Last week bought with it mixed feelings. It was our last week of studying ‘pure’ bread. This week we’ve moved on to Viennoiserie, and whilst I am totally relishing the fresh challenges and new techniques we’re getting to experience dealing with enriched doughs, I’ve got to confess, I’m missing the bread ‘lab’ quite a bit.
The week was basically a review of all the techniques and baking concepts we’d covered over the past couple of months, and started where we began with baguettes. It was really good to revisit our French friends, as it helped cement a bunch of stuff that wasn’t really glued down. I guess in those first few weeks there was so much information flooding into my brain that I couldn’t really grasp hold of it all, and with baguettes being one of the most challenging breads, there was a lot to remember.
So we did a good day of mixing, shaping, rolling, scoring and baking the buggers, and I was relieved that aside from a few howlers here and there, I was pretty happy with how they turned out. For me, in many ways the scoring is the trickiest thing. You need to get the angle and depth of the cuts just right to get that spring and the famous baguette ears. I changed my technique after a bit more of an in-depth critique of my first batch, which improved results, but I’ve still got a lot of practicing to do.