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Author Topic: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes  (Read 2044 times)

Offline jefklak

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Hi all,


I know this will probably end up in another month during our baking adventure, but since I received "BREAD" a few days ago, I just couldn't sit and wait and decided to try out the first available recipe, which happens to be baguettes with poolish.

You can find the end result here (Dutch blog, sorry)
http://nougatbollen.blogspot.com/2012/02/hamelman-baguettes.html

I started with the poolish 12 hours before:



It was all bubbly and ready to go. After hand-kneading in the rest of the ingredients and bulk fermenting, I got this result:



Baking with steam (hot water on a sheet pan + spray) gave me this awesome result:





I only had two problems:

  • Baking on a parchment  paper, even with semolina, made the baguettes stick to the paper and it refused to come off... Argh! I had to cut the crust away to eat it...  :soWrong: I wanted to slide them onto a pre-heat sheet pan to imitate a baking tile which I don't have. Is just oiling the pan and putting it into the oven better? How should I bake these things?
  • I hoped for even more air columns. It's already great and smelled and tasted fantastic, but I think there's room for improvement. Is it because of the hand kneading? (Don't have a kenwood) Or is it because the lack of a baking tile?

Thanks!

Offline charliez

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 08:29:49 AM »
Great looking baguettes.

I get the same results with the parchment paper that I can buy here
in Mexico.  It sticks to the bread.  I assume that it is not "real" parchment
paper, so I am waiting to go to the US to bring back the real thing and
try it.  In the mean time I use a rimless baking sheet or place the bread in
a volcanic rock baking sheet.  You can go to a design & decoration store and
buy non-varnished terracota floor tiles and use them as baking stones.

I have read that the size of the bubbles is proportional to the mixing/kneading time.
If you mix and/or knead a lot, the bubbles will be smaller and more uniform. I have
not had the chance to experiment with this fact.

To get a more "french" look at your baguettes, try slashing them more parallel to the
bread instead of more perpendicular to it as you have done.

In any way, they look great and I bet that they tasted even better!!!
Saludos,

Carlos

Offline paulo

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 09:10:31 AM »
Howdy,

Great first effort!

Let's start with question 2:

I would have kneaded the dough a little more or give it more folds. It seems that you had great oven spring also, which can be an indicator that the loaf had great strength and the dough was under-proofed. That can explain why you didn't get bigger alveoli. When you touch a correctly proofed dough it should be very billowy and airy, it shouldn't spring back on touch that easily (google for "finger poke test"). It was one of the things I noticed when I started working now and then in a professional bakery, we amateur bakers tend to underproof our loaves a bit.

Time for question 1

The thing with the parchment paper was the first time I heard about it. You can try to buy those reusable parchments papers which are made of some sort of glass fiber. Those are really nice if you bake often, you can also wash them easily. Another solution can be to remove the pre-heated sheet from the oven VERY CAREFULLY and place the loafes directly on it. I learned to work that way in a course I went, but I do feel it's quite risky. Baking tiles are the way to go and they generally help with oven spring, which wasn't your problem ;)

Still, you've had a great result and you've gotten a bread that's 1000 times more nutritious and tastier than supermarket lifeless and sad bread! As Carlos named, next time try to do the slashes more parallel to the baguette. Watch the video that Jeffrey and King Arthur Flour have about it.

Eager to try these baguettes myself! I love poolish, the smell is just awesome, although I only baked with it like... 1 time?! Got to fix that! :D
My bread baking blog (in Portuguese, but google can help you!): Zine de Pão

Offline Paul

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 10:45:44 AM »
Excellent first try at the Hamelman breads!

Parchment paper: Not knowing what sort you used I can't say if it's good or not and it's likely a locally available brand anyway. I've not had the issue you did with any brands I've used. Parchment will detach from the bread when it's baked. Your blog post shows it didn't even do that if you had to carefully peel it off AFTER baking so the problem is likely a poor quality parchment. Just try a different brand and see what happens.

Airy crumb: Wetter doughs give airier crumb, those larger pockets which Paulo pointed out are called alveoli. (Impress your friends by dropping that word when you serve them home made bread! ;) ) One way to lose these is to add too much flour during the kneading and shaping stages, making a wet dough drier. Again, your blog post seems to indicate this wasn't your issue.

That would leave it to likely be underproofing. Remember the bread maker's mantra: Go by the dough, not by the clock. If a recipe says "do such and such for 1.5 hours until doubled", do that UNTIL DOUBLED, whether it's 1 hour or 3. The 1.5 hours is only what it 'should' take under perfect circumstances. Remember, the yeasty critters don't have watches.

