Sunday, December 13, 2009


So I made some baguettes today. It was my second try, first try back in '06 ended poorly to say the least. I guess I did something right today and maybe my year and a half journey to better pizza is paying off cause I'm quite proud of myself on this attempt.

Word on the street is that when the crumb—the soft interior of the bread—has a variety of hole shapes and sizes, it's a good thing.

I used the KAF recipe from The Bakers Companion but made a couple adjustments, I let my oven preheat for an hour @ 500º, other then that I stuck to the recipe pretty well.

I'm not going to copy the recipe verbatim cause if you are like me, you may fall asleep during the second paragraph.

1 1/4 C AP flour
2/3 C cool water (60ºf)
1/4 tsp instant yeast

2 1/2 C AP flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2/3 C cool water

Step 1
Mix the poolish ingredients together until blended. Cover, set aside overnight.

Step 2
Take the dough ingredients, all except for the water and put them in the bowl of you mixer or whatever else you are using. then add the poolish and water then mix until it, "…just becomes cohesive, about 30 seconds." Let rest for 20 min.

Step 3
Knead the dough until it's cohesive and elastic but still a little rough. Don't go for a smooth dough at this point. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours. At hour 1 take remove the dough, deflate it, fold it in half, put it back in the bowl. Do this more often if the dough is wet or too slack. (I had to do it 3 times)

Step 4
Preheat your oven and stone if you have one @500º. Take the dough out of the bowl and form it into 3 rough logs. Let rest for 20min. Shape the rough logs into thinner 14" logs. let them rise in a couche for 30-40 min. They are supposed to be "noticeably puffy". I made a makeshift couche out of canvas, any fabric should do just fine, I'm pretty sure. The dough sits in the folds like the image on the right.

Step 5
Lower the oven temp to 475º make some slits in your baguettes, 4 of them about 1/4 inch deep, spray them "heavily" warm water and in the oven they go for about 20 min. and when they are deep golden brown, take them out and let them cool on a wire rack.

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