Sunday, February 26, 2012

Overnight Baguette Twins PS #8

Started on February 12 and baked on the 13th.

I wanted to work on achieving a nice, skinny, baguette-style loaf.  I had refreshed Pete's Starter and had about 1# of it recipe-ready by Sunday evening.  I decided to go basic: add enough flour, water, and salt; knead and let rise overnight in an oiled, covered tub.


1# refreshed starter (this was more on the "wet" side than on the firm side)
about 2 1/2 c. bread flour
about 1/2 c water
1 1/2 tsp salt

Done.  By the morning, the dough had risen mightily.  I divided it in half and shaped it into long, thin  baguettes. Somewhere along the line I had acquired a double French bread pan- about 18" long and holding two loaves in the "troughs".  It's not bad, but I still prefer using my lidded fish poachers for baking long loaves.  So I decided I'd use the French bread pan for the final proofing of the shaped loaves, as I didn't have baskets long enough to do the job properly.  I draped the bread pan with a floured towel, nestled a loaf on each side, and covered them with the towel overhang.  In the meantime, I preheated the fish poacher with lid as usual, in a 450F oven for 30 minutes.  Just before going into the oven, I let them rest on the breadboard while I did my last minute prep.

Since the loaves were long and skinny, I decided to place them side by side in the poacher. A bit of crowding should insure that the breads rise UP instead of spreading OUT.    I used a razor to dock the loaves: one with a long slash down the middle and three diagonal slashes on the other. I spritzed them with a little water, covered the pan with its lid, and baked for 25 minutes.  Cover off, baked about another 8 minutes until they tested nicely done at 210F. 

I was very happy with these.  Very!  I had some leftover tossed salad in the fridge along with thinly sliced ham, turkey, and baby Swiss cheese.  I cut about a 5" length and proceeded to fill it with these goodies. Since I rarely eat subs, it was a treat. 
30 oz of of the simplest dough yielded two skinny long loaves: just the right size baguettes for subs or whatever else you have in mind.  The crust was crispy and the crumb, soft and tasty.  Mission accomplished!

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