labeling of Wheat Proteins for Determination of Gluten Hydrolysis and Depolymerization During Dough Processing and Sourdough Fermentation
Benito's picture
Benito

I hope you know I meant no disrespect, your work is obviously outstanding.  I agree, autolyse is a very useful tool for bakers to use.  The gluten develops quite well during autolyse and amylase starts to work on breaking down startches into sugars that the microbes can easily digest.  

I too have seen the effect autolyse has on extensibility, I just never understood the mechanism that causes it.  Based on my conversations with Doc and Elsie here, it was my impression that it wasn’t proteolysis since there is a lack of evidence for significant proteolytic activity from the grain proteolytic enzymes until pH starts to drop to around 4.

This post by Debra Wink discusses proteolysis.  A quote in her post Cereal “grains contribute the enzymes (aspartate-proteinases), and LAB contribute the acidity which turns them on. They are most active in the pH range of 3.0 to 4.5.”

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

It was that kind of misleading statement that motivated my general rule #1. Don’t take anything as truth until you have a repeatable  definitive experiment that confirms the facts. 

Benito's picture
Benito

That is certainly no where more true than in healthcare.

Benny

Brotkraft's picture
Brotkraft

What was the misleading statement?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Reconfigured my oven a bit by removing some bricks and raised slab to give a shot at baking directly on the original stone.  So here's a single test loaf that also included a makeshift version of Dan's sliding mechanism so I can dock sideways without my usual employment of a second removable stone.  Unfortunately the first shot resulted in a partially dropped loaf before docking and it got twisted during recocery.  Well the good news ia that direct to deck works and bursts the loaf faiely well.  Take a gander - 

^^^ Middle section that didnt get twisted 

^^^ the twisted sister 

 

 ^^^ lacy crumb ;)

This time I opted for 25% canadian khorasan T55 against 75% French T65.  I like this mix as it brings some handleability (that a word ?) to the dough.  Also whole on the topic of Canada, I also getting some dense spots in the crumb as Benny recently observed which I think comes down to shaping skills.  It doesnt bother me much.  So with all that, thinking about ordering a nice thick base stone for this beast as I'm starting to understand better with each bake.  It seems best to just use the lower element and get that to about 500F.  Most interestingly I have had better results when the stone is around 500 and change but the ambient around 420F.  Who'd have though keeping a lower ambient would work better ! 

 

 

Benito's picture
Benito

That looks great Geremy, you’re still fine tuning your oven set up.  There is less to do to figure out a home oven I think.  I think, but more bakes will need to be done to prove it, that yes shaping is causing the those dense lines.  I’d prefer not to see them at all, but that is being picky.  I think when I fold the dough in final shaping, sometimes I have a tendency to press down with my fingertips to seal the dough and that is when I get that dense line.  I have to remember to use the heel of my hand or the thenar eminence instead and I’m hoping if I do so I can eliminate that nuisance.  

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I use fingertips to seal then finish the seal with the heel of my hand.  Per my reply above (to you) I mention the possibility of excess flour getting in the folds.  I think its one if those things that is hard to explain and too much for my brain to consider so I just roll with it (no pun intended) 

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes there is the excess flour issue as a cause in addition to pressing with fingertips rather than a fatter part of the hand.  I hadn’t forgotten about the excess flour and have been trying to do better to brush that off as well.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Ger, I hope you have email notices turned on when you get a PM.

I'm gonna call you in when the next newbie comes around with questions about baking bread in a pizza oven. or a top-heated convection oven.

Though, most of the time, they are clueless about it being top heat, and think it is about steam only.

--

Just to be clear... for this last bake, pictured here, did you have the upper element on or off during pre-heat?

 

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Well all the back on forth on this thing really helps one umderstand things  better.  I think you suggested in the past to shut the too down 10 minuges prior.  In find its better even earlier (like 10-20).  So to answer you question, yes I do turn it on but way early just to boost the ambient.  I have also found that I need to very careful how hot I get the ambient.  If it gets over 480F I will see the crust harden very fast even with the upper totally off for 10+ minutes and that just hoses the entire bake.  Ideally I would prefer to not even use it but with only the bottom on full power I will get a hot base around 500 but the ambient hovers at say 380 which is too low.  Also I found that hitting the top about 15 minutes in will improve the final browning but I really have to be careful and hit it for only a couple minutes.  without that boost at the end they come out pale.  So so different from the gas countpart which needs to be maxed out to get any good results.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the gas domestic heats the stone via hot air whereas this commecial unit heats the stone by the underlying element literally half and inch under the plate.  Ha ha I keep fantasizing of getting some mileage on this and somehow snatciing a real full on deck oven ! 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I never receive emails - or maybe I do but whatever account I signed on here I don't use it hardly ever because I know it's filled with spam.  If you do want to email me though, I'll shoot you a PM with my contact for the email account that I use frequently :) 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Smashing results, Geremy. By “the sliding mechanism”, do you mean the loading board?

Your cell structure is elongated. Are you stretching the dough outward as you roll?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I am referrring to the wood board and slider you made.  I crafted a cardboard version.  Actually I am now thinking of maybe buiding a mini loader with canvas and bearings etc.  deoends how ambitious I feel :) 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Geremy, Don (MTLoaf) made the canvas slider using the Super Peel concept. I own a couple of Super Peels that I got from the maker. He actually custom sized one to fit my stone’s dimensions.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

that baby loader looks like a very expensive 14 lb. toy.  $825!

