Thursday, August 09, 2012

Modified Anis Bouabsa Baguette

Anis Bouabsa is a French baker who won France's "Best Baguette" in 2008. After reading about another baker's meeting with Bouabsa, and getting his receipe, I wanted to try baking his baguette too.

After some Googling, I decided to go with a modified version of Bouabsa's receipe for a more hole-y baguette. The modified version version "incorporates an autolyse and a double hydration step in order to more efficiently develop the gluten during hand mixing of the 75% hydration dough".

This came out of the oven:

Got so excited that I forgot to slash it before putting it in...

Hole-y mole-y!

Unfortunately I have never tasted one of Bouabsa's baguettes or even an authentic French baguette so I don't really have anything to compare mine with, except for Delifrance. Delifrance's baguette is generally bread-y and tastes like bread, just that it is in the shape of a baguette. Mine was a little chewy, but light, and tasted a little like the ciabatta.

Upon toasting, the baguette slice was very crispy. So crispy that it didn't seem to be absorbing the butter. Rather, the butter was coating the sides of the holes and slowly dripping through. 

If you want to try it for yourself, the receipe for this baguette is right below.

Modified Anis Bouabsa Baguette
Receipe adapted from Bread cetera

500g plain flour
375g water
10g salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  Make a well and pour 325g of the water into the well. Gently stir the water, drawing the mixture into the water, until you get a rough dough. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes (autolyse period).

2. Knead the dough using the slap-and-fold technique. You will need to perform about 200 slap-and-folds.

3. Put the dough back int othe bowl and add the remaining 50g water. Incorporate the water into the dough using the stretch-and-fold technique. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough undergo a 1 hour fermentation at room temperature, with 6-8 stretch-and-folds being performed every 20 minutes during the 1 hour period.

4. Put the dough in the fridge for an additional 21 hours, for fermentation.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm for about 1 hour to room temperature.

6. Divide the dough into two pieces of equal weight. Pre-shape each piece into a short cylinder. Cover the pieces with a plastic sheet and let them rest for 15 minutes.

7. Shape each piece of dough into a baguette. If you own a couche, drop them off onto a floured couche. If you don't, you can try putting them into a floured loaf pan (note that they will expand sideways though and won't be as skinny as baguettes). Proof for 45 minutes at room temperature. In the meantime, preheat your oven to about 280 degrees celcius.

8. Score the baguettes. Before putting them in, make sure you have your steam tray in. Once you put the baguette(s) in, lower the temperature to 250 degrees celcius and leave them to bake for 20 minutes. 

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