I've red somewhere that a baguette is the most difficult breads to make. I can understand because 1. shaping is so important and every flaw you can see directly in the end result. 2. You must have steam in order for an ovenburst to take place.
This is a sourdough baguette so if you don't have a sourdough starter you van take a look at my recipe and schedule here.
1st attempt .
I first tried to use a homemade couche. That's a linnen cloth in which you let the baguette rise before going into the oven. You pull up the linnen in between the baguettes so they can lean into each other without touching. This makes sure they rise up instead of flatten out.
I got into difficulties when transferring to a baking tray. You really need a wooden board so they don't lose their shape. I didn't have one so the dough stretched out too much.
I remembered I had a baguette tray somewhere. You can let the dough rise on this tray and it can also go into the oven. No problems with transferring the dough. The problem I had here was with creating steam. I usually bake my bread in a Dutch Oven so steam is taken care of. Here I preheated a cast iron skillet in the oven and poured in boiling hot water. Problem was my oven leaked out steam. I ended up with small logs that hadn't had an oven burst. The steam makes sure the crust stays soft so it can still expand in the first couples of minutes. Very important. Because that didn't happen my baguettes were very compact, no open crumb at all.
I got frustrated and bought this baguette pan with lid. The dough also rises in this pan, you can also put it in the oven but the lid creates steam so that issue was fixed! I ended up with very nice baguettes.
I you're ever going to use this pan, grease with oil and dust with flower before use. The instructions say to only dust with flour but your baguettes will stick and be impossible to remove, The oil fixes that.
The trickiest part is still the shaping but I hope my pictures help with this.
Eerst doe je een preshape in batard vorm. Na de preshape laat je het deeg een half uurtje rusten, daarna vormen we de baguette. Draai je deeg op, rek een beetje uit, vouw de bovenkant 2/3 naar beneden, draai om en trek de andere kant dan helemaal over het deeg heen. Gebruik de palm van je hand om het deeg vast te drukken. Rol het deeg met twee handen uit tot ongeveer 30 cm. Dat is het!
- 400 grams type 00 flour
- 290 grams water
- 120 grams starter
- 9 grams salt
- Mix the water and flour until just combined, cover and let sit for an hour. This is called autolyse, we activate the gluten by doing this.
- Mix in the starter and salt until well combined. The total bulk time is 1.5 hours and we'll do 3 stretch & folds during this time.
- Do a stretch & fold every 30 minutes. Stretch&fold: Wet your hands (the dough is a bit sticky and by wetting your hands it won't stick to you) and stretch a side as far the dough gives (don't let it tear) and fold over the dough. Do this all the way around the dough for about 2 minutes. You'll notice the dough firms up. By doing this you'll strengthen the gluten more.
- After 1.5 hours, cover the dough, put in a plastic bag and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- The next morning take out the dough, divide in 3 pieces of about 260 grams. Do a preshape as explained above and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a baguette and put in a pan/tray or couche and let rise for 1.5 hours. 1 hour covered and the last half hour uncovered (this helps with scoring)
- Start with preheating your oven to 250 degrees celcius (or how hot your oven goes) a half hour before the baguettes are done rising.
- Transfer the dough to a baking sheet, or if using a tray or pan leave the dough in there. Use a razorblade to cut 3 long lines down the baguette. Put in the oven (incl lid if you're using a pan)
- If you don't have a pan with lid you need to create steam. You can do this by using lava rocks, by preheating an oventray and pour in boilng hot water or by dropping in ice cubes. It depends on your oven what really works. If you have a steam oven you can just turn on the steam.
- When using a pan, bake for 20 minutes with lid and until goldenbrown without the lid. If you have a steamoven, turn of steam after 15 minutes and bake until goldenbrown. If you're using lavarocks or boiling water/icecubes just bake until goldenbrown.
- Let them cool off completely before serving.