It looks to be the same (Abel).

kendalm's picture
kendalm

at half that I would really have to dream up a convincing reason to throw down.  It is a beauty tho. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I don't really stretch outwards, instead I tend to force downwards and let it elongate naturally, in fact I try very hard to avoid stretching outwards since that often causes kinks in the tube shape.  So generally, I look at the pre-roll and where it is thickest is where I start applying pressure and try to let the tube elongate via the downward force.  If there's a thin area, I'll continue rolling but apply little to no pressure there. I often have oval alvioli, unlike Benny who is the king of perfect round bubbles ! 

Benito's picture
Benito

I think Alan is the new King of round alveoli, look at the most recent bake he did. perfection.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

more than dumb luck.  Here's hoping not, and nothing like repetition as discussed earlier to prove it.

I kinda more like emperor, czar, overlord or even mikado.  Yeah, I like the sound of mikado.  Sounds more impressive.  Especially if it comes with a crepe mikado.

Sincerely, Mikado alfanso 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

with really well defined and consistent scores and grignes.  Okay, so here's where we discuss oven temperature.  Well, not actually a discussion as much as a few words.  Or less.  Or maybe more.  Dunno.  I'll sleep on it and get back to ya in the morning...

I was mentioning to you quite a while ago that 550dF or even 500 being too hot for my baguettes, and showed the burned  results both top and bottom.  You were using the old gas oven and were still in the court of the 550 blast was the way to go.  Yes the 380 or whatever is certainly too low but if you can get results this way, the 460-480 range is where my dough likes to bake - the Bouabsa IDYs at 480 and most levains at the two lower marks.

And, of course, every oven is different.

Benito's picture
Benito

Blasphemy, I know what you guys the Baguette Brigade will say about these, Blapshemy!!!  Oh well, I do not care.  I was in the mood to do something with chocolate and had started the mix for these Bouabsa baguettes.  I added 100 g of Lindt 70% dark chocolate which is always a good pick me up.  I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone add chocolate to their baguettes, but I have to admit I haven’t done a search.  In all likelihood it isn’t an original idea.  The chocolate was added at the first fold for which I did a strong bench letterfold and threw the chocolate in as if it was a lamination.

I usually do only 2 coil folds and no French folds for my baguettes, however, for this set I did the letterfold and then two coil folds.

The kitchen smells like chocolate cake right now and I can’t wait until one of these cools off to slice it open

Benito's picture
Benito

OK these were seriously good.  They actually do not taste like dessert which is what I was worried about. The 70% dark chocolate isn’t particularly sweet at all, more bittersweet so these somehow come across as savory.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

They look proper tasty!

70% Lindt is a staple in my kitchen and not having a sweet tooth I often enjoy it neat, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.

I can imagine the aroma when baking must have been pretty amazing!

Truly original baguettes. Nice one Benny!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Michael, I’ll be adding chocolate to more breads in the future after this bake.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

but baguette doctrine be damned. Have some fun. You could fill those holes with pastry cream and sprinkle powdered sugar on top or maybe a banana and whipped cream. 

My combo is a little less innovative.

nutella baggies

Benito's picture
Benito

Someone should invent Nutella chips, that would be good added to a baguette as well.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

What about adding Nutella to the dough?! And also chocolate pieces and hazelnuts.

Benito's picture
Benito

That could work, but might turn it into a very sweet dessert bread, very tasty though.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yeah depends on what you are aiming for... I would guess adding a small amount of nutella will give a good colour pretty quickly with not much sweetness, and then you can use dark chocolate and hazelnuts for the actual flavour, so you get nutella tasting but moderately sweet bread. Or you could incorporate nutella in lamination and make a sort of a swirl/roll. Thinking about it, I just might try it at some point!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

You should consider babka or maybe Geremy could do the next CB on croissants. 

or you could keep going with this and add marshmallow cream for a Smores baggie. Maybe take it to the savory side with a Buffalo chicken wing sauce or make it even more cheesy with cheese. For the love of all things holy please leave the Bouabsa name out of your concoctions or I will tell him where you live;-) I looked through the Baguette Brigade charter and there is no section on court marshal proceedings but there is mention of a firing squad. Any last requests?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I've been meaning to try babka, actually. I didn't really mean it has to be baguettes, just some bread... So maybe chocolate babka with additional hazelnuts is what I was really thinking about!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

On the perfect loaf website I have been wanting to try. Tis the season or close enough anyway

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yep, that's the one I would go for!

Benito's picture
Benito

Funny you guys are thinking about Babka, I’ve long wanted to try making a Babka but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I love the recipes I’ve tried from Maurizio’s and I had my eye on that same recipe.

We need to start a Babka CB sometime.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Anything with chocolate has to be good. Yummy :)

Benito's picture
Benito

Can’t disagree with you on that Gavin.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Looks like they turned out well.

A little Philly Cream Cheese? Peanut Butter?

Benito's picture
Benito

One didn't achieve ears but the other two did, no idea why.  No need for toppings the chocolate with the Bouabsa is really delicious.

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hi Dan

 

You send me this link on a group of FB. This receipe is very good and I ma trying to do it just right now.

 

But I found some instruction are not clear enough for me. I am on the shaping step and in your recipe you said retard 12-16 hours. I use some can that have the shape of a baguette, I have some linen close too that I use normally to cover the bread. Should I retard this baguettes putting the baguettes on the fridge (5 to 2 C grades)?

I live on the tropics so night temp here is not cool enough

 

Thank you for all your help

 

Regards

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Xabier, yes. When retard is mentioned on this forum it almost always means the dough is placed in the refrigerator.

I am happy to see you join us. Looking forward to your bakes. If we can help in any way, please let us know.

