These were made using the recipe for baguettes in "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
A baguette mould is very helpful with the shaping.
Still working on the slashes. The serrated knife is too large; the box cutters and the small knife are too dull; the scissors are too unwieldy. (Please see our later attempts at scoring with a lame.)
The top loaf was slashed with the small sharp knife (then the cuts were enhanced with the scissors). The bottom loaf was slashed with the scissor tips at about a 10 degree angle from the top of the bread.
In spite of the inferior scoring, the bread was a complete success. It was light and fluffy inside (no photographic evidence; we were too busy eating it to get the camera) and crisp and chewy on the outside.
These were made using the recipe for baguettes with poolish on Susan's site Wild Yeast (wildyeastblog.com). With the addition of a very small amount of malt, the bread has a very slight caramelized flavour in the crust. Lovely! Eventually, with practice, I'll achieve the beaded quality that Susan did. But even these roughly shaped beads were absolutely stellar.
The bread calls for a starter to be made the night before and left to ferment on the counter. The starter uses only a few grains of yeast. I was a little disbelieving that it would be enough yeast but, as you can see from what appeared the next morning, there was no need to doubt.
We couldn't have been more pleased about these baguettes. The crumb was exactly as a baguette crumb should be: chewy but soft. And the flavour!! Mmmmmmmmmm.... It was perfect with brown lentil soup!
We couldn't have been more pleased about these baguettes. The crumb was exactly as a baguette crumb should be: chewy but soft. And the flavour!! Mmmmmmmmmm