Gandolf and I had some fun Tuesday. First of all we got to dress up and second it involved some very delicious bread. Driven by this crazy bread baking kick we have been on, blame it all on the Sriracha sauce that has affected our brains and inspired by a wonderful article by T Fargo, we found a recipe for Classic Baguettes and tried it out.
The recipe titled Classic Baguettes and Stuffed Baguettes is from the King Author Flour website.
Gandolf gives it a rating of 5 Eagles. Imagine :o)
Below are some images of our journey.
The recipe starts out with a Sponge or Poolish as the French refer to it. This is what gives this bread the distinctive flavor. Simply it is just yeast, flour and water left to ferment in this recipe for 14 hours. Note how bubbly it is after time.
Once the sponge is ready the rest of the ingredients are added and mixed and then kneaded. After that the dough is proofed for 3 hours, turning it over and punching it down after each hour or after doubling in size. This again allows for more fermentation of the yeast which builds the distinct flavor. A side benefit of this technique is that this recipe uses less than half of the yeast called for in other recipes using as much flower.
Preshaping and Shaping Baguettes
Here is a really good YouTube video showing the easy techniques for shaping good baguettes. Baguette Shaping with Ciril Hitz
Stay tuned for the answer to What happened to that 4th piece of dough?
Update 9/16/2015 - Find out what happened to #4 here.