Welcome to our gang.
Danny

OH! If you want to refer to a particular post you can click on the subject line and then copy the web address from the address bar. Paste that into your post. This bake is so large it can be difficult to navigate.

Click this link for a PDF file that compiles quite a few of the baguette bakes.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/up/tfl-baguette-community-bake.pdf

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hi Dany well thank you for the quick answer. One more question also in the recipe it said form retard to bake. So I take it out of the fridge diretly to the oven?

 

I feel I am learning a lot in just a few hours. :)

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hi I did my first try on thi recipe

 

I think I get lost in some part because baguettes are not that well. I do it everything as it is written in the recipe except for one thing, I legt the baguettes 17 hours on fridge. I start to do it and when I have to proceed to the retard fementation I realized that 12 to 6 ours it's goging to be 4 in the mourning :S 

 

Despite this there were two things that were not so clear to me. 

The retard I do it in a classic baguette tin with a linen not that thick (as the one we use to cover the banneton or batards) and then I put it inside a plastic bag. I think I make a mistake not to close the bag completely. Maybe.

Also in the recipe it doesn't specify how much time we have to wait after take the baguettes out of the fridge, I wait until the oven was at the target temp but maybe was not thatt much (like 30 to 40 minutes)

The baguettes never get golden brown

 

Pls need some guidance

 

first step

first step 2

final 1

final 2

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

How long did you bake them? Maybe they would gain more colour just from a longer bake? They clearly had some nice oven spring and opened up well!

If not specified differently, bake directly from the fridge, no need to keep them at room temperature before baking. Scoring cold dough is easier.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Xabier, are you an experienced baker? I ask because their is a lot of good things going on with these baguettes.

Scoring was nice and the shaping was excellent. Inassume you used Hamelman’s Pain au Levain.

Suggestions -

  1. your scoring is very nice, but if you over lap your scores by 1/3 they will open nicer. 
  2. pale coloration - it could well be that your flour is lacking malt. If you can get some diastatic malt try 0.5% and see if the loaf doesn’t darken. If it does darken, but not enough for your liking you can go as much as 1% of the total weight of your flour, but more than that can mess up your bread by making it gummy. A little goes a long way.
  3. as the other poster (Ilya) said, it is common practice to slash and bake your dough cold right out of the fridge.
  4. yes, cover your dough in a sealed plastic bag in order to keep it from drying out.

Very good bake for your first attempt.

Danny

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

I am not a experience baker, I Start a restaurant on february 6 this year, it was my dream since I was very young. We know this year is maybe not the best actually but it is what it is, so right now my only option is going ahead.

My wife make me a gift 2 years ago it was a book name "How to make bread: Step by step Recipe" from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. I ave never make bread before this book but I have been doing bread for almost a year. My boules are just fine but still not happy with them. I use a Emmanuels recipe.

But lets talk about the baguette

About the scoring, thanks I would try to do it as you said. About the recipe I us what the one you share. I just don't use Rye because here it's very difficult to buy it and the only source I could find was simply to expensive for using it on my restaurant.

About the diastatic malt also very difficult to find but I will try here ina local microbrewery maybe they could shre my some.

I think one mistake was not sealling that well thee tin. I cover with linen and the put it inside a plastic bag but tdon't sealled it. Next time I will do that.

 

What I don't like my baguettes are two thin. This ones are not more than 30 cms and the baking sheet is 39 cm. Normally baguettes are longer but if make this longer I think would be thinner than now, But do you recommed?

 

Thanks again for all, I'm indebted

alfanso's picture
alfanso

in a home brewing store.  Agree with Dan that your shaping is really good for a new baguette baker.  There are plenty of charts that indicate the proposed length and weight for differing types of baguette types of bread - baguettes, long batards, ficelles...If you have a preference concentrate on what you think your restaurant diners will want. 

Also review the composition of 4 baker's journey's here on TFL to see what they did, their challenges and how they continued to improve.  It is pretty comprehensive.  I think Dan forwarded the link to you. 

This year has been exceptionally challenging for food service businesses, but perhaps a perfect test tube for experimentation and learning/honing new skills.  

Good luck and keep posting, alan

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

"There are plenty of charts that indicate the proposed length and weight for differing types of baguette types of bread - baguettes, long batards, ficelles" The charts are on this forum?

"Also review the composition of 4 baker's journey's here on TFL to see what they did, their challenges and how they continued to improve.  It is pretty comprehensive.  I think Dan forwarded the link to you." le me check I don't see that I would defintly be very interest.

 

What normally is the most frustating part of artisan bakery here is that I don't have no one to speak about it, we are very few artisans bakers. So this forum for me is a breath of fresh air, and allows me to share experiences

 

Thanks for all and I will keep on posting.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

xabier, to view the PDF file that chronicles the baguette bakes of 4 active bakers seeTHIS LINK.

Below is an image of the chart Alan mentioned in regard to baguette the bread sizes.

 
Keep posting your baguette bakes. We monitor this bake and will readily reply.

Danny

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Thank you Danny

 

The where you pick this is one of my whishlist. I recently buy Flour water salt and yeast. Maybe thatis next

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Don't feel constrained by the weight and length of other people's baguettes.  If you want them longer, just use some more dough. If you want them darker increase oven time, oven temperature, or residual sugar in the dough. Cange one thing at a time and see if it is moving in the right direction.

