Would you be so kind as to share the workflow recipe so I can attempt?
Dear Stefano, so far I have only scratched the surface in my attempts to make baguettes. I have a lot to learn. As far as I know, there are different ways of making baguettes. Some years ago, a Frenchman told me that baguettes generally fall into two broad categories: "classic baguettes" and "street baguettes". The proponents of the former treat baguettes formally/formulaically or according to certain conventions while the proponents of the latter treat baguettes with much less formalities or conventions, concentrating mainly on texture and flavor rather than being overly concerned with the right geometric configuration of the bread and et cetera.
Very, very briefly put, my workflow, if I do a straight dough and use fresh baker’s yeast, begins with a twenty-minute autolyse (flour and water only, no salt and yeast added at this point). My hydration is usually 70% or higher, depending on the type of flour and other factors.
After the autolyse, I add fresh baker’s yeast (thoroughly crushed and rubbed into a small amount of flour) and salt (non-hydrated) to the autolyzed dough and begin mixing. (In passing, I should mention that it is common to use poolish or levain in making baguettes, but here I am just doing a straight dough.) Next, I let the dough undergo fermentation 7-10 hours at room temperature. Then, I do the "pre-shaping" by cutting the dough into 180-200 gram portions. My wood-fired oven at home is very small, so I am not able to make full size baguettes, about 400 grams each. After a bench rest of 30-60 minutes at room temperature, I do the "final shaping" (a very critical stage of making baguettes), and let the baguette-shaped doughs rest on a dusted couche at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes. At last, I score the baguettes and bake them—with steam—for about 18 to 24 minutes at about 450 to 470 F on the oven floor.
Of course, there is lot more to making baguettes than the brief description above. Below are some videos that very briefly summarize the process. Being an amateur baguetteer, I do not know how good the videos are. Good luck!
In case you are interested in making ethnic flat breads, which are crusty and very much taste like baguettes, you may like to check out my thread at The Fresh Loaf:
I want to begin to churn out some baguettes, but I just can't find a recipe online that seems to work well.
I'm beginning to think I should just use my pizza formulas.. Yours look truly art-worthy. If you would share your recipe, I would very much appreciate it!
Dear Totti, thank you! While I sympathize with your predicament re finding a baguette recipe, I, as an amateur baguetteer, am having a difficult time to communicate to you a baguette recipe because I do not know about your skill level and the circumstances under which you will implement the recipe. Philosophically speaking, a recipe is like a map
, and as the great maxim has it, "The map is not the territory."
Moreover, as you can imagine, whatever recipe you employ to make baguettes, it needs to be responsive to a number of factors. For instance, a baguette recipe needs to take into account the physicochemical needs of the flour that you will use while keeping in mind the final physical and gustatory attributes of the baguettes that you desire to accomplish. I do not know what kinds of flours are available to you in New Zealand. Nonetheless, below is a straight dough recipe for making baguette dough, which needs to be adjusted to your particular circumstances
. I recommend that you first experiment with straight dough before advancing toward making more complicated baguette dough with either poolish or levain.
Fresh Baker’s Yeast 0.1%
At last, please understand that my baguette-making knowledge is very limited, and I am still struggling with it. Have a great day!