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The rehabilitation of a failed baker


gsquared
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Here is one I made this morning. Essentially the same method; strong flour (12% protein); 2 hours proof, then overnight in the fridge. The only difference was her I experimented with using higher proportion of preferment: 33% of the total flour (200g flour, 200g water in the preferment, 400g flour, 220g water in the dough). Gives a more pronounced sourdough taste, which I think I prefer.

I must try again with softer flour - I had run out, to give a better texture, and I'd like to do a side by side comparison with a stretch and fold method.

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Well, I suppose it was a bit much to expect a lifetime of failed baking to turn around in one go, but I'm disappointed with you, Gerhard. I felt heartened when I read Jack's "alas and alack." Commiseration is the beginning of comfort and renewed hope, I think. Idea for the failed loaves: Have sandwiches for dinner and tell the Artist it is a new invention -- panini that doesn't need to be pressed. She might go for it...

Onward and upward!

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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I suppose the teacher should teach by demonstrating, but this is cruel, Jack! :smile:

Yeah, I thought, "Ouch"

But umm, Gerhard, the crust on yours looks awesome. I could easily eat that all up no problem-o. Dip in butter or oil. Yum yum.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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third times the charm. 2 down, 1 to go!

If you havent introduced your loaf to the birds yet, how about slicing it thinly, toasting and making bruschetta?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Well, I suppose it was a bit much to expect a lifetime of failed baking to turn around in one go, but I'm disappointed with you, Gerhard.  I felt heartened when I read Jack's "alas and alack."  Commiseration is the beginning of comfort and renewed hope, I think.  Idea for the failed loaves:  Have sandwiches for dinner and tell the Artist it is a new invention -- panini that doesn't need to be pressed.  She might go for it...

Onward and upward!

Commiseration appreciated, Lori. The Artists is far too savvy to fall for that - she has been following all this attentively (and supportively!)

edited to fix accidental click

Edited by gsquared (log)

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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third times the charm. 2 down, 1 to go!

If you havent introduced your loaf to the birds yet, how about slicing it thinly, toasting and making bruschetta?

The garbage bag proving enclosure was close at hand......

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I suppose the teacher should teach by demonstrating, but this is cruel, Jack! :smile:

Yeah, I thought, "Ouch"

But umm, Gerhard, the crust on yours looks awesome. I could easily eat that all up no problem-o. Dip in butter or oil. Yum yum.

I totally agree with this assessment. If it's anything like my failures, it will still taste better than store bought. Onward ho! We're still rooting for you.

Ilene

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  I'd suggest:

a) A little less water  - maybe 300g to make the dough easier to handle. Different flours adsorb different amounts.

b) A little less proving time. You might try refrigerating overnight pretty well as soon as you have shaped the dough. I used to do that with some success. Now I tend to prove for 3-4 hours and bake straight, although I have in the oven now some baguettes that I proved for 2 hours and then refrigerated overnight and they have sprung fine. You might want to prove for 3 hours hen bake, then add the refrigeration step when the basic dough is OK.

The Artist chided me for not following my teacher's suggestions. She was, of course, correct. As usual (damn irritating habit some women have). So, Jack, I will make the dough, prove for 3 hours and then bake. The preferment has been sitting for 10 hours now. This is what it looks like:

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Do you think I can start the dough or should I wait 2 more hours?

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I'd go with it, if thats what you feel like!

Lets see the baguettes before you bake though, they may need an extra hour...they should look like they have inflated a bit

Great! I do not want to go too deeply into the evening - the innkeeper needs his rest. More follows.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Jackal, geez, I'd slash it now cause I'm a chicken. And should he watch so that it doesn't get too poofy--so it doesn't get like jiggly so it stays kinda firm even though it's all air??

And do you have to slash it deep--it just bakes deep right???

That top one's gonna be skinny in the middle but they sure look good.

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Slashes in bread (called grigne) are a whole topic on their own.

Use a very sharp thin knife - traditionally a razor blade on a stick, except for seeded breads and breads with lots of bits in when a serrated knife sometimes works better

Cut at 45 degrees to the surface - you are cutting a flap.

Cut postively, and quickly.

I prefer to cut just before putting the bread in the oven. You are punctuting the surface so the bread will start to deflate, before the heat starts turning the water to steam to inflate the bread again.

The biggest cause of poor, narrow, grigne is overproving.

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Erm...don't waste precious seconds snapping pix of the slashed bread. You want to pop it into the oven ASAP. Or, better still, enlist the help of The Artist to snap your handiwork.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Slashes in bread (called grigne) ...

I prefer to cut just before putting the bread in the oven. You are punctuting the surface so the bread will start to deflate, before the heat starts turning the water to steam to inflate the bread again.

How do you pronounce grigne?

:shock:Shhhh...baby's sleeping...don't say the d-word

:smile:

If we have a round 3 which I'm sure we won't--no chance!!! Jackal, what do think about slashing before it rises?

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grinya---french for grin

I don't slash before it rises. That does a differnt thing, and compromises the outer layers that hold the gas in while its rising and give you a smaller rise. Slashing not very deep, really just to direct the tear, just before it goes in the oven plus steam gives best results.

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I've never made bread that I had to move after it rises. I mean except move it as is into the oven.

I'd be feeding the birds with it too I'm afraid (after I ate the crust :).

I've seen it done on tv too, but I just suck all the air out of the room.

Gerhard, you are very brave.

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2 hrs 45 mins. Some rise, I think. Or is it my fevered imagination?

The oven is pre-heating, the slash thingy (term pse Jack?) is sharpened. I am halfway through a bottle of Blauwklippen Cab 2002. Stop pacing, Jack, you are making me nervous.

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Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Disaster! The shaped loaves got totally stuck to the couche and would not release. I had to tear them off, losing all shape. And whatever rise there may have been. I reshaped, slashed, and stuck them into the oven in any event.

I had less difficulty yesterday in the process couche-to-peel-to-oven, but it was still a hassle. Is there any easier way?

Edited by gsquared (log)

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Is it completely cheating to proof them and bake them directly in the baquette couche? (sans towel, of course)

<editted for completeness>

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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sigh...lots of flour on the couche, Use the same cloth each time and don't wash it - sterilise it by drying it out in a low oven. It builds up a sort of easy release layer. Some people use rice flour,

A slightly drier dough can help, but we did that,

You can get baguette pans made from silpat like material or even tin, and proof them in those. Grease them well, or you just get the cooked loaves stuck. They always leave an impression on the bottom of the loaf, so traditionalists disapprove.

The blade used to slash is called a lame (blade in french)

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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