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hey what a nice nick name you have is just perfect LOL 

 

About weight and length is something more, it`s more about what I want it for and what people like. My little restaurant is about urban food but with a Basque touch. I want to have "Bocadillos" That long subs we normally see with serrano ham or tortilla or the combination of both need a good baguette but also wth a good bread crumbs. Mine are very thin

 

My unbaked weight is around 235 to 250grams and the length is 40cm unbaked and 30 baked. The length for a Sub is just nice but I need a softer crumbs, thinker. I am kkeping with my trial, soon I will post by new bake

 

Thanks DOC

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Make your slashes overlap more to get less bulging but have otherwise risen well.  the pale color looks like too short of a bake or a long bake that was not hot enough.  Otherwise wow ! 

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

I´ll check that this time. My target was this time the baguette look. as the recipe I was using give me a very uneven baguette.

 

I will post soon

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

one more question

I make this baguette with my usual prefement recipe

1 part of starter

2 part of water

2 part of flour

let it rest for 12 to 13 hour

But how you divide your levain build (I want to try your preferment formula)

 

Thanks again

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I just finished chapter 1 of this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Search-Perfect-Loaf-Bakers-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B00INIXPGW

This guy's story sums up youse guys's baguette quest.

As a home baker, he fumbles with baguettes in the US, as a journalist, gets paid to go to France to learn baguettes, and write about it, comes back and basically did what this CB did.

Wait until the Kindle edition goes on sale again for $1.99.  I'll try to keep abreast in my Kindle thead.

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Post the link of your kindle thread pls so I could buy it when it goes again 1.99. Now is 12.99

 

Thanks!!!

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hi again. Second try not so good. I improve the color but now I try to use another recipe (my mistake)

 

I use my white sourdough recipe. When you have a restaurant what I try to do is to simplify a little bit everything. So with that spirit I use this recipe but I don't get the results I want.Plus my scoring knife was a not as sharp as I would want so the scoring is just awful. This is the recipe


And this is the result. The crumbs is not good, almost any hole. Also don't have the diameter I want. The recipe I put there is the boule one. So for each baguette I use 225grams of the Bread Formula, sorry maybe that confuse a little bit. Baguette were thin, and I want a thicker baguette. Also baguette was very dry at night when I want to use it for my dinner. I do put this time the baguette inside the oven just after I get it from the fridge. I have the check the chart again.



 


 


Nice tip. I read it here at the TFL an really produce a lot of steam, thanks


My oven, This was not going to be an oven for bread so It doesn't have a fan. 



Worst shaping than the first try. Maybe the recipe.



Better color, don´t that bad taste but would like a little bit more. 


 



Very compact crumb. The parts that is not in the picture is what I taste :)


So There is a long road beofre me. Let´s keep on


 


Regards


 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

for a 4;30 AM bake!

First bread baked in the new oven. What a pleasure! No fiddling around with the temperature. Bigger oven cavity, very even heat, distribution.  I should have dumped that old one years ago! The only negative, the oven has to be turned off to change the temperature during the bake. Not a huge deal, might cause a slight delay in coming back up to temperature.  Little rusty on the shape/score. I feel like a real baker man when I time the bake for a 4:30 AM bake! Formula: Hamelman's Vermont sourdough, which features a 125% hydration liquid Levein achieved in two builds over 12hrs. I built two leveins, the one in the refrigerator I will attempt to modify the Vermont sourdough formula hydration up to 75% and get my ciabatta bake in the books! 

 food and indoor

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I was trying to wait for lunch and buy some Italian cold cuts. Nope no chance Butter American cheese on a baguette for breakfast.

Benito's picture
Benito

Nice baking Will.  I’m sure you’re very happy with this bake, you have excellent ears on these and a nice crumb.  Glad your new oven is working out.

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

That is correct, very happy! Not over-proofed and an oven worthy of my skill! Smile...

 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Nice bake. They look very good. I love that recipe but have not made baguettes with it.

Cheers,

Gavin.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Not my best baguettes, not my worst. Credit the baguette king, Alfonso for the unconventional use of this very nice formula! 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

After one hour of room temperature fermentation, with stretches at 15, 30. and 60 the dough was only slightly less troublesome. Into the cooler, shaping in four hours. The last photo is before the one hour room temperature ferment. 

Benito's picture
Benito

This is my third time baking semolina sourdough baguettes and I ran a bit short on the Semola rimacinata flour that I usually use for this. I also hadn’t baked a baguette in some time so I felt a bit rusty, but I think overall the bake went well.

These are likely a bit overproofed I’m guessing based on the so so ears. The kitchen was pretty warm and I didn’t account for how fast they would proof on the counter, that and my starter is now creating levains and dough that ferment more quickly. I will need to take this into account in the future.

Levain Build 1:5:5
Starter 18 g
Water 90 g
Semola 90 g
Use 178 g

Saltolyse
Semola Rimacinata 275 g (I used 220 g)
AP flour 228 g (I used 283 g)
Salt 11.8 g
Diastatic Malt 5.92
Water 308 g

Do overnight levain build and saltolyse.
In morning mix levain with saltolysed dough and IDY using Rubaud to ensure salt is well mixed.
20-30 mins later coil fold
20-30 mins later coil fold
End bulk fermentation after 25% bulk rise then start cold retard until next day.

The dough is divided and pre-shaped as loose cylinders and left to rest covered at room temperature for 30 mins. The dough is then shaped, placed on a wet towel and rolled in sesame seeds. Finally they are placed on a floured couche seam side up and left at room temperature for 40-60 mins to proof depending on the room temperature.
With 10 mins left of bench rest the oven is started 500ºF to preheat. When the 40 mins of bench rest is completed the shaped baguettes are placed in a bag and returned to the refrigerator for 30-40 mins to chill to make scoring easier. Once this time is over the baguettes are scored and immediately placed on the baking steel and boiling water is added to the cast iron skillet. The Sylvia towel with boiling water was placed in the oven 30 mins prior to baking time.
The oven temperature is jacked up to 525ºF to get the burners to activate immediately and then once activated dropped to 480ºF. The baguettes are baked with steam for 13 mins. The steam equipment is removed venting the oven of steam. The oven is left at 480ºF but convection is turned on and the baguettes bake for 10 mins rotating them halfway. The oven temperature is then dropped to 450ºF and the baguettes rotated again if needed and baked for another 3 mins to achieve a rich colour crust.

