Still More, About Longer Is Better (pix heavy)

dcarch7October 6, 2012

What is a baguette? According to Wiki:

"A baguette is "a long thin loaf of French bread" that is commonly made from basic lean dough (the dough, though not the shape, is defined by French law). It is distinguishable by its length and crisp crust.

A standard baguette has a diameter of about 5 or 6 centimetres (2 or 2 1/3 in) and a usual length of about 65 centimetres (26 in), although a baguette can be up to a metre (40 in) long. "

Let me share with you a method I use to make good looking long baguettes. This method also has the benefit of having a baguette with crispy crust similar to that from a "steam oven". BTW, Throwing water or ice cubes in a normal oven gives the steam effect only for a few seconds and can damage ovens which has an enameled interior, cracking the glass window, or warping the metal walls.

Material:

1. Two sections of steel gutter guard from a hardware store ($3.00)

2. Two caps made from empty cans of suitable diameter ($0.00)

3. Large silicone bake sheet which you may already have.

Basic idea:

1. Make your dough based on your preferred recipes.

2. Form the dough to the same length you are trying to make the baguette. Maximum length is dependent on the diagonal size of your oven. I can bake a 26" long baguette in my oven diagonally.

3. And score the dough like a baguette.

4. Put the dough in a tube formed by rolling the silicone bake sheet and cap both ends with caps made from cans.

5. Put the tube on the gutter guards.

6. Let the dough rise in the tube at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

7. You can check the dough rise by peeking into the tube.

8. Bake the dough in the tube at the same temperature as you would normally.

9. The baguette would be steam baked inside the tube, and perfectly formed by the support of the gutter guards.

dcarch

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foodonastump

I like it! Particularly because you're keeping it moist without an external source of steam. As I've posted before, the steam from a pan of boiling water permeated and permanently killed the control panel of my last oven while making baguettes. Thanks for the tip; I'll definitely give it a shot.

Of course this leads to question (experiment) of whether moisture really matters for developing a good crust. I know many here downplay that.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:52PM
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triciae

You never cease to amaze me! That's a pretty baguette and the texture looks great.

Question though (I'm a science wimp):

Does the escaping moisture eventually get out of the silicon tube? The loaf browns through the tube? Do you wrap the tube the diameter that you want the finished baguette, say 2-1/3" before putting the end caps on?

Sure looks easier to get in the oven also. I really like the uniform product you can produce with this technique...would be great if you were selling them & wanted consistency.

I've C/P & this will be on our "To Try" list after we're through getting stuff put up for winter.

Very, very cool!

/tricia

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:53PM
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dcarch7

FGOAS, "----Of course this leads to question (experiment) of whether moisture really matters for developing a good crust. I know many here downplay that."

I have not done a side-by-side, but that is the whole idea of baking bread in a Dutch oven. Also, I had the opportunity of visiting the factory in Brazil where they make all the baking goods for Au Bon Pain (the bakery and cafe chain). Steam oven is what they use. I assume they have done all the rearch.

triciae , "----Does the escaping moisture eventually get out of the silicon tube? The loaf browns through the tube? Do you wrap the tube the diameter that you want the finished baguette, say 2-1/3" before putting the end caps on?-----"

Thanks Tricia.

Yes, steam will eventually seep out of the tube, based on the BTUs of "latent heat of vaporization of heat" absorbed thru the silicone tube.

Yes, as you can see from the pictures, the loaf browns very well inside the tube. Silicone is actually a fairly good conductor of heat, that's why they use silicone grease to mount heat senitive electronics on heat-sinks.

The diameter of the tube is entirely up to you depending what you want the loaf to look like. I have done very skinny loaves almost like bread sticks, and I have done totally uniform round loaves for slices for some recipes.

dcarch

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Bellsmom

Brilliant!

Thanks for the idea. I'll try it.

Sandra

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:28PM
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caflowerluver

Very cool! I will have to get a silicone baking mat and try it. What size are the can ends?
Clare

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:38PM
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dcarch7

Thanks Sandra. You are very kind.

Thanks Clare. I have made caps of difference sizes for different baguettes. The pictures show caps of 3 1/2" diameter.

dcarch

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:33PM
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