Thursday, 24 January 2013

Post Exam Baking - Homemade Baguette and Croissants

Just had my exam two days ago and I've been dying to bake. I decided to go with the more time consuming bakes such as baguettes and croissants because trust me we hardly get so many days off in a row in medical school. I chose to make baguettes because I've been experimenting with it a few times over the last few months but I just couldn't quite get it right. They all tasted very nice but I wanted to get the ideal airy crumb texture with a crust that isn't too chewy. I decided to go with a lower hydration recipe by Hamelman this time. I think I've been way too ambitious to tackle the highest hydration dough recipe previously considering I'm a total novice to baking bread. As usual I picked the notoriously difficult one to start with, i.e; baguettes, but that's because it's my favourite bread of all.

They turned out well this time and the crumb texture in my opinion was the best I could achieve given I have no access to professional ovens.

The oven spring was moderate. I did everything I could, I sprayed the baguette prior to baking, I had a pizza stone that I heated in the oven for an hour and I poured a jug of boiling water into a preheated baking tin. All to create the all so important steam for a good oven spring and a good crust. Unfortunately my student flat oven could only reach a certain maximum temperature unlike professional ovens and it loses heat in an instant whenever the door is opened. (plus all those steam creating measures took time to perform..)

What about the crumb.

Monday, 7 January 2013

My to-bake list

Having come across a handful of baking blog owners shameless yet proudly exhibiting their to-bake list. I thought it's time for me to follow suit and proclaim to the world the things I wish to bake in the months to come as soon as I find the time to do so!

Here goes:

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Baguettes - The highs and lows

I've never been a big fan of bread. As a child growing up eating supermarket bread loaves I found them rather bland and I couldn't comprehend how 'some' people actually claimed they liked the crust which, to me tastes dry and unappealing. It was only until recently when I had a bite of the sourdough baguette at a restaurant that my opinion of bread was changed. I became an admirer of baguettes.