With Natural Yeast Baguette #3, I wanted to play with the amount of yeast and slow down fermentation to produce more flavor. It had a better developed crust, same soft crumb, and good oven rise. The crust was a step closer to the French Boulangerie’s Tradition that I am trying to mimic and the flavor is much more pronounced. I only adjusted my method.
This recipe should be a 65% mixture. I made my dough, kneading until it reached 85 F internal and let rise in the refrigerator for 90 minutes. I followed that by dividing the dough and shaping into boules, with a 60 minute rise at room temperature. I then shaped them into baguettes and proofed on the counter for 15 minutes while heating the oven.
I set my oven and it took about 15 minutes to heat to 500 F for baking hearth-style on a baking pan. I scored the dough just before baking. I tried to score more deeply and at an angle. I left the heat at 500 F after two rounds of misting, 30 seconds apart, and baked 15 minutes. I then turned the heat down and baked another 5 minutes at 450 F.
I’m really happy with these and think my next steps are to do the initial rise overnight in the fridge. The retarded rise and higher heat seems to add a lot to the flavor and crust.