Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SFBI Artisan Baking I Days 2 and 3

Baguette, baguettes and MORE baguettes. We each made 15 a piece. On Day 2 we experimented with baguettes using straight dough – short mix, improved mix and intensive mixes. Of the three I liked the improved mix the best as far as flavor intensity and open crumb. I found the intensive mix crumb to be a bit denser and not as tasty.

In addition to baking, we also discussed topics regarding calculating mix times, the impact of baking loaves, and the role of steam in the baking process. The relationship of mixing and fermentation times was also a topic of discussion relative to the three different bakes we did that day.

The last thing we did on Day 2 was to scale up our mixes for experimenting with different flours and autolyse. We prepped an improved mix with bread flour, improved mix with hi protein flour and an improved mix with bread flour that will use autolyse.

Day 3 focused on wheat and flour. The types of wheat – red/white, spring/winter, hard/soft were discussed relative to protein content and applications/impacts on bread outcome. The batches we put together yesterday were mixed by the students, shaped and baked. While baking our loaves, we prepped mixes for tomorrow’s breads – egg bread, pan bread, whole wheat, multi grain, and rye. Then it was lunch time(whew)!

 After lunch we prepped all the pre-ferments for tomorrow’s bakes, and had critiques of the baguettes we’d baked. It was interesting to see the differences between the bread flour baguettes and the high protein flour bagettes, especially where crumb openness and taste are concerned.

My dough handling/shaping is improving (getting more open crumb) but my scoring still needs work. Although, I’ve found the practice is helping me become more comfortable with scoring and perhaps that’s the first step to improvement – being able to relax.

Day 4 will be a busy day with lots of different breads to bake and more prep for poolish, pre-ferment and sponge baguettes.

  I’m sorry I don’t have pictures, but I found myself working hard to keep up with the pace of producing the three batches of baguettes. For an experienced baker this would be a ‘piece of cake’ I’m sure. However, I’m used to being able to work at my leisurely home pace. We really ‘hoofed’ it today and had little time to spare. I felt sorry for Miyuki who had barely enough time to eat a 5 minute lunch.

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