Pizzelle Puzzle
A Scalding Question

It Just doesn't Get any Better!

As frequent readers will know, I went to the King Arthur Flour "Artisan Baking at Home" class this past fall.  Since then I have been working to make the best baguette possible in a home oven.  After tweaking the KA method, and adjusting the recipe for Robin Hood unbleached white flour, I think I have gone about as far as possible in the quest.  Here is a picto-mentary of today's work:

Tools of the Trade 2

Tools of the Trade
I weigh everything for accuracy.

"The Face of the Monster"
Inside the oven, baking stones on the top shelf and a pan with
refractory brick for making steam on the bottom.

The Biga is Ready

The Biga is Ready
Using a pre-ferment enhances flavor.


If you leave dough alone, it forms gluten all by itself.

Fresh Dough

Fresh Dough
After 7 more minutes of mixing.  At this point it is a little too wet
but by the time I start shaping
it will be just right.

Pre-Shaped Logs

Pre-shaped Logs
I divide the dough into portions and
then roughly shape logs.

Folding 2

Folding the Baguette
The dough is folded over three times in
shaping the baguettes.

Four Mini-Baguettes in Their Couche 2

Four Mini-Baguettes in Their Couche
After shaping, I let the baguettes rise for the
final time in a linen "couche".

Not Much Flour Left on the Bench 2

Not Much Flour Left on the Bench
What can I say?
I always try not to get too much flour on the bread.

Slashed and Ready

Slashed and Ready
The loaves are slashed and ready for the oven.

Look at the Ears

Look at the Ears

Four loaves out of the oven. Three are par-baked
to freeze and finish baking later. The fourth is ready to eat.
'Ears' are the raised ridges where the bread was slashed.

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better
Crunchy crust, and inside big open crumb.
Soft with tons of flavor.

My wife, Pat's comment was, "I'd put this up against any baguette I have eaten in Paris, and I've eaten a lot of baguettes in Paris!"  I tend to agree.  I don't think I can get any closer.

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