The Baguette Bake-off

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy

Why not lets do a contest!

  • 350g size or 60 g petite bags
  • 270 flour (type 55 if you got it)
  • 45 grams corn flour (fine mill)
  • 2gram yeast (optional if you think your levain is forte!)
  • 5grams salt
  • 40 pre-fermented dough or if you like adjust this mess to a levain baguette, we retarded the shaped breads over night 12 hours!

happy baking if your sad, well get to the oven and jump in!Jeremy

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36 users have voted.

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bianchifan's picture
bianchifan 2006 October 22

[quote="carla"]
The mind boggles...
[/quote]

So let it boogle...boogle booogle..

TP..take a little look close to Basel, there are some little places no one knows by name (har har har...)

Jeremy, first I come from Dortmund, the German Beer Capitol, where "Export" was created and still one of the best beers of the world is still produced: Brinkhoff No 1.
Due to the efforts of the sourcountry breweries like Warstein, Veltins e.t.c and espaccialy the Bavarian Wheat sorts most of the regional breweries have died, in Wuppervalley there is no brewery any more [img]http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/traurig/a045.gif[/img][img]http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/traurig/a025.gif[/img]

Levain ready, poolish overready..the weather is too fine..as poolish is in fridge I do the same with levain..
[url=http://img218.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pict1530on2.jpg][img]http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/2164/pict1530on2.th.jpg[/img][/url]

jacklang 2006 October 22

[quote="SourDom"]
it is a beautiful looking baguette, I am interested that you have moved to a more french-style firm starter, and then used a period of autolysis with the premix. What do you think the effect is on the recipe?

cheers
Dom
[/quote]

The move to a firm (50% hydration) preferment came from a hint in "Handbook of Dough Fermentation" edited by Karel Kulp and Klaus Lorenz ISBN 0-8247-4264-8 .In the chapter by Martinez-Anaya it says

"Firmness of dough guarantees a greater contribution of lactobacilli to the whole flavour profile. In soft doughs, ethanol and ethyl acetate are predominant, with high levels of isoalcohols considered a consequence of yeast activity that developed more in the presence of homofermentative species due to the lower concentrations of acetic acid generated. Tough [stiff] doughs differ in ester composition; ethyl acetate in heterofermentative sour doughs and carbonyl's in homofermentative ones are more abundant in softer doughs"

In the chapter by Poitrenaud on Commercial starters in France it puts it more simply:

"A firm sourdough...encourages the production of acetic acid over lactic acid (stronger acid flavour)"

Anyway, I tried it and prefer the flavour. I believe the main flavour profile is developed in the preferment rather than in the dough fermentation, which is more about texture. The overall formula is not changed, just some of the water moved from the preferment to the dough.
I'd appreciate comments on this from the experienced bakers in this group.

I find the stiffer preferment easier to handle for my method. However the preferment is too stiff to be easily kneaded in, or to use the stretch and fold method - you would just end up with a laminated dough, like some of those Asian pastries made with two different doughs laminated together.

I hate the term autolysis in this context, and I don't think that is what is happening here. Autolysis implies enzymatic cell breakdown from the enzymes contained within the cell (hence the auto part), typical of yeast decomposition. No yeast, no enzymes here - it is white flour with very little enzymes (high falling number) and no added malt, wheatgerm or fungal amylase. I think the main effect is additional time for the flour to hydrate without being affected by the acid or enzymes in the sourdough, and for the vitamin C to oxidise the gluten. Note I add the salt at the beginning - leaving until the final mix doesn't seem to make any difference and its easier to forget it then. I suspect I could leave out the Vitamin C, but I've not tried that yet. The flour does not have any in it from the manufacturer.

The final change is the hour or two's bulk fermentation, rather than shaping immediately. I think this is the most significant change, and comes from a hint in Stan Cauvain and Linda Young's book on the Chorleywood Bread Process (ISBN 0-8493 9131-8 ) In the formula for French Sticks he says

"The typical French bread structure can be achieved by the correct dough development, and gentle dough manipulation ... If mixed under atmospheric pressure, the first proof time may be extended...to promote the large open-cell structure required by this product"

So it proves. I've paraphrased the quotation as we are using sourdough rather than yeast, so the timings are different.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 22

Dear Markus

Would appreciate if you could let us oogle-boogle on a bigger image. One less step for my lazy clicky fingers.

Your starter is shouting at you to start mixing.

SourDom 2006 November 13

thanks guys

Jeremy - I have seen your hybrid baguette - looks great.

I am still playing around a little.
I have a batch of Peter Reinhart's Pain a L'ancienne in the fridge to make into baguettes tomorrow. He makes such a fuss about this recipe as being the be all and end-all. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the sourdough retarded baguettes.

