Breakfast Bun Variations: French

In my quest to simplify baguettes, i decided to see if I could give my breakfast buns a French twist that was more successful than my water wash.

I adapted Cooks’ Illustrated latest baguette baking technique (which, incidentally, has been the most successful at yielding the appropriate thin and crispy crust). I took my usual breakfast bun dough and added diastatic malt:

  • 250 g 00 flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon diastatic malt powder
  • 185 g water

I mixed everything together, let it sit for 30 minutes in after transferring to a lightly oiled bowl, then folded the dough over itself 8 times, rotating the bowl 1/8 of a turn between folds. I repeated the folds every 30 minutes for a total of four sets of eight, leaving the dough to rest covered with plastic wrap in between. The dough then rested in the refrigerator for a few days.

I took out the dough, split it into four pieces, the rolled each into a ball on a floured counter top. In then elongated each into a batard by rolling back and forth. Each piece went on to a cornmeal dusted silicone baking mat on a half sheet pan. I rested them for about 1.5-2 hours covered in oil-sprayed plastic wrap. I preheated the oven to 475° F and slashed the dough with a lame.

 I replaced the plastic wrap with a loose covering of aluminum foil, which j removed after the first 5 minutes of baking.

I continued cooking for a total of 20 minutes then took the rolls out to cool.

The results were surprisingly successful. There was the baguette-style thin and crispy crust with a light airy crumb. The airy texture meant the rolls were considerably larger than usual despite using the same amount of dough.

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