These might be my best baguettes yet. There isn’t anything special about my dough prep (these at 70% hydration using Trader Joe’s AP flour), though I think I am getting better at baguette shaping. I think the biggest difference is that I am really getting my hands around my small pizza oven.
For these two loaves I only used to two pieces of wood broken down into 2″ pieces. I stacked all the wood in a single top-down fire and didn’t touch it after that. My old boy scout leader would be proud. After the fire burned down, I pushed the coals to the outer edge of the oven floor and closed the door. That was it.
Also, (you know this is coming) I was patient enough to let the oven fall to roughy 515F before I loaded the bread, and as was the case the last time I baked bread, the oven was still roughly 450F when the loaves were done.
I only sprayed the oven for steam twice, for only five seconds each time. This seems to fall in line with my thinking that I have been over-spraying and actually getting my bread wet.
The first loaf went with dinner, and the second loaf made some nice (with some really big holes) toast the next morning.
I’m feeling a little better about my bread baking skills, and I am feel really good about my small 24″ Forno Bravo pizza oven. I’m getting a first-hand feel for just how much you can do in a small wood-fired oven, and it’s exciting. More to come on this front.