Posts in Category: bread

the elusive art of the baguette


Dave and I are getting really excited about our new “grown-up” kitchen. The oven will even have a proofing mode – not that we need it too much here where the weather is always good for proofing dough, but still… Demolition begins on Nov. 26 and the work should be done within two weeks. From start (securing a loan) to finish we’ll have remodeled our kitchen in a month, for a lot less than the kitchen designers tell you it will cost. It’s as bad as the wedding industry. Another cabinet door fell off its hinges today, so we just took it off entirely. We’re kind-of celebrating how trashy it is right now because we know an end is finally in sight! Even Sammy is talking about “neewwwww cabinets.”

Today I decided to tackle the baguette once again. You really have to be in the mood for it. My starter seems to have recovered from my 6-week absence (Dave didn’t feed it) and dough is rising well again and regaining some taste. So it seemed a good time to craft the tricky little breads again. After a good rise and shaping, we had some trouble scoring the bread. Even Dave tried to help me. The lame wasn’t sharp enough. It just dragged the dough even though this time I put oil on the blade. In the past I’d retarded the bread overnight in the fridge and scored while it was still rather cool after proofing. This makes the bread more taught. In Washington, the kitchen was never more than 78 degrees as well and here it’s often 85, so the dough is bound to be more slack. Good for proofing, not so good for scoring. Oh well. It still had decent oven spring and certainly tasted good. The crust was crunchy, the crumb was chewy with nice irregular holes. Next time we’ll use a new razor blade and see if that helps.

final baguette batch

[photopress:batch_3_a_w_overnight_retard__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:batch_3_b__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb] if you’ve been following the baguette baking saga, then you’ll be happy to know this is the final post on this topic for a little while! i’ve retired the baking stuff for the week at least 🙂 the final round of baguettes came out nearly perfect

baguette technique

i improved some things with this batch: better shaping, more salt (to improve gluten formation), not as much water (better shape), a poolish (a starter that fermented overnight to add some tang), better slashing technique (to create wider flares and accommodate good oven spring) and a hotter oven (500 deg F) to create that rapid oven spring and let the crust set. more improvements tomorrow: shaping technique perfected 🙂
[photopress:baguette_with_poolish_2__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:shaping_variation_and_crumb_structure__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:baguette_with_poolish__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb]


[photopress:after_proofing__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb]    [photopress:IMGP6596__2_.JPG,thumb,thumb]

my artisan bread skills have been slowly improving over the last year, and i really enjoy using my wild yeast sourdough starter to make focaccias, baguettes, ciabattas…yesterday i had the opportunity to visit a “real” artisan baker about 30 min away in Port Hadlock.