Where's the first video, ya bastahd?

The baguette has been a significant focus in my life for literally decades. It serves us not only as a daily bread, but is more about community. Food to share - with friends and family. The "recipe" for it is the motivation for this site. There are no bread recipes as far as I'm concerned. Bread, while it may only take a few minutes to toss together, is not a recipe, it's a way of life.

Enough of the philosophical, just had to justify another in an infinite series of posts on my obsession.

The baguette plays out in 3 acts. All 3 change gradually over time as experience is accrued. Currently, I'm concerned with modifications to act 3. The humidity applied during baking. After talking to Andrew last night, we feel the initial humidity as gleaned from the early pages of Reinhart's Baker's Apprenctice is more critical than we may have thought.

I've routinely humidified my preheated electric oven with 1 cup water tossed in at the beginning and occasionally, I dabbled in moistening the exterior of the loaf itself. I'm in the process of configuring alternative conditions. I'm now trying the baking in the lower third of the oven (as usual), beneath the perforated aluminum baking sheet is a half sheet baking pan with 1 cup of water (placed in it a couple minutes before baking) and the sides of the oven doused with a stream of water just as the loaf goes in. Too much for words, this will show up in a future video if it works. Thanks for the talk last night Andrew. Someday we'll get that voluminous, airy inside, razor-sharp crusted baguette.

And the first act video? Soon, I promise. It's the only act that never changes.

ps, According toWikipedia and the formula for volume of a cylinder, the density of a French baguette should be 10 mL/g (that is not a mistake, typically density is given in units of g/mL, but the inverted dimension is a more useful metric). My loaves this morning were about 4.4 mL/g - loooong way to go. I think I actually created an environment that was too humid!! Very useful though. Going in the wrong direction for volume is useful too.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Can't wait to see it-I'll have to go back and reread the bread baker's apprentice as well