Martin with King Arthur just published a nice video about baking Sourdough Baguettes. It is well done and informative. And what a great crumb!
That's so cool! Now I want to learn to make baguettes really bad. Thanks for the link!
By the way, what's that peel-like thing he uses to load the baguettes in the oven?
He placed the baguettes on parchment paper that was sitting on a cookie sheet with no sides. If you don’t have that pan you can invert (place the bottom facing up) a shallow sided pan and do the same thing.
This can be used instead of a peel.
Just get a piece of click flooring. Slab of 6-8 inch shelf lumber is just a bit too thick and cumbersome, but works too. PS - yeah, that’s one zen video of breadporn! I hate Martin and his perfect baguettes. ;-)
His recipe is spot on perfect too.
“Yeah, we’re not gonna argue with that.” texture, crumb, spring, anything! ??
Checking Martin’s transcribed recipe, I was baffled by the ratio of sourdough culture, at only 3.33%. i hope this helps someone else:
It uses a 1:5:5 starter, but the ratio cited is based on: 28g culture / 840g of total flour, of which 15% (126g) is already used to start the levain, leaving 714g to be used in the final recipe. So, total amount of levain is 280g, which is 39% bakers ratio of the final recipe flour (280/714g). Seems rather high, plus he tosses in a dash of dry yeast. No chance this won’t rise!ok, now I can scale it up/down. Cool. Think I’ll attempt baguettes again. (I hate you, Martin! ?)
Ok, new here and now see recipes most use on this site measure total flour to include the amount flour used with the 20-30g of culture used to start the levain. Baffled me at first.
The 3.33% is the SD Culture listed as an ingredient. Notice in the next row over how that small amount of SD is elaborated into a much larger levain.
Here is the spreadsheet from Martin.
Yeah, took me a bit of head scratching to see that. Since I always propagate 100% hydration levain and don’t worry about weights of loaves like pit bakers must, just only ever calculated quantity of levain.
In the event it helps, following the guild format, I like to include the inoculate quantity of culture in the total formula. In the interior columns, that inoculate quantity is used to elaborate the quantity of prefermented flour (as you note, 15%). I like the delicate flavor impact of the culture and, the small quantity of yeast helps hold onto a lighter, more traditional baguette texture (simply my preference--make the bread you love, love the people you love, etc. ; )).
At home (and even in the studio at points) I've gone back to my old stand-by, a cardboard box top. Depending on the hydration it's also possible to just use your hands.
If you like this one, you might also check out the one which precedes the baguette, it's an interesting version of an Anadama. I just finished editing a sourdough pizza one, after that I think I'm doing Brioche and also Croissants. Your bread is looking great--keep it up.
I enjoyed watching his hands. He makes it look so easy. The Kamut gives a nice touch of color. I look forward to seeing someone in the brigade posting their attempts at this recipe here. By all rights, you go first Danny:-)
Good looking baguettes aren’t they? Love the burnt pointy tips, interesting to roll them in the whole grain Kamut it does give them an interesting look that is quite appealingly artisan. I like that he keeps his shaping simple, I like that he shows how he does the preshaping, I’ll have to try his method.
Who in the brigade (or new recruit) will be the first to try this?
His video motivated me to try baguettes again today! :o
I’ll let you know...
Since baking tray and stone too small, had to bake these separately. First one turned out nice snd has good crumb. The second baguette got a bit degassed by too much handling and didn’t spring as much. A 15-30 min chill in fridge does make scoring them easier.
PereJoe, are those the first baguettes you’ve made, they’re just about perfect! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make such great baguettes on their first try if it was. Very well done.
Thanks! Used Martin’s recipe and timings scaled to 1900g and split to do these 2 baguettes and used the rest for the 2 loaves. Haven’t tried baguettes in well over 15 or 20 yrs, but yeah, happy with these. Funny how the over handling of the second one (trying to fit it on too small a tray) degassed it so much - the cuts just didn’t open and crumb not as open. Got larger trays somewhere, might try 3 at once. Nice to be able to get a proper baguette again while we’re in lockdown here in London and can’t get over to France.
