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.

They say making mistakes is the first step in learning. I must be learning a lot.

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