No splitting today. I suspect that serious steam helps, but I haven't done the controlled experiment.

onwards and upwards!

cheers
Dom

danlepard 2006 October 22

Excellent thread.

Jack, could the Vit C be dropped considerably from a gram to 400g flour to, say, 0.10g and still produce the effect you want? Given that its role would be to oxidise and aid gluten formation, a gram sounds like a lot. Great loaf. I do wonder whether the plain flour has higher natural sugars and helps longer fermentation, as the crust colour is very reddish for a long-time dough (though part might be a degradation of the starch on the crust).

Sourdough.com.au is such a remarkable forum because of the pictures, because it isn't just text-based, as sourdough is all about responding to visible changes in the leaven and final dough structure. Threads like this make great bread easier to achieve.

regards

Dan

(yes, dom rattled my cage and told me about this thread)

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 22

This is cool, Dan, who else is going too show up I wonder?
Dan or anyone? I am about to throw in my retarded dough(sticks, baguette au levain) should I give them time to warm up?Before tossing them in, otherwise I won't post the mess?

Jeremy

jacklang 2006 October 22

Yes it can be reduced. I find it hard to handle very small quantities. I suspect the Vit C can be omitted altogether if the flour is not spanking fresh - 0.1g in 400g is in the noise. As I understand the postulated mechanism the atmospheric oxygen will have the same effect if the flour is not fresh milled.

I suspect the reddish crust is from the overnight retardation.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 22

Hi Jack,Dan,
we did an experiment while in French baking at the French Culinary Institute where we purposely overmixed the dough too see how well white loaf bread, like wonder bread is treated, it was overheated and a satin white,horrible thing! In Whitley's book he talks abou Vitamin C and additives as well I remember my brother telling me the French bakers he worked in California with mostly used the vitamin c in baguettes primarily.How long does it take to mix in the food processor and do you use a metal blade or plastic one? I rid myself of my machine, no space in a NY aprtment as well being a chef I use my hands and knives, trying to slow down my process!

Jeremy
P.S. have some baguettes on in the oven, dunno intimidated now, see the mess I started!

jacklang 2006 October 22

Doesn't matter which blade. I use the metal blade, but I expect the plastic one would give the machine an easier time.
It takes 90 sec for a 1kg batch, if the machine doesn't overheat and cut out first.

You need to be careful about the dough geting trapped between the spindle cover and the blade, and gumming up the works. Incidently that extremely overworked dough from round the spindle is just like rubbery plastic.

Cauvain describes an energy input of 11 Wh/kg for a temperature rise of 12-14C.

My food processor has a 650W motor, 90*650/3600 = 16.25 Wh/kg. Allowing for some inefficiencies, that is in the right area.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 22

Yeah I stopped doing the thermometer probing and note writing after school, would be smart to pick it back up though, typical Chef, touch, feel, taste and smell, gotta get my bakers instincts back!

Baguettes just came out, will snap a shot later, not worthy I think!
Back to the drawing board!

Jeremy

SourDom 2006 October 22

TP,

the last baguettes that I posted didn't crack along the bottom.
I am not sure what did it, as I have made a few changes.
I improved the seal of the base, working to make sure that it was linear, and reducing the flour on the bench so that the edges stuck together better. Then the baguettes were elongated a bit more by rolling than just folding, which seems to make the seam almost disappear.
I have also tried to make sure that the seam is straight down when baked.

The last two batches didn't crack along the base.
This evening's bake (J Hamelman's pain au levain) cracked along the top (spoiling the grignes). I wasn't going to post a picture of it, as it isn't as good as I can do. Will see what the crumb is like in the morning. Probably needed to slash a little deeper.

Jack - thanks for your very detailed explanation of my quick questions. I am learning a huge amount from this thread.
I have always incorporated stiffer levains by breaking them up in the water before adding flour. I wonder whether that would work (ie holding back some of the water from the premix to 'dissolve' the levain.)
I have a batch of your ultra-stiff (Jermey control yourself) starter maturing, and will have a go at the rest of the recipe tomorrow (if I can find a new battery for my scales!)

Dan - thanks, great to see you back down under (even virtually)

cheers
Dom

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 23

[img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/jergra/CIMG1559.jpg[/img]
My lastest, good taster, some nice holiness.
Analysis:
1.retarded and popped right into the oven, don't get much spring!(nature of levain)
2.Could shape more like a batard or larger sized baguette.
3.Better if made all in one day's bake.

What next, will try again....
keep the thread going, we had some VIP's in our presence, the eyes of bread are upon us!

Jeremy

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 23

[quote="Jeremy"]
.. we had some VIP's in our presence, the eyes of bread are upon us!

Jeremy
[/quote]

Indeed. How can we but move on to better baguettes?

