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Sourdough Baguettes


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Sourdough Baguettes/New Baguette Peel

The quest for beautiful baguettes continue. This time round, I tried it out with sourdough. Instead of the 66% hydration called for in Hamelman's recipes, I did one with an overall hydration of 73%. I was intending to shoot for 70% and as a result, I found that the dough was still a little on the slack side for shaping. In my previous attempts, both the dough temperature and hydration was off the mark. This time round, the temperature was within control. It was easy as I had retarded the dough overnight in the fridge. Nevertheless, it was fully risen by morning. I feel that I am getting close and eager to bake the next batch at 70% hydration. Even the slashing felt easier today. However, they are still far from pleasing to the eye. So I believe I will be eating a lot more baguettes in the coming weeks.

It won't be a problem though, as baguettes are the most convenient to have around. They taste great with many toppings e.g. tuna. For the lazy, canned tuna now comes in numerous preparations although my favorite is still those simple ones in brine. I prefer to flavor it myself by adding mayonnaise, chopped onions with a sprinkle of pepper. I detest the canned black pepper tuna as the black pepper seem to be the main ingredient.

Anyway, my favorite with toasted baguettes is still home made kaya and a thick wedge of butter. I made a pot-full this week from a recipe from Chubby Hubby. It was supposed to be the real deal and involves steaming the kaya. I actually prefer the un-steamed kaya as I found the steamed kaya to be a little too firm for my liking. I liked the recipe as it was not too sweet and boiling the coconut milk with the Pandanus leaves was brilliant as it brought out the full flavor of the leaves.

As I was making more baguettes now, I encountered a problem loading them into my oven. My existing peel was in the wrong orientation. It was great for putting loaves in the vertical orientation but as I wanted to make them longer, I had to put them in horizontally. I made one out of pine planks from IKEA and cost me only a couple of Sing dollars although at some point during the construction, I felt I was like the famous Scientist who made 2 door openings for his pet cat and dog. However, after I used it for the first time, it was apparent that it was not an exercise in redundancy.

I am satisfied with the way the crumb turned out. Nice uneven holes.

My sinful way of eating baguettes with kaya.

My new baguette peel. Makes loading the baguettes easier.




This site was last updated 03/31/07