A baguette is a great example of how a specific technique and formula can make a unique and tasty bread.
It falls into the ever-popular artisan bread category, which means it isn’t the easiest to make in bulk or on high speed lines. If you want to knock your baguettes out of the park, here are a few tips and tricks to make them:
Many baguette formulas don’t have fat, so pick a harder wheat that has more protein than just bread flour. That way, you’ll get proper gas retention.
Although a baguette is best made with slow fermentation times, it can be produced on high speed lines. The trick is for the dough to be fully developed during mixing and kneading, and fermented slightly more than normal.
A baguette has a high crust to crumb ratio. Therefore, it loses a high percentage of moisture during baking and cooling, and may over bake easily.
Here’s a baguette formula
|Instant active dry yeast (IDY)||0.8–1.0|
Producing a high-quality baguette requires the following steps:
- Ingredients scaling/metering
- Mixing for 8–12 minutes. Incorporation of dry ingredients and development of gluten. Dough temperature after mixing should be around 25°C (77°F). The poolish may be added at dough mixing.
- Dividing or cutting of pieces from bulk dough to desired unit weight
- Rounding into dough balls
- Intermediate proofing (3–10 minutes)
- Moulding (the dough is shaped into a cylinder)
- Final proofing on hearth bread pans for 60–90 minutes at 27°C (80°F) and 80% humidity
- Scoring (cutting the dough’s top surface)
- Baking in a deck or traveling tray oven at 205–220°C (400–428°F) for 20–30 minutes. Steam baking chamber for first 2–5 minutes
- Removal from oven and cooling for 20 minutes on racks
- Packaging or serving