Soon, we'll have to rename the thread 'The [u]Great[/u] Baguettes Bake-Off'!

Maedi's picture
Maedi 2006 October 23

Bianchifan, can you please try not to swear. I'd like to keep the forum super clean.

Thanks Markus
Maedi

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 23

Markus...are you doing this to build up the suspense? Just as well...your next try is in 3 days' time. I'll be MIA.

Normbake 2006 October 23

Some more baguettes using 350 grams strong wallaby flour and 150 white wings plain flour and 360 grams water this is improving my slashing skills doing this bread
Normbake
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4971-3/100_2866.JPG[/img]

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4974-3/100_2869.JPG[/img]

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4977-3/100_2871.JPG[/img]

Normbake 2006 October 23

I also added 40 grams of rye flour in that and the starter had rye in it as well.

Certianly an addictive and enjoyable hobby doing this bread
Normbake

carla's picture
carla 2006 October 15

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4854-3/DSCN1652A.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4856-1/DSCN1652F.jpg[/img]

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 15

Post the crumb pix, Bill, and please... some descriptors and the method/recipe. Do you think yours is close to the perfect baguette as it can get? Honest opinions.

Hmm...the title of this thread should be changed to The Baguette Bake-off or Challenge. Great idea, Jeremy.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 15

[quote="SourDom"]
It would be hard to go past [url=http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s=9d09750ac8468132efd0de5642f763a9&showtopic=73591&view=findpost&p=1054933]Jack Lang's formula[/url], but it involves using an industrial strength food processor, which puts it out of the reach of many of us.

dom
[/quote]

Dom...your link is incomplete.

SourDom 2006 October 24

Slashing baguettes

I have modified my technique since I started in this thread. Jeffrey Hamelman describes slashes longitudinally along the dough. They are angled at 30 degrees to cut a flap rather than vertically to make a gash. Each slash overlaps the previous one by a small amount.

here is this morning's attempt

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4986-1/DSCN1547.JPG[/img]

which, baked, resulted in

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4988-1/DSCN1548.JPG[/img]

They weren't completely successful. Both baguettes bulged at one end, with one exploding open the grignes, and the other bursting underneath (see the python's eye effect below). I suspect that this is to do with imperfect shaping technique (I can hear chembake tut- tutting in the background)

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4990-1/DSCN1550.JPG[/img]

this was Jack Lang's formula. More about my experience with that soon.

cheers
Dom

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 15

Did you guy's already start?

Without me?

Tks TP!
Can't bake rode my bike didn't do chores and out of flour!
in the dog house!

Jeremy

Normbake 2006 October 24

Thanks Dom
I was using a small sharp knife so wasn't cutting though the dough more like tearing it. Yes I made a high hydration dough too last nite and what an experience (385 grams of water to 500 grams of flour) I kneaded it with wet hands and a plastic scaper which seemed to work better as long as u kept your hands wet as dough stuck to everything. I also used a stiff starter
Yep I got the idea of J Lang while reading this forum.
I will post a couple of pics in a min
Normbake

Normbake 2006 October 24

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4993-3/100_2874.JPG[/img]
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4996-3/100_2876.JPG[/img]
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4999-3/100_2877.JPG[/img]
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5002-3/100_2875.JPG[/img]

My pictures of my dough high hydration dough using 385 grams of water to 500 grams of flour used my hands and kept dipping them into a bowl of
water using a plastic scraper helped was fun.
Normbake

SourDom 2006 October 15

Here is [url=http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=73591&st=36]Jack's recipe[/url] (sorry for the incorrect link)

his crumb causes me to go a bit weak at the knees
(these are Jack's baguettes, not mine)

[img]http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1131624397/gallery_7620_135_8930.jpg[/img]

now if there were a way to get results like that with hand mixing I think I would need to look no further...

Dom

SourDom 2006 October 15

In the same thread there is a picture posted by someone called Teepee

[img]http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1131943031/gallery_12248_2065_14736.jpg[/img]

now I wonder who that could be...?

Maedi's picture
Maedi 2006 October 15

I could draw a cartoonists impression portrait of the winner?

Dom. I can't see your pics and I don't know why.

SourDom 2006 October 24

I had a go at Jack?s new recipe yesterday, baked this morning (pictures up a couple of posts).

Previously when I had tried his ?intensive mixing? instructions my food processor protested, but managed to whizz the dough as long as I did it in little bursts.
This time it refused point blank to cooperate, and the blade just would not turn in the sticky goop.
(My food processor is a Magimix compact 3100 ? a beautiful and versatile little machine that does lots of other things well ? just not Jack?s dough!)

