Like you, I truly hate how recipes are presented on the web. Most of the time you have to read someone’s autobiography before you find the actual ingredients, or you have to look at all the pretty photos they’ve taken.
Hey, I’m an award winning photographer who’s not about to waste his time taking pictures of food. I whip out the phone, snap one, and move on. Talk to any professional who has shot food for a living, or food for advertising. Setting things up to get the perfect picture takes time. Here’s a video how how they made the Big Mac “perfect:” https://youtu.be/bdv_oE7fwf8 And do you really think they photograph real ice cream under those hot lights?
HOWEVER: This recipe is going to look more like a dissertation because using Carbalose flour is not easy. I had to do three weeks of research before I even created/attempted this recipe. But I will post the recipe first (explanations later).
Just kidding, but in reality, it took me three weeks to learn “almost” all I needed to make these. And I will now tell you what I learned before I started.
Everywhere I looked I was told I had to double the amount of yeast, increase the water, reduce the temperature, and increase cooking time.
You’ll note that except for the yeast, there are no specifics in the water (how much of an increase?), the temperature (how much do I reduce it?), or the cooking time (how much do I increase cooking time?).
I also learned that Carbalose Flour doesn’t brown like regular flour. There were a lot of guesses as to why, but a chemist came along and confused us all.
Some thought increasing the protein would help brown it better. Some thought adding a bit of baking soda would help brown, and another felt brushing on milk might help. I tried the first two, but I never have milk in my home unless specifically for a recipe.
Next I learned that the outcome using Carbalose flour can be gritty. That almost put me off, but someone found a solution of adding Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum to the recipe and as you can see, I chose the latter.
For complete instructions on baking baguettes, I’ll give you the recipe page from which this recipe started: French Baguettes. This one is very thorough and tells you a lot, but not enough to work with Carbalose flour.
This did not look like any poolish I’ve made in the past. It turned into thick dough immediately and no bubbles in all the time it sat. So, obviously we have to add more water to this recipe than I had (one extra Tablespoon). I’d say for this poolish, you might want to double the water (at least toss in another quarter cup). One thing about a good starter/poolish: you know you did it right the next day.
Bakers are taught to hold your measuring cup over a larger bowl, and “shake” the flour into your measuring cup to overflowing, then scrape off the top leaving a perfectly flat top and a perfect cup of flour. Or, by weighing the flour, which I found to be simple and sweet. Great results.
The thing is, Carbalose flour is heavier than regular flours and so far I’ve not learned how much a cup of it weighs. Then, the first method, scraping off the top, does not leave a smooth top and a perfect cup. So to paraphrase David Glasgow Farragut, “Damn the perfect measuring and full speed ahead!”
Everything went into a bowl except for the poolish and the water. I mixed it all up and then “shook” it into the mixing bowl. I use a mixer with dough hooks.
The original recipe called for a cup and two tablespoons of water. I increased that to a cup and three-quarters water, luke warm.
And you can guess that since my poolish wasn’t even close, yup, this was not enough water. When I finally got the dough together, there was still quite a bit of flour in the mixing bowl. Next time I will try two cups of water. Thus my next experiment with Carbalose Flour will use 1 cup of water in the poolish and 2 and a quarter cups of water in the rest of the recipe.
If you’ve ever baked bread or have kneaded the dough by hand, you know how sticky it can get. Maybe because of not enough water or maybe because of the flour, I must tell you that it was very easy to work with. It hardly stuck to anything. While shaping it on the bread board, I floured it up a bit, and then I didn’t, and it hardly mattered, the dough was not sticky.
The really complete instructions and video are located on our French Baguette page, but here they are in brief.
Plop your dough into a Tupperware bowl, put the top on, place into your oven that should have a large pan that is filled with hot water.
Do this three times, 45 minutes each time, allowing your dough to proof (rise).
Normally I grease lightly the inside of the Tupperware bowl because dough is sticky. That’s optional with Carbalose flour. It might turn out differently with more water, but my version hardly stuck to anything.
When your 45 minute periods are finished, take out the bowl, and lightly fold it over to the center. An Italian baker showed me this on the web. You keep turning the bowl around and around, reach across the dough, lift and pull toward the center. Do that as long as you want, and then turn the whole thing over, flop it into the bowl, cover and proof again.
After the third proofing, sprinkle flour on your bread board, and kneed the dough lightly. Then cut it into four equal parts, shape the parts into tiny loaves, and cover for 15 minutes with lightly oiled cling wrap. When that is up, preheat the oven to 350. Shape your loaves into long baguettes, place in your couche or into your baguette baking pan covered with baking parchment. Cover with a clean dishtowel until the oven reaches 350, or 25 minutes. Spray with water, score them, place them in the oven, one more spray with water.
Bake for 15 minutes then turn the tray around so everything bakes evenly.
Remember: They Will Not Brown. (Even your toast turns out whiteish.)
We baked ours for 45 minutes. That’s a lot more than usual, but the temp was low, and they just weren’t done yet, and who could tell when they wouldn’t turn brown?
I cut one up this morning, toasted both sides, a bit of butter and had that with my coffee. Was okay.
Not as good as the regular baguettes, but my blood sugar thanked me for it.
First I’m going to try these again, but using a bit more water.
Next I’m going to use Organic Whole Grain Einkorn Flour. This is an ancient grain, the flour that anthropologists think is the original wheat that all our wheats today come from. Many, way too many people have problems with wheat, and it’s not just gluten sensitivity. Newer wheat grains have been bred for profit; to make more money per acre. And recently GMOs came along and went into our supermarkets with little or no testing. Let me post this bit by a former commissioner of the FDA:
“The FDA ‘protects’ the big drug companies and are subsequently rewarded, and using the government’s police powers they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the FDA is protecting them.
“What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day.”
Dr. Herbert Ley
Dr Ley was long gone when GMOs came along and the same courtesy the FDA gave to drug companies was quickly and quietly passed onto the the big food companies, like Monsanto.
The public be damned! Profit is God.
The Einkorn Flour will be a great flour to experiment with because it is a flour created by “nature” not human scientists, and, get this, it raises blood sure less than the our common bread flours today.
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