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The Hungry Bakers have been busy developing new recipes recently and we now have a new “French stick” to add to our range. Called the Baguette L’Ancienne, this is the archetypical and quintessential French style sourdough baguette that we all love to eat when we are going abroad. Really crusty on the outside (good dentures needed) with a holey, moist and chewy centre. Ours are made true to the principles of making an authentic baguette to show those French that we can as well. It’s a long process as our master baker, Troels Bendix explains:
“The process starts with our biga (really just another name for a sourdough starter), however compared to other starters this is multi cereal starter. White flour, wholemeal flour and some rye to give it a bit of umph. Also it is, compared to our other starters, very high in hydration, which mean you quite an aggressive beast on your hand after 24 hours of fermentation. It bubbles lively and has a smell best described as stale beer with a touch of honey.
To start the dough we make a preferment called a Poolish (a polish invention!!) which is a mixture of biga, strong white flour and water. This sits for about 10 hours to gather va va voom. Then the dough is made by firstly rough mixing flour and water to allow the gluten to hydrate, then the Poolish and salt is added and the whole mixed for about 20 minutes. Then we bulk ferment the dough ambient for about 2 hours knocking it back half way through.
Now it is time to shape the dough. Firstly it is scaled, shaped into rounds and allowed to relax before getting rolled in to the familiar shape. The long shapes are then transferred to a couche where the support each other separated by the cloth.
And then they go to the retarder which is running at about 5˚C. That allows us to slow down the proving and this long autolyse ( minimum 12 hours) is where the starches get transformed into sugars which when baked gives it the lovely dark golden crust.
The baguettes are then baked in the oven at high temperature. VOILA! Our new Baguette L’Acienne!
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