Today's baguette bake
After my last photogenic success with baguettes, I realized that I needed to follow someone's recipe to get good flavour. (thank you Jane)
I started with the BBA basic sourdough recipe. He encourages us to change things and make it our own so I did a little. He uses a barm as part of a starter, but says that we can do it all in one step if we want, so I did. I wanted a dry pre-ferment for flavour. I wanted the dough at 75% hydration for my baking style. Here's what I came up with:
15g rye starter
146g white flour
This yielded a 55% hydration pre-ferment. It took about 24 hours to double at room temp and in the oven with the light on. Then I added:
535g white flour
My mixing technique: I added 100g water to the starter to get a slurry that was easier to mix with the remaining flour and water. I autolysed all but 50g of the flour with the remaining water for 25 minutes and mixed the salt with the 50g flour and mixed the three together. When I do it over I will reserve more of the flour as the autolyse was a little difficult to mix since it was a little dry. I think I'll reserve 150g of flour the next time to mix with the salt. 2 stretch and folds 30 minutes apart. Cool room temperature ferment for 8 hours.
Then I divided it in two as I wanted to experiment with baking techniques. One half went into the 'fridge.
The first bake went well. Preheat to 550F steam/bake 5 minutes then 465F bake for 15 minutes on the stone. I made 4 baguettes of 150g each. I spaced them equally apart on the stone to test whether they would brown on the sides if they weren't so close together. The answer is yes. David, you were 100% correct.
20-09-08 bake 1 crumb
I was hoping for more oven bounce, though. I thought the yeast was a little under-active, so that was either under-fermented or over-fermented. If it was over-fermented there was nothing I could do (that I know of) so I decided to process the second batch of dough as though the previous timing had under-fermented it. I took it out of the 'fridge and put the tub that held it in a tub of cool water for 5 hours. I wanted a cool environment, I felt that room temperature was too warm and the 'fridge was too cold, so I went for the bathtub and cool water (66F).
For the second bake I made 3 200g baguettes. I proofed them for 2 hours. The first batch I only proofed for 1 hour. I wanted a little more colour so for the second bake I did the same 550 preheat and 5 minute steam/bake and then 15 minutes at 485F (20F hotter) and not on the stone. I removed the stone. I had to put a piece of parchment paper on the top during the last 2 minutes as they started to get too much colour.
20-09-08 bake 2 top
20-09-08 bake 2 crumb
By the way, they are delicious. I'm happy to answer any questions and receive any comments. I wouldn't be here if people hadn't poked at my methods before, so THANKS.
PS I have a double load of barm/starter in the 'fridge and I'm mixing the dough tonight. I'm going to bake twice as much tomorrow as I did today. I figure to do a lot of baking right in a row with the same recipe and I can try adjustments while it's still fresh in my mind. I think I'll try pushing the ferment time more and more until I get baguettes that expode out of the oven or I reach yeast exhaustion and then that will be some information.