 
Benito's picture
Benito

The crumb is good, decently open for semolina I believe.  I do love the yellow crumb.  I do see a defect related to excessive flour when shaping.  That line down the middle of the crumb down the length.  Too much flour so the folded dough didn’t stick to itself enough.  Such a fine line between too much and not enough flour.

Thanks to Alan for sharing his formula!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You still got it...

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Dan, I still have to be careful of the bench flour though, was too judicious on the bench flour under the pre-shaped logs of dough so it ended up in the crumb.  At least I have figured out the dense crumb issue and the line issue.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

But other than that, another outstanding bake!  Haven't lost a beat.  Outstanding shaping, scoring and crumb.

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes the ears aren’t great, the final proof sped along much faster than I was expecting especially considering that it is late fall.  My newly invigorated starter is making vigorous levains which are making doughs that ferment faster than I am used to, that is my excuse for overproofing things this week.  At least I believe that is why there aren’t really good ears on these.  But happy with the rest of the bake so I cannot complain.  Thank goodness for my taking good notes on each bake!

Thanks again for sharing this formula with us Alan, it is a keeper, the flavor of the sesame and semolina awesome.  I’ll need to track down more Semola rimacinata or try using Kamut in the future.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Very impressive Bennie!  I have been working on idli and dosa for the past month so this becomes a reminder that anything you don't do on a regular basis is at risk of deteriorating.   You are clearly doing it often enough to stay refreshed.  Really beautiful work.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks so much Doc.  I was worried that not having baked baguettes in quite some time I would have lost some of the skills learned in this CB.  Fortunately the time passed wasn’t long enough for that to happen.  In some ways the time away from them may have been good.  These were the most evenly shaped down the barrel, I gave up on the tapering to see how that would turn out and I do like the even shaping.  This is the first time I’ve had three baguettes all so similarly shaped, I like this for sure.  Just need to remind myself about the flour and the bench and watch that final proof.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

They look delicious. Well shaped and scored. The colour is very inviting. You haven't lost your mojo. Cheers.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Gavin, kind of you to say.  Glad I can still make a baguette, I was worried I’d forgotten.  Gotta be more careful with bench flour though.

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Granted, I am out of practice scoring, and shaping could be better too. That being said, these are the only two formulas I need.

1. Vermont sourdough for naturally leavened -  67% hydration

2. C.Y. is loosely based on Philippe Gosselin - 67% hydration 

These are the C.Y. formulation.

Both formulas use the same procedure taught to me by Alan. Mix, bulk at room temperature until 25%, cold-proof 8-10 hrs. Still working on the exact timings. I ran into a snafu at the pre-shape section today. So no real good idea. 

Slightly under proofed. I was fooled by the cool poke test! However, This is a very nice result all around! 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I purposely shaved a couple of minutes off the baking to produce a more Hero friendly sofer crust. Worked a treat! 

Benito's picture
Benito

Very nice bake Will, your baguettes have come a long way from the start, you really should be proud of how good your baguette baking is now.  Great ears you got on this bake and the crumb is much more open than earlier bakes.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Baking baguettes is like a drug for me. Once I start making them, it is hard to stop! See my reply to Alan in a moment. It will explain the major malfunction of this bake. Smile...

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Good oven spring.  As far as pre-shape snafus, check out this short video posted by Lance a few days ago, a clear pre-shape and shape demonstrated.  video made by Grands Moulins de Paris .  You'll find that with more and regular repetition, your muscle memory will improve and there will be very little other than to do the steps almost without thinking through them very much.  And eventually, you'll try the Bouabsa formula again.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I did see that video, very helpful. The snafu, however, was unrelated. I forgot there was an appointment to have the pups' nails trimmed. The pre-shaped dough sat much longer than it should have. because of that, I was worried about over proofing. I was fooled by the cold dough poke test, which led me to believe the dough was at full proof. That all being said I am way out of practice. (That's the easy part) So happy I can replicate the important stuff!

Cordially,

Will F.

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Thinly sliced N.Y. steak on a soft crusted baguette

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Will, how do you make the crust soft?

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I shaved about three minutes off my bake time. Fresh they were nice and crisp but soft. (these were from frozen) Instead of defrosting in the oven. I let them defrost on the counter, still wrapped in aluminum foil. It worked a treat! 

Edited, to add another trick, I just remembered.

I have a formula for soft dinner rolls that calls for cooling under a slightly damp tea towel (I use flour sack cloth) Straight out of the oven for a few minutes. I will have to try this next time.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

With my freezer now emptied out of rye made during the current Rye Bread CB, and looking elsewhere, I returned home to a comfortable place.  The Hamelman Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat - the same bread I suggested to Dan to kick off the baguette CB. I quickly became somewhat enamored with the 200g version of this bread.  As The Great One Jackie Geason said "and away we go".

400g x 1, 200g x 3.  

The fella hanging out in the upper right corner of the last photo is my version of the Richard Bertinet Stollen.  A second run, I eliminated the two marzipan bars and slipped in a little more filling, composed of: dried cherries, sultanas, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, dried coconut strips and orange peel.  The star of the show is the layer of frangipane, an almond creme custard. 

