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Old 09-20-2017, 09:12 AM   #1
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D Leader's 4-Hour Baguette

This if from Genius Recipe (who?) Adapted slightly from Local Breads and Saveur Magazine. I have no idea where I got this from other than the above which I included on my print-out.
This literally takes about 4 hours to make. There are 3 hours of rising plus another hour spent proofing, mixing, resting, shaping and cooling!

Ingredients:
1+1/2 cups (12 oz) tap water, heated to 115 degrees F
1 tsp (1/8 oz) active dry yeast
3+1/4 cups (14=2/3 oz) all purpose flour
3 tsp (3/8 oz) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (note: if using a fine-grained salt like table salt, fine sea salt or other brands of kosher salt, you will need to use a smaller volume)
Canola oil, for greasing bowl
1/2 cup ice cubes

Whisk the water & yeast together and let sit til foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour, stirring till all flour is absorbed, let rest to allow flour to hydrate, 20 minutes. Add salt, then on a lightly floured surface, knead til smooth & elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased, plastic covered bowl and let rise til double in size, about 45 minutes.

On the lightly floured surface, shape dough into an 8" x 6" rectangle. Fold the 8" sides toward the middle, then fold the shorter sides toward the center (think of how you fold up a T-shirt). Place dough back into bowl, seam side down. Cover with plastic again and let rise til doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Place a cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack of oven; position another rack above that, place your baking stone or rimless sheet pan there.

Heat oven to 475 degrees F. On the floured work surface, cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape each into a 14" rope. Flour a sheet of parchment paper onto a rimless baking sheet; on this sheet place ropes, evenly spaced. Now lift the paper between the ropes to form pleats; place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under edges of paper on the long sides thus giving support to the loaves. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap and let sit til doubled in size, about 50 minutes.

Uncover; remove towels, flatten paper to space out the loaves. Use a razor, scissors, lame to slash the top of each loaf at a 30 degree angle in four spots; each should be about 4" long. Slide the loaves, still on the parchment paper onto the pulled out rack with the stone or rimless pan. Place ice cubes in skillet. Bake the baguettes until darkly browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

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Old 09-20-2017, 09:19 AM   #2
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I must mention, I think I did on another thread, when they say to use a cast iron skillet for the water - DON'T!!

I did once before then had to scour out the baked on minerals left in the poor pan - what a job! Not to mention having to re-season a 30 year old pan which I'd never had to do before (at least not this particular pan).

I use an old pan with water in it and heat it up along with the oven. Alternatively you can use a spritz bottle with water to spray the top of the loaves as you put them in the oven... and then I do it again about 10 minutes later.

I did not use a spritz this time but will next as I was not particularly happy with the crust.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:56 PM   #3
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That looks like awesome bread! We have to eat gluten-free in this household so wouldn't be able to enjoy this one but I can drool at the picture!
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Thank you for the recipe D.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:12 AM   #5
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I was interested to see you said to use tap water. I always have, but I did hear that some tap water can have a funny taste to it (people get used to it where they live). So the recommendation is to use bottled water. Also, if you use regular salt, make sure it doesn't have iodine in it. That can throw off the taste of the bread, too.

Now, I'm just reporting what I've read, so I have no idea if this is true or not. I haven't made a baguette in forever, so one of these days I'm going to make two, one with the tap water and regular salt and one with bottled water and kosher salt, just to see if I can taste the difference.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:18 AM   #6
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Rodent, it is my understanding that the only difference in the salts is the size of the grain. Calling for kosher salt and subbing with table means you must reduce the amount of table salt due to the size of the grain. Table salt being smaller will fit more grains into the measure ergo possibly making your product too salty.

Kosher salt should say if it is un-iodinized or has it, same applies for table salt. All sea salts are iodine as the sea is iodine. Such is my understanding anyhow.

Yes, I was surprised to see them say tap water too and even though I generally have always used the tap I left the instruction in there just in case someone else would understand the difference. I am on a well and my water has a high mineral content. I have the water softener set at high therefore that is also another source of salt, albeit small - it might just make a difference to an expert - which is definitely not me!

I found this video on Youtube - I REALLY want to try this one! LOL - watch how he kneads the dough. It is really wet but as he says, it takes practice - he has been doing it for a long time!
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:36 PM   #7
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The video is quite similar to the way I make ciabatta. The main difference is that I make a poolish with part of the water, flour and yeast the evening before for a long ferment for added flavor. Then I mix the remaining flour, water, and yeast with the poolish until just combined and give it a half hour rest for an autolyze before adding the salt. Folding steps are similar.

I may have to try this one someday.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:38 PM   #8
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RP.. is your ciabatta really flat with huge holes? I don't mind flat but I find the 2 recipes I've done for ciabatta (yes, with poolish the night before) is super flat and waay too holey for my liking.

Watching the video makes me think that I should be slapping the dough over as he does, my recipe just asks to pat/punch/flatten it down, no real kneading going on at all. Could that be the reason?
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
RP.. is your ciabatta really flat with huge holes? I don't mind flat but I find the 2 recipes I've done for ciabatta (yes, with poolish the night before) is super flat and waay too holey for my liking.

Watching the video makes me think that I should be slapping the dough over as he does, my recipe just asks to pat/punch/flatten it down, no real kneading going on at all. Could that be the reason?
Ciabatta is supposed to be holey. You are supposed to be careful when folding the dough between rises, and then when shaping the loaves so that you don't deflate it. Ciabatta is often used as a sandwich bread sliced the long way, so the holes just serve as places for the good stuff to settle into. It's also a "tear apart" bread for dipping in EVOO and herbs.

My loaves are about 2½ to 3 inches high and about 4 to 5 inches wide by 8-10 inches long. Even though the instructions I have say to put in "en couché" for the last rise like with a baguette, I don't really bother with it. Seems to come out just fine. It's a very wet dough, but isn't too hard to work with. I mix in the Kitchen Aid with the paddle beater just to completely wet the flour, then after the 30 minute autolyse, I add salt and knead with the dough hook for 5-8 minutes. After that it's all hand folding.

I make 6 loaves (2 batches) for the town historical society bake sale each year, and they seem to be very popular and sell out quickly. I also have a couple of friends who are after me all the time to "Make some ciabatta for me, Rick!" I don't know how genuine my ciabatta is, but it seems to be well received.

Look at this recipe: Artisan Bread
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
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I hear what you're saying RP but there is holey and there are car sinking craters. Wish I had taken a pic but didn't... one loaf had a huge bubble that both my fists fit in, the rest of the bread was great tho. I'll keep practicing.
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