So I fished out the dough and attempted to do it by hand. The main problem, as Jack highlighted, was that the firm starter has a tendency to remain separate from the rest of the dough. It took a good 5 minutes of sticky kneading by hand to get the dough at least even in texture. I then used Dan Lepard?s short kneads, alternating with 10 minute rests over about another 30 minutes. The dough at the end was very soft and well developed.

I let it rest on the bench, though a bit longer than Jack?s hour. At the end of an hour a slash in the dough didn?t show much activity, so it got a bit over another hour. (NB the bench proof was at room temp, which was about 18C yesterday). Then as instructed it was shaped, couched and retarded overnight. Baked from cold this morning.

The result:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5012-1/DSCN1552.JPG[/img]

close but no cigar...

conclusions
1. My food processor is just not up to a Chorleywood/Lang mix, so I am going to have to look at alternative techniques
2. Manual kneads don't have the same effect as the intensive mix. As I understand it, the rapid mixing creates lots of tiny air pockets, which anticipate, and eliminate the need for some of the usual bulk fermentation.
3. My shaping still needs some work

what next?
I am going to try Dan Lepard's formula again, to see if I can get something looking as good as Mick's.

cheers
Dom

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 October 15

Ahh...it's been some time since I made that. I'm refreshing some starter to attempt that again. It's a very slow process with long slow retardation in the fridge...takes more or less 2 days..could be 3 days even. This is exciting!

Maedi...didn't know you're a caricaturist. Nice of you to volunteer.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 25

Dom why not try my formula?
I think if you dilute the leaven it may be easier to mix in to the dough?
Jeremy

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 16

I am going to try a baguette paysanne or maybe red hen bakings recipe or should I do the BBGA's?
So many decisions, oh well will see!

Jeremy

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 October 16

My pics were of some made a while ago, thanks for thinking I could whip up bread in a matter of minutes.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 16

[size=24]...get set go![/size]Levain [img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/jergra/Levain.jpg[/img]
to types of ferment, yeasted poolish trace only!
[img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/jergra/poolish.jpg[/img]
Red Hen will be my practice formula, then I will try Bouley where I worked one summer,they had 2 different types, paysanne and a petit baguette with corn flour, did I post that, yeah I think I did?
more pics too come, when inspired your mind can get you to do anything!
Nice color Avatar, TP!

Jeremy

celia's picture
celia 2007 March 10

I entered photos of my amateur baguettes in Dan's contest, hope it's ok for a newbie to offer a contribution here as well. I'm chuffed with the big holes in the bread, and can't help showing off... :D

I used Teresa's Northwest Sourdough starter at 166% hydration, strong bread flour, extra virgin olive oil, water and salt. I adopt Dan's advice and knead it every 10 mins for the first half hour, then fold 3 ways at the half hour and one hour mark. Makes a very chewy ciabatta-like baguette.

[img]http://www.danlepard.com/guardian/entries/entry2/celia2.jpg[/img]

Thanks, Celia

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 October 16

Not so worried, need your [size=18]Iron[/size]besides in commercial bakeris we use metal for mixers and wood for benches! Plastics too in the fermentation. the world is already a mess with what humans are doing to it!
Happy baking
J

SourDom 2006 November 17

Reinhart's baguettes were impressive. I was a bit cynical, thinking that they couldn't be all that different, but for a non-sourdough all-white baguette they do have an astounding depth of flavour.

I am still working on my sourdough baguettes. This was the crumb of the latest version. The same formula as above, only I forgot to add the lower-protein flour, and retarded for about 36 hours after shaping (surplus of bread in the house).

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5483-2/DSCN1669.JPG[/img]

The thin cell walls are the best that I have achieved yet. Moderately open texture, though not as wild as the Reinhart version.
I don't have a picture of the whole baguettes. They were pretty dark in colour, probably as a result of all that retarding.

Reinhart's recipe makes me wonder whether it makes a difference when you retard the dough. He makes a big deal about putting the dough in the fridge immediately after mixing/kneading with ice-cold water. The idea is to allow sugars to be released from the starch before yeast activity starts.I know that Jack Lang started his sourdough baguettes with a version that was derived from the Reinhart formula. I am tempted to have a go at retarding after mixing (similar to the a l'ancienne baguettes), and see how that affects flavour.

(more panettone this weekend)

cheers
Dom

PS Jeffrey Hamelman eat your heart out

SourDom 2007 March 10

[quote="celia"]
I entered photos of my amateur baguettes in Dan's contest, hope it's ok for a newbie to offer a contribution here as well. I'm chuffed with the big holes in the bread, and can't help showing off...
[/quote]

you have good cause to show off Celia!
those baguettes look great, very nice looking crust and open crumb

well done, and welcome

cheers
Dom

PS Maedi is there a reason I can't see Celia's photo? - is it related to the new forum software (I have encountered it in other posts) - her photo looks like it is inserted in the post in the usual way.

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