Last week in my "final" entry into the Rye Bread CB was another that I put forth when setting it up, my faux NY deli rye bread at 25% rye.   As this is the baguette bake, I'll slip a few photos from that in here as well.

400g x 1, 300g x 1, 200g x 1, 300g braid x 1 

Baking is fun.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

They look really good.

Cheers

gavinc's picture
gavinc

duplicate

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Alan do they have that incredible sheen in real life or is this a camera thing.  I dont know how you get that gloss - its amazing. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

coated with a cornstarch glaze to give the a sheen.  This is David Snyder's version.  1/2 TBS cornstarch mixed into 1/8 cup water.  Add that to 1/2 cup boiling water and stir to mix.  I applied it once before the bake, once after the bake and once more after the caraway seeds were added.

Benito's picture
Benito

Stunning bakes all of them Alan.  They have your signature amazing ears, such beautiful baguettes.  I agree with Geremy the sheen is particularly attractive and something I don’t think I’ve ever achieved.

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Victory is mine! 

Failure is an option. It's what you do with the failure that makes you who you are. Our failures mold us. I have failed at several things in my life. What sets some of us apart, is that when we fail, we can't sleep at night. It haunts us until we have our time at redemption.

 

Follow the bake here:Redemption bake 12/27/2020
The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

 

Duplicate Please delete
The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Thanks, to Ilya, for pointing out my mathematical skills suck! Back to ruler and eyeball. I was so careful to get close enough to 25% bulk fermentation. Only to have the dough get away from me in retard! 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

 

Duplicate Please delete
Benito's picture
Benito

I decided to close out 2020 with a set of baguettes.  Since 2020 was the year we worked together on improving our baguettes skills here on TFL I thought it would be fitting.  I’m still having to compensate for my much much much more active starter and the final proof is getting away from me somewhat so I think that is the reason for the lack of ears.  It could also be that I am out of practice with scoring these baggies and need to practice some more again.  I also did a different preshape which led to the bulbous ends, I’ll need to adjust to avoid that the next time.

These are sourdough and not hybrid baggies.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Beautiful work. Love the custardy crumb offset against the crunchy blue-gray seeds. Enjoy!

Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.

Benito's picture
Benito

Kind of you to say AG, many thanks.

All the best to you and your family in the New Year, let’s hope its better for us all.

Benny

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Those look excellent.  It looks like this CB really paid off.  Happy New Year!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks so much, it was time well spent.  I’m really happy that I gave in to pressure to bake baguettes.  I was intimidated to try, but once bitten I was hooked.

Happy New Year

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

some thing or things are lacking.  No, you don't need to do anything.  Perhaps hone the perceived "deficit" skills, but need?  These are near perfect as they are.  The snail's eye view of the final photo makes the crumb look as soft and welcoming as a pillow.

When that day comes in our post-covid world, and you're down my way, I look forward to spending a day or 3 mixing, shaping and baking with thou at chez alfanso.  I think that a home cooked dinner for four might be in the works as well.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Alan for your kind words and again for the help you gave me and all the others.  You were generous with your time and knowledge and it is appreciated.

We have booked flights to come down in February, but I think that we’ll have to cancel and do a staycation.  I will definitely take a rain check to spend some time with you in your kitchen and bake together, that would be cool to do.  I would certainly be happy to help with dinner of course as well.  I will certainly I let you know when I’m next, hopefully by next fall unless the concrete restoration on our building is going steam at that time on our side of the building.

All the best for a healthy happy new year Alan.

Benny

 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Benny, I love the look of these. The poppy seeds give an appealing finish and the crumb excellent. Well done! The bulbous ends don't detract IMO.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Gavin, nice of you to say.  I’m guess I’m too hard on myself, I’m too much of a perfectionist so always see the things that could be better.

Happy New Year to you and your family Gavin.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Duplicate sorry.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Benny thats a nice way to put 2020 in the hindsight. An open crumb with an opium crust!  Since you and Alan have put such nice work on display I feel compelled to do the same.

Happy New Year

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Don, I hope you have a great New Year as well.

Benny

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

you certainly have nailed it again.  Happy New Year

Leslie

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Leslie, I hope this year is a wonderful one for you and your family too.

Benny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I was planning to make baguettes for NYE, but as I posted elsewhere I wasn't quite sure about my starter being in the right mood on the 30th, so I had to plan a one-day baguette bake on the 31st, on top of all the other cooking (lamb biryani and Russian salad, from my side). So while I had issues, I am surprised they came out OK in the end - with not that much baguette experience and a variation to my previous process. What's more, I actually think now I made a big mistake in the formula (which I discovered just now when writing this post!) which led to 60% hydration, instead of 70%! That's what happens when you are in a rush... Unless actually I did it right, but wrote down wrong numbers?

I made semolina baguettes, with 50% semola rimacinata, and 50% bread flour, and I was altering the formula from using pasta flour, which is a mix of durum and regular wheat flours, and made an error when halving the amount. So stupid.

Anyway, I bulked them until ~20% increase, then refrigerated to cool down the dough for shaping. Shaping was a mess, when preshaping into rough tubes the dough was too extensible, and already reached the length of my steel. Maybe it wasn't cold enough? So for shaping I had to cut it in half, combine the halves alongside each other, flatten them together, and then shape. They ended up just a little too long for the steel, but luckily they shrank a bit and fitted it exactly in the end.

Anyway, they ended up a little flat, but just-baked for the dinner table two out of three disappeared instantly, and one we almost finished with breakfast.


Some strange dense areas in the crumb, I blame the shaping problems.

