Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baguette Breadmaking - Success and Failure

Recently I tried to make baguette bread after having read so many blogs about how this basic loaf is made.  It's not as "basic" as it seems, but I've learned a few tips that might help you down the road should you want to try.
  1. There's no substitute for a baguette making pan, or a proper shaping couche.  Your bread will flatten out like a pancake without either one of these tools.
  2. Knowing that it'd flatten/spread out, I thought I could improvise with flour sack towels.  Yes and no.  Yes, you can improvise with them, but you cannot successfully remove the loaves from the towels without deflating the risen loaves because no matter how thoroughly you dust/rub flour into the towel, the dough sticks to it.  This is why I'll invest in a baguette pan in the near future.  
  3. Score the dough after you've shaped and placed it in the pan; that way you don't deflate it by scoring after it's risen.  
  4. If you choose to use the couche, I found that placing it on top of a large cooling rack makes it easier to move around.
  5. The cooling rack also has another advantage; set it on top of a heating pad set on low and you've got a great place to slowly proof the dough.  
  6. If you want better flavoring, skip the heating pad and just proof slowly with loaves in the fridge.  
  7. This bread is better with lots of hydration; dry dough will result in a dry bread, and baguettes are crispy outside but soft inside.
 Sometimes you just need to be a little bit creative, and at the same time, give up your stubborn notion of being able to do something the "cheap way".  After all, it's not "cheap" to keep tossing out your failures.

No comments:

Post a Comment