Give this bread another go - in fact do this again several times in a row (skip the March hot cross buns if needed), making MINOR adjustments each time, so you can narrow down what improves and what deters your loaves. Keep notes, too. Write in the book if you want (mine has lots of scribbles in it).

Also: if you haven't yet, be sure to download a copy of the Errata and adjust your book's recipes if your copy is an older edition and still has mistakes in it.

Nice kitchen, by the way!

Lastly: your loaves could perhaps do with a slightly longer bake, a little darker would be good (if the photos are a good representation of their actual colour). And aim to make the dough about 4 cm wide when final shaping so they are not too thick once baked. Cut the recipe in half if that helps and you're getting too many loaves to use up or to fit in the oven.

Again though, nice work!! When we do get to the baguettes, you'll be able to whip them off easily!
Paul
Yumarama Blog

I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

Offline jefklak

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 01:41:49 PM »
Thanks for all the positive feedback!

- on more baking time: yes indeed, it's needed because the bottom is slightly underbaked. I got afraid after the crust coloured too much and got them out of the oven (after 20 or so minutes? Can't exactly remember). I think I'll just turn down the heat and let them bake more.

- on less flour added during mixing: I do think this might be an issue, because I secretly added 20gram (or more?) of flour during mixing because I thought it was way too wet to knead by hand. That was very dumb, indeed. That brings me to another question:
how do you correctly hand-knead wetter dough? The book doesn't say anything about hand kneading which I think is a real shame... I don't have a mixer (yet... haha!). Is it that much more consistent?

- on more proofing: it bulk fermented for about 2 hours and proofed for 1h15min. So during the final proofing, it's needed for the dough to DOUBLE in size? It did NOT do that at all. So another mistake right there. Cool, I'm really learning! How exciting.

- the paper is something I got from someone else, it indeed looks quite cheap maybe I'll just try another barnd, thanks for the tip.


I did skip something else I just saw after re-reading the first part of the BREAD book: taking the temprature of the water to get the temp. of the dough about right. I think I added cold water and my room temprature was already quite cold (19°C?) so that should be much warmer. The dough felt a little cold after pre-shaping, is that normal?
Does this really do that much, the dough temp.?


Thanks again! I love this forum :)

Offline charliez

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 08:56:08 PM »
Regarding kneading wet dough, you actually have to knead the gluten out of it
until it is developed and not sticky anymore. This is one of the videos where
they show how to do it manually: http://sourdough.com/video/hand-kneading-demonstrated-french-baker-simon-gosset

You have to adjust your hydration depending of where you are baking.  I am at high altitude (2000 mts - 6500 ft), so I have to reduce the amount of water that I use in the dough or I
will have very wet doughs.  But you being in the Netherlands, you probably are at sea level or
even below sea level, so I do not think there is a problem there.

The idea of the fiber or silicon parchment paper is a great one.  I have read about them before
and it is already on my wishlist for future purchase...
Saludos,

Carlos

Offline paulo

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 12:31:16 AM »
Regarding kneading wet dough, you actually have to knead the gluten out of it
until it is developed and not sticky anymore. This is one of the videos where
they show how to do it manually: http://sourdough.com/video/hand-kneading-demonstrated-french-baker-simon-gosset


Yeah! This is the technique to go! It's really good. When working with very wet doughs try to do an Autolyse period of 1 hour (you'll learn what autolyse is soon enough) and try do develop gluten by doing more folds. Wet doughs are very hard to work it... I have lots of troubles making ciabattas...

I do have a mixer, but I'm thinking about ignoring it throughout the whole challenge. I really want to get a feeling for the dough development.
My bread baking blog (in Portuguese, but google can help you!): Zine de Pão

Offline jefklak

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Re: I couldn't wait until march to try out the book so I made baguettes
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 02:41:35 PM »
Awesome kneading technique, let's call it "slap (on the counter) & fold"  ;D
Going to try a new batch tomorrow, I have my poolish ready. Thinks I'll modify:

- use warmer water to get the correct dough temp.
- don't add flour. Haha.
- bake longer (on lower temp if needed) & on other paper
- proof longer
- do more folds (using the slap & fold technique)

I do have one more question on the dough temperature though.
If you created dough but are not ready to bake it yet (before or after bulk fermenting?), I heard you can simply pop it into the fridge and continue later on (up to a few days). How do you get the right temp. again, after removing it from the fridge?
After waiting for one or two hours, the dough still feels cold. I can hardly put it into a preheated oven (for 30-40°C), can I, that's just cheating, or not?

The trouble with bread baking & proofing and all other steps is not the amount of time it requires, but you have to be at home during all steps... How do you guys manage to bake while woring, or only in weekends?
Thanks again!