Happy New Year everyone!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I have a 55% fancy durum flour Filone proofing as we speak! I hope my New Years' bake is as successful as yours! They look great!

RPK

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you, hope yours turn out even better than mine!

Benito's picture
Benito

Ilya, Happy New Year, I think baguettes are a good way to celebrate don’t you?  Shaping challenges do sometimes lead to closed crumb.  With the semolina I’ve also found when I used lower hydration that the crumb wasn’t as open as when using higher hydration >70%.  My most recent iteration I forgot to read through my notes and went back to the original 67% hydration and I think that the crumb wasn’t as good as when I used 71% hydration.

Your shaping looks good to me and your scoring certainly looks great with good overlap and staying in the middle lane.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Benny, and happy New Year! Baguettes are a perfect bread for a special occasion, I agree. The more I think about it, the less likely it is that it was 60% hydrated dough, didn't feel that stiff. But then it would mean I used more than 50% semola... Anyway, one way or another I made a mistake of some sort, which luckily wasn't disastrous.

Yeah, I think I mostly saved the shaping, and outside they look good (and the crust is perfectly crispy), but the crumb could be better.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The Baguette Brigade must be of the same mind. Commemorating the calendar change with baguettes just felt like the right thing to do. I still have some of the amazing French T65 left so that is how I chose to roll in the New Year.

burnt ends

The burnt ends are the best thing I have eaten all year.

Alfanso angle

The Alfanso shot is compulsory for displaying  baguette ears

baguette crumb

Saying goodbye to a crummy year and welcoming better days to come.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Perfect way to celebrate the end of the crummy year Don.  If the new year is as amazing as the crumb and ears on your baguettes then we can all be looking forward to a wonderful 2021.  Happy New Year.

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

This bread is show-stopping! The judges just declared the contest over! Ladies and gentlemen, if your bread had not been judged yet, forget about it! See you next year! Happy New Year MT!

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Hi everyone, here are my first baguettes. Okay, not my first baguettes, but my first submission to the baguette CB. Last one to the party. I would like to be able to make good baguettes and know I have a very long way to go. I produced these a few days ago (before I started reading the pdf from the CB) to establish my baseline. I already have some ideas now that I'm reading the pdf, but there is a lot to take in. 

To make these, I used Benny’s Yorkville Sourdough Baguette recipe, with two changes: First, I left out the diastatic malt because the flour was malted. Second, I left them unseeded so you can see the bread to critique it. The flavor was excellent, but going forward, I’ll probably use the Bouabsa IDY formula because my baguette eaters prefer their baguettes without any sourness. The flour used was Central Milling's ABC Plus, but a small bag of lower protein Beehive should be here by mid-week. I also have KAF AP and bread flours on hand and my local grocer sells Ceresota (known elsewhere as Hecker's, I believe?).

It will be a long winter so I'll have some time to spend on this. I would deeply appreciate your candid thoughts to light the way. Thanks, all!

–AG

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow AG, those are quite impressive you have definitely baked baguettes before.  I like the tapered shaping and your crumb is already really open.  The scores on the one on the left have good overlap and do stay in the middle lane the one on the right could overlap more, aim for about ⅓.  As you know from looking at my formula I add 1% diastatic malt to my baguette dough, I’d say that even if your flour has some malt added to it, I too would still consider adding some maybe 0.5% to improve browning.  As Doc has said, it is helpful to speed up the browning so that the crumb doesn’t get dried out before the crust evenly browns.  I have always found it a challenge to get all three baguettes evenly browned in my home oven. 

Very impressive baguettes AG.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like the shape and it looks like the fermentation was spot on. The scores may need to be deeper or cut at more of an angle. Are you pleased with the crumb? It's not easy to make sourdough baguettes look like anything other than sourdough bread in baguette form. I look forward to seeing what you can do do with the IDY Bouabsa. I have heard good things about the Heckers flour. I would suggest you stay with one flour for a while to work through the fine points of the ideal hydration. If your never quite pleased with how they turn out, that's normal for baguettes.

Thanks for twirling the batons and keeping this thread rolling. 

Don

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Very nice. Many of us struggled for weeks to get to where you are. Now to work on repeatability. You get a whole bag of bonus points if you can do two in a row 👍

I don't know what color you prefer for your baguettes, but the balance you have to strike is between no additional diastatic malt and a longer oven time (which can produce a tough crumb), or add some DM and cut the oven time back to where you get both the crumb you like and the color you want.  Also a note from my file: different vendors and even different batches of DM from the same vendor can vary dramatically so always plan on a multi-loaf experiment to dial in the right amount.  I currently use 0.1% DM from Hoosier Farm and it is dramatically more active than the prior batch from a different source.  I would post a photo but the result depends on oven time and temp so it would not be comparable in any way other than to note that it is darker than yours (which may simply be preference rather than process).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

AG, “ Very nice. Many of us struggled for weeks to get to where you are.

AND some of us struggled for years... <I am laughing out loud>

I haven’t figured you out yet. Either you are what I call a ‘gifted baker’, or you’ve worked hard at bread baking for some time. Please inform us...

Great baguettes,
Danny

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I read Doc's comment before I went to bed last night and laughed out loud at the part about earning bonus points for being able to do it again. Aye, there's the rub! I've been baking since the early 90's and make baguettes only rarely because I feel very inept at it. These baguettes and the rye baguettes I posted in the rye CB are the first ones I've ever produced that showed improvement due to something I intentionally did, and that is a direct result of spending a lot of time on this forum in recent months. 

