The challenge began on 16 September 2011
I've been in self denial I guess. I've seen a lot of great baguettes being made on www.thefreshloaf.com. Of course, I'm jealous, but I've not quite pick up the courage to attempt it again, after the couple of times that I did, with a little success. I think I was a little cowardly. Running away from it, making all the easy loaves that I can make quite easily. Even sourdoughs bloom nicely in my hands! Now, why not baguettes.
Baguette - simplest of all bread in terms of ingredients, but the hardest in terms of crust, crumb, shaping and scoring. It requires good techniques, it seems. I've searched the web, but I've not come close to seeing anyone done anything quite like the those that we find in the bakery. I mean those with big holes in their crumb, light (when you hold a 180g loaf, it should feel light and airy, not heavy and dense), the crust is thin flaky crispy. The shape is long and round. The scoring has to be 3 scores, that will help the loaf to bloom very nicely. And lastly, I want to hear the loaf sing when I bring it out of the oven.
I have not achieve it yet.
I'm determined to find a way to make it the way I've described. I've given myself this challenge to find the right recipe, the right methodology of doing a home baguette that will achieve what I described above.
I've decided to go with the traditionally straight dough, no poolish, no starter, no biga. Just straight 4 ingredients, but will attempt to experiment with different flours. I'm not sure when I'll be able to achieve the right look, texture, smell that I'm looking for, but until the day that I can consistently make baguettes the way it should be. I'm going to chronicle my attempts and my learnings as I go along in this journey for the quest towards making great baguette. Give me your blessings!
In chinese we say: 加油！Cheer me on! I'm doing that right now!