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.
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.