I’m having serious scoring issues on my baguettes. Sometimes my scores work well and create a nice ear, but most times they are smooth lines. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.
i have the same problem as well occasionally, have you tried scoring the baguettes almost horizontally this normally creates a nice ear
Welcome to TFL !
Getting a good "bloom", or expansion, or "ear" are matters that depend on formulas, bulk ferment time, proof time, shaping, the actual scoring, and then the baking procedures (time, temp, top heat vs bottom heat, and steaming amount/time/method).
Here's a video on scoring baguettes by user Benito https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/70251/my-baguettes-shaping-and-scoring-video
However, without photos, it's difficult to impossible to say whether your lack of an ear is due to formula, or fermentation/proof timings, shaping, scoring, or baking.
I am not a baguette baker, but am an admirer of the expert bagguette bakers here, whose baguettes equal or exceed the photos that I see in all of my famous-name bread cookbooks. I think the top 5 baguette bakers on TFL even rival the best that top US and French bakers offer.
Back in 2020 there was a post with over 2,000 comments about TFL members learnng to bake baguettes. Some were already experts, and some became experts because of participating in that "communtiy bake", where the participants posted comments and blogs and photos.
That is an awful lot of stuff to scroll through... so here is a pdf file (thanks to alfanso) of the main four bakers, that highlights their success, complete with formulas, photos, and how-tos.
Hopefully, one or more of the baguette experts will chime in shortly.
Good luck, and bon appétit.
When someone throws out a lifeline plea for support opening with "NEED HELP", gets 10 responses within hours and then doesn't reply to a single one for at least the ensuing 4 days and 8 hours, and counting as of this moment.
And that, Dave, is why I have remained mostly silent this past year or two on TFL. Most of the constituents here are just dandy, and even our current OP may fall into that category. However, I've become tired of having done the drill too many times to zero reply and/or no satisfactory outcome to really want to participate much anymore.
Now there is always the chance that the OP has experienced some life changing experience since posting, or had their computing rights revoked or whatever that make a return appearance impossible. We have no idea of knowing. But that doesn't reverse the tide for me.
So I mind my own biznez, except at moments like this one right now, and had decided to become an observer rather than an active participant. To each his/her own, but I've had numerous off-line chats with another who feels exactly the same way.
Understand that it is neither my role nor my place to suggest what others should or should not do, I'm just stating my own specific case here.
C'est la vie, I guess.
Agree Alan that it would be more encouraging to help "new" bakers with some feedback. It would be a great loss for this forum without you and others to chime in with some insightful posts. Good Memorial Day!
Because the poster didn’t follow the format or as Sgt. Friday said “just the facts ma’am” I only responded because the baguette bros chimed in. Of course we can always rely on Dave and Bennys earnest politeness but the elder curmudgeons seemed to wander away from here. I hope that’s not you yelling get off my lawn. I still learn a lot from what I read here and don’t feel the need to add a comment every time. Many times my advise would only add to the confusion or run counter to the answer they wanted to hear. It’s just biznez. I do like reading your thoughts so don’t be a stranger. Don
He must be busy. He's got a few chess games going that have not been played for a few days, too.
Blog (with photo): https://kingerlinger.wordpress.com/about/
Maybe he has taken up target practice. (Meaning... if he's in Taiwan as his chess page indicates, he might have had something more important pop up.)
That is funny to read the title, the target practice piece. For some reason this story reminds me of an encounter I had about 20 something years ago. A buddy and I were in this shooting range testing out my 500 Linebaugh, a custom one of a kind 50 caliber sixgun (handgun) to prep for a hunt coming up. While we were shooting, two cops came to over to check out our guns, and they wanted to try mine out. Long story short, after firing one shot, the recoil shocked them, and they did not want to fire another shot. Haha, not sure why I thought of this story but that is how it was.
I agree with everything Dave posted above ^^. I'm not a baguette baker (yet) but can say any time I've had 'flat' scores and bloom was when I had over-fermented the dough and/or it was a super wet dough. Not sure if that helps at all, but definitely is reflective of all the other variables, besides just the act of scoring, that could be a contributing factor.
With just a scant sentence it is impossible to diagnose your scoring problems.
Photos, formula/recipe, type of flours used, ambient room temperature, fermentation times, retardation, methodology and variances in the treatment of the dough, the actual baking environment - temp, timings, oven (gas/electric) and baking deck type, steaming devices.
Any and all will provide clues for others to help you with.
I’ll agree with what everyone has said. There are too many variables involved to help you without more information. The scoring of the dough isn’t the only one. The degree of fermentation, the quality of the shaping, the tension in the dough, oven setting including steam etc. etc.
Help us help you by sharing all the details.
Sounds like a hit and miss problem I have had not long ago with my baguettes. I have been making baguettes every week for over year now, but not until recently that I learned that there is nothing wrong with my slashing, it had everything to do with the condition of a dough in my case. Apparently, I had been over fermenting my baguettes all along thinking it would give me a more open crumb and long story short I am getting good ears most of the time nowadays by baking with a younger dough. I find that if the dough is in a right condition even some lousy slashing would produce some very good ears. That is just me as yours might be different. Assuming all other variables are fairly controlled, perhaps try to cut back on fermentation time to see if that help. Good luck!
Like Ringo says in the song
”Got to pay your dues
you know It don’t come easy”
At least not the first hundred or so.
Your serious scoring issue likely has nothing to do with the scoring but instead is related to everything else like, the fermentation, the hydration, the shaping and your oven setup. So the some of the fellows from Baguette Rushmore need more info from you to be able to help.
The holy man in the cave, the guru, is Alfanso, correct?
The Rushmore Four were Benny, Dan, Doc Dough, and you, right?
Make sure you score by keeping your blade at 20 degree angle to the surface and fairly deeply. The scored surface should be very dry to touch even without flour on the surface, not moist nor sticky. That means that when you proof your loaves prior to baking, cover them with a cloth, not plastic, let it dry out.
Shallow vertical scores on moist dough do not open up with a ear. Keep your blade horizontal as you score. Any angle higher than 20 degree will fail most likely.
All other factors have to do with how wide the slashed area will open up. The shorter the proof, the wider the opening of the slashes.