So what did I do differently for my last couple baguette bakes? First, I ended bulk when the dough was only around 20%-25% risen, as Benny's recipe indicated. Normally, I would have let it go longer and probably would have over-proofed them. Second, I didn’t even try for surface tension when shaping these. Dough handling is not a strong suit of mine and I think I usually kill a lot of bubbles by over-tightening. Sometimes one loaf will come out much better than another loaf from the same batch, and sometime different parts of the same loaf will look better than others. I know that’s down to handling and it’s a matter of practice practice practice. 

As for keeping the cuts in the center lane, I've always been aware of that. But my slashes fill in and look flat after baking. (That's true for all my breads, not just baguettes.) The baking steel for my new combi oven arrived this week so my next baguettes will be about 30% longer, and I'm a little intimidated about shaping them at that length. Although the steam oven has improved the color, these baguettes are still a little too light for me. They were quite firm and I didn't want to over-bake them. I thought it was a matter of adjusting to the new oven, but after reading Doc and Benny’s comments, I now know I needed the additional DM in the formula that I omitted. Another learning to take into the next bake! So that’s kind of where I’m at in my baguette journey. Thanks for all the help along the way!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Agree with the chorus here.  Good shaping for this challenging shape and a good start to a more open crumb (if that is a goal).  As far as the scores flattening out during the bake, figuring out the appropriate amount of surface tension on the loaf is trickier than on a boule or batard.  Perhaps review your scoring blade angle.  The higher the hydration, the more acute the angle of the blade, even if the difference might be barely noticeable.  A practice thing.   

Also offer that staying with one formula for a while, along with the same flour, will allow you to track incremental improvements, sometime small and other times significant.  Once you have that down, it is much easier to jump from one flour or formula to another.

Good for you to trod through the pdf.  You're doing exactly what it was designed for.  

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Although everyone advised me not to change horses in the middle of the stream, I ended up making the Bouabsa baguettes for Round 2 – mainly because I was short on ABC-Plus flour and, since I had to change flours anyway, I figured I might as well make a full 180° turn, starting afresh with both formula and flour. 

I made the Bouabsa recipe once before and I think they were the first baguettes I ever made that came out with an open crumb, so I chose that recipe again. I used Central Milling Beehive (selected for its 10% - 10.5% protein) and it made a soft, strong, lovely dough. Shaping was So. Much. Easier. with this flour; however, I wanted them to have a rounder belly with tapered ends, but that didn’t happen. Scoring shows a slight improvement over prior attempts, but there’s no bloom and only slight ears on some of the cuts. Every bread I make, the blade just drags in the dough. I’ve tried flour, oil, and pan spray to help it glide more readily, but I can’t get the the knack of scoring. I can't complain about the way they turned out. I just wish I felt like the result was more than a happy coincidence.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

They look good especially the crumb. When I suggested one flour I also intended to say use one recipe and the Bouabsa is as reliable as they come. I like how the bake came out and am interested in hearing more about the oven and steaming apparatus.

I have always scored RT because it would be difficult for me to make room for them in the refrigerator. A sharp blade and a swift stroke with the other hand following behind holding the baton in place will make it easier. 

If you want to take the eating quality to the next level you should try to get your hands on some of the French T65 that was mentioned earlier in this thread.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I'm really happy with the way they came out. It's a great recipe, they basically make themselves. I'll be taking Doc's advice and practicing my scoring on a blank dough using all your tips. Sounds like I'll be on the hunt for some fancy French flour as well. In for a penny, in for a pound. 

For steam, I used an Anova countertop combi oven. It's brand new so I'm still learning, but it seems to be a little wonky (first generation technology...). That said, all the loaves I've baked in it so far have come out pretty good. I baked these at 482°F for 17 minutes with 100% steam for I'm not sure how long. Maybe about 10 minutes. Even with a lava-rocks-and-Sylvia's-towel setup, loaves were coming out of our 20-year old GE gas oven all pale and sickly. It's nice to see color in my bread again. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Your crumb looks great!

Chilling the dough to somewhere around 50°F/10°C (or less, I try to get down to 40°F) goes a long ways to stiffen it up so that you can slash it.  You still have to be fast and some people find that it helps to dip the edge of the blade in olive oil just before the stroke.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Just mix up a batch of flour and water to the same hydration as your intended target dough with no yeast (include the salt).  Develop the gluten and divide the dough.  Let it rest 20 min then shape it.  Let it rest 15 min to come out of gluten tension and slash the loaf, turn it over and slash it again, then knead it, shape it, and repeat the slashing until you are tired or satisfied.  You should be able to go perhaps 10 rounds for a batch of dough, maybe more. 

When you are ready, add about 3X as much yeast as it would normally take just to speed things up, then repeat the drill again, and again, and again.  It will rise and you will get more chances to try it with a poofy dough (and as wet as you want).  This could go on all day. But after perhaps 100 trials you will feel ready to try it on real bread.

Doc

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

What a great idea! I can try with chilled dough while I'm at it. Thanks!

Benito's picture
Benito

Chilled dough is definitely easier to score.  After you’ve done it enough, and then made a mistake like loading the baguettes unscored into the oven where they warmed up and have to take them out again to score.  Then you’ll feel more comfortable with scoring room temperature baguettes.  

You have that beautiful Bouabsa open crumb that I love seeing AG, really beautiful. You’ll get the scoring with more practice, the Bouabsa formula is great to get lots of practice on since it can be so fast.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I make no secret that a good part of my scoring success is that I bake directly from retard, meaning that I score when the dough is chilled and much more "blade friendly".

Your crumb is super and you've already come to grips with shaping.  There are some score lines that are just dandy, and further practice will have those marching to the beat of your blade in short order!

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