These look awesome!
And great idea to use a small part of the dough for a couple baguettes, and keep the rest for bigger loaves. This way one or two baguettes can be enjoyed still warm and eaten quickly, and the large loaves will have time to cool down properly.
I just stumbled on that as an idea because I knew loaves keep longer and I couldn’t be bothered to go rummage in the attic for my larger sheets, so only dared doing 2. Actually the crumb in the 2nd manhandled/un-opened one was fine in middle. The dough recipe made excellent crumb on the loaves too, I know a good pinch of dry yeast is a ‘cheat’ but hey, I completely forgot about that soon as my teeth sank into the salted butter and crackly crust. :D
I might try next without the dry yeast, but fear that way lies madness. Go on, give Martin’s recipe a try!
Very nice! Congrats on the bake after the 15 year hiatus! Looks like you didn't miss a beat.
How much do you bake? This is a huge amount of bread. What do you do with all that?
Thx HeiHei2 and jl. I’ll say some was restarted/beginners’ luck. Started SD with lockdown a year ago cuz like many folks I couldn’t get dry yeast. Had done regular yeast bakes years ago but never found them satisfying. Now I’ve stumbled on helpful posts from you all here and Benito and other’s trick to gauge BF with an aliquot, and zen breadporn videos like Martin’s, I decided to just stop trying it any ole way and follow instructions. Still, I can’t get good consistent oven spring of my batards on skillet or stone just using steam or covered. Will need to get out the Dutch oven I guess.
jl: 2 small loaves a week keep my partner and me in good stock. I admit to us devouring 3/4 of loaf the first day, then we eke out the rest of week. Her dad’s never far off to help with overflows. I admit it’s also more the experiment part for me.
Great crumb and crust color. Well done!
Thanks soooo much, Martin, for your baguette wisdom and encouragement. No, no!! Please don’t tempt me with croissant and brioche/panetone madness too! ?
Love the idea of rolling them in the Freshly ground flour. Great tips on the pre-shaping as well.
Yes, didn’t have any kamut and didn’t think to use pasta (durum) flour
Inspired by this video recipe. Didn't follow it exactly, but also used Kamut (a bit more than there - wanted to finish the leftovers in the bag), 73% hydration, without yeast, and did overnight retard (and also a long bulk, first warm, then in the fridge for a few hours, and let it warm up partially before shaping). Dusted with semolina instead of kamut. Fresh out of the oven. Not as beautiful as his, and less open grignes. But oh well.
First time using diastatic malt powder (0.5%), and they browned much faster! Previously I think I overdried baguettes a little bit to get nice crust, hopefully the crumb is good in these.
Crumb shot, and my lunch, baguette with brie and cranberry sauce/jam.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you on the crumb. Crust looks great!
Thank you! Added the crumb shot now they've cooled down mostly.
Love the pointy tips, they are the best tasting part of baguettes in my opinion. Good looking ears Ilya. Looking forward to the crumb.
Thanks Benny! Not quite an open crumb Martin got, but I'm satisfied. Crust is spot on!
(Unfortunate, just this night I got pain in one of the jaw joints, and hard food is not the best option right now...)
Sorry to hear about your jaw Ilya, bad timing when you have bread to eat that isn’t a milk bread texture. I’d say if you reduce the fermentation on those baguettes you’d be spot on with the crumb and ears. They are so finicky with fermentation. The diastatic malt will brown so much more quickly and can move fermentation along more quickly as well.
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have warmed them up a bit before shaping, maybe that was that little bit of fermentation that took them just over the perfect spot. I'm still pretty happy with these, and I like the addition of malt. The crumb is more moist than in my previous baguettes, must be 5-10 min shorter bake than I had to do before for the same nice crust colour.
This is cool! The crust is very nice indeed.
Thank you! I usually like the crust I get (just bake as long as it takes for the colour you are looking for), but crumb is the bigger challenge.
Nice soft brie is almost as tasty as salted butter, no?
Indeed, and it seemed fitting to put french cheese on a baguette!
