Sourdough Baguettes – Scaling Up

Need to practice scaling up my recipe and leveraging past lessons on temperature control.

Better to try one batch at a time than to try scaling up three different bakes concurrently. THAT could be a disaster!

Today it is baguettes. I’m going to double my recipe and aim for 10 baguettes.

Finished Baguettes

My decision to double is mainly due to my tub size that I can fit into my proving box. I need to tightly control temperature if I want consistency in timing.

My thought is to bulk to just before double. Shape five loaves and get onto the Couche. I’ll separate out another five 45 mins delayed (but at ambient temp). Not thinking the impact will be significant…just trying to account for my staggered baking time given my oven size.

First step was to get my Leaven and Poolish going with different temps. Leaven at 82°F and Poolish at an ambient 73°F. Here is a gallery of them over time.

About four hours later I began the autolyse on the flour. Mixed dry it was 72°F. I added 93°F water and mixed it came to 83°F. As expected it was shaggy at this point. I spritzed and covered for about 45 minutes.

I added the Leaven and Poolish and squished in by hand. This was a bit more arduous. It took me about 10 minutes before I felt the dough to be consistent and not with a bunch of drier balls of dough. I just kept squishing through my finger working the lumps into smaller and smaller pieces. I’ll let time work it’s magic!

Waiting for 30 mins before adding salt.

I added my salt onto the top squished in trying for a consistency in the gritty feeling throughout the dough. Wasn’t expecting the gritty feeling to go away… just not in pockets

BTW in a number of the pics you’ll see some printed pages. I have my base recipe and method with scaled up amounts listed with notes on temps etc. I’ve also a schedule printed with half hour increments to give a sense of timing. As I go through the process I’m making additional notations.

I will admit I’m looking with concern at my volume. Right now I’m seeing roughly 4L. I should have plenty of room for the volume to double to 8L+ without spilling out the top. dough temp is holding just above 81°F in my box.

Coil fold #2 was about 45 minutes later due to a conference call.

Performed Coil Fold #3 a bit earlier than desired due to client calls. Volume is growing nicely.

The dough doubled in size about the time I thought on my schedule. I divided into ten loaves. Somewhere my math is in error so I’ll have to review my scaling spreadsheet.

I divided the dough, let bench rest a bit then shaped and placed into the Couche. I made liberal use of rice flour. Five loaves in each. good thing my new Couches arrived from Amazon!

I just finished four rounds of baking. Three with 3 baguettes and a last single one for 10 total baguettes. Proud of getting them done!

First off…rice flour is the bomb!! No loaves sticking to the Couche! Really pleased.

Baked at 450°F (no fan) for 30 minutes with stream and then for another 15-20 minutes at 425°F without steam.

Thinking I may bake just a bit longer during the non-steam portion. Maybe make them a bit darker. Need to also look at my scoring technique.

My other experiment is with my packaging. I ordered some bags with windows and put in some cottage industry labels. Pleased with how they look!

Packaging Test

Overall a successful experiment! Glad I did this by itself and not trying to bake bread and croissants all at the same time. Learned a lot that’s for sure!

Published by Jim Hayden

Enterprise Transformation Consultant by day; Baker by night! Learning all the time! Iterative and incremental improvement always!

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