Alan’s rendition of Hammelman’s Pain au Levain (Baguette CB) is the easiest to roll and score that I have baked.
How does Martin’s Baguettes compare in these 2 areas?
I never had much trouble to shape and roll baguettes once I generally got the hang of it, and all successful baguettes I've made were at least partially chilled before, so scoring was easy too.
Fitting baguettes in the fridge is a little annoying, they take up loads of space - but it's really worth it I think. Scoring is so easy then, and the oven spring is really improved in my limited experience.
(Wish someone had told me about chilling before scoring years ago. I just gave up on deflated baguettes. )
I’m interested to know if you guys who have baked this followed Martin’s recommendation to bake at 500ºF 20-25 with steam? That seems like a high temperature for that long a time and leaving the steam equipment in the whole time is a bit unusual I think. Any ideas why he would leave the steaming equipment in the whole time? When I’ve baked baguettes I usually remove the steaming equipment after about 13 minutes and there is still water in both the Sylvia towel pan and my cast iron skillet.
Benny, I see approximately (maybe identical) results weather the steam is left in or removed. My oven is not air tight so it appears that the steam self vents. I’ve used all kinds of steaming methods.
Try it, bet you find the same.
The only minor issue I’d be worried about is the Sylvia towel drying out and burning. It does have water in the pan, albeit only a small amount, at the time of removal so hopefully it wouldn’t’ happen. You’re right the only way to find out is to try it first. Although, I think I would try what I’m used to first with a new recipe. I am interested in trying this one, since I believe I have enough whole Kamut for the dough and the couche and I do like Kamut and haven’t made baguettes since New Year’s Eve so I need to keep from getting too rusty.
Yes, don’t think I ever left Sylvia’s Towels in for the whole bake for that same reason. But I know I have with Lava Rocks and injected steam via PC.
I baked these first ones last week above at 260C (500F). Did same recipe today but let chill too long (30-40 mins) while first loaf was in oven and dough skin was just too hard to score. I forgot to set temp and oven was still at 220C but had plenty of steam from water tray on oven bottom. The slashes just didn’t open and crumb not at all lacy. (Not at all like those PERFECT baguettes I saw you post Benny!! Well done.)
(...there’s always next week, and they’re tasty enough ;-)
I leave the steaming mechanism in the oven as it's empty after less than 10 minutes or so--at that point it's not effecting anything and, is heating for another round of baking. And, do what works for your oven and methodology. While I do what works in my environment, the key is to unlock what works in yours. Happy Baking! Martin
So some things look good post bake, but I definitely am a bit rusty with shaping. Also, this dough for me seems underhydrated, I think I could have added another several % to the hydration. The reason I say this is that the dough was quite stiff and very elastic and I think more water would have helped. I also added our usual 1% diastatic malt to help with browning which for me was a bit uneven. Almost forgot, I didn’t add any IDY since I expected these to more along very quickly and they did. The total bulk fermentation from fermetolyse to aliquot jar rise of 20% was only 3.5 hours which is about the time Martin states I believe for the formula with IDY.
Edited to add: Another reason for the elasticity was probably related to an error I made during mixing. Instead of starting with water and adding the levain then dissolving, I erroneously started with flour levain and then realized my error. So to ensure that the levain was thoroughly mixed I did the 200 slap and folds. Without the slap and folds the dough may have been more extensible.
You can see the stubby one there, he really didn’t want to elongate and in fact, he had the longest resting time after preshaping.
Well done! The "translucency of the cell wall" as Jeffrey and I used to say in our dorkiest voice possible, is exquisite. Good color, too.
Thanks so much for dropping in on the TFL forums Martin. We really appreciate your feedback as well as all the incredible content you’re uploading to YouTube and everything else you do with KA.
Definitely Alan, very cool.
What spreadsheet/program is Martin using? I’d love to tweak recipes digitally instead of on scraps of paper.
Any program will do!
If you need something to get you started (in terms of a basic template with a single preferment), here you go:
Download or save to your drive to edit.
In the event this is helpful, there is a tips video on shaping as well.
Fold and roll!