The Fresh Loaf

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alfanso's picture

Rustic/Country Baguettes with Sunflower Seeds.

Abel Sierra (Abelbreadgallery) sent a DM to me last week with a link to his new video where he makes this bread.   I asked if I could post this and he said yes.  And of course I wouldn't post it without giving it a whirl myself.  In this case, three whirls to get a version of the formula that I was satisfied with.

On the first run I soaked both sunflower and flax seeds.  Attempting to incorporate during the tail end of 200 French Folds the sliminess of the flax seeds created a problem, and I wasn't happy with the outcome.  For the second run I eliminated the soaker part as well as the flax seeds, and bumped the hydration up a few clicks.  Still not content, I ran this third time, dropping the FFs down from 200 to 125, incorporating the toasted seeds at the first and only Letter Fold.  I also combined a 20 minute proofing on countertop and 2 hours of retard.

Abel's formula is posted at the bottom.

My changes to his formula:

  • 100% hydration WW levain instead of Abel's AP.
  • French Folds - limited to 125, split in two.
  • No soaker, just toasted sunflower seeds.
  • Combine countertop and refrigerator proof.
  • Rolled out to the longer 20 inch version, 50% longer than my standard long batards.  Lost 1 inch during bake.

Note, these don't like to exhibit a dark and rich color on the crust.  For a 27% WW flour mix, these had a moderately open crumb.  The flavor is quite nice and rich and the crust is thin and quite crunchy.  Still working on shaping, a bit more difficult due to the seeds.

Baguette Rústica con Semillas de Girasol       
Abel Sierra, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1100 Prefermented9.10%   
 Total Formula   Liquid Levain   Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%583.7 100.00%53.1 Final Flour530.6
 AP Flour72.70%424.4 0%0.0 AP Flour424.4
 Whole Wheat27.30%159.4 100%53.1 Whole Wheat106.2
 Water cool72.70%424.4 100%53.1 Water cool371.2
 Salt1.90%11.1    Salt11.1
 IDY0.25%1.1    IDY1.1
 toasted Sunflower (soaked)13.60%79.4    Sunflower Seeds79.4
 Starter (in final dough)2.28%13.3 25%13.3   
 Totals188.45%1099.6 225%119.5  1099.6
     1 stage liquid levain build @100% hydration
Toast sunflower seeds.   Stage 1    
Autolyse Flour, cool Water.  20 Min.   AP Flour0.0   
Levain Salt, IDY.   Water53.1   
FF: 75, 5min., 50,   Total53.1   
Bulk ~2 Hr..  LF@60 min. Fold in seeds on LF.        
Divide, pre-shape, 15 min rest, shape as baguettes       
Shape as Baguettes @350g each        
Moderate flour on couche, seam side up       
Proof 20 min. coutnertop, ~2 hrs. retard.       
Pre-heat @500dF.        
Steam, bake @480dF. 17 min with steam, 6 min more at 430dF.      



350g x 3 baguettes. 

Here is a screen capture from Abel's video.

And the formula as given to me by Abel.



700 gr bread flour, 300 gr wholewheat flour, 700 ml cool water (10-12ºC), 200 gr liquid levain, 21 gr salt, 6 gr fresh yeast, 150 gr of soaked seeds (toasted sunflower + raw flaxseeds + water)


- Make autolyse mixing bread flour, wholewheat and cool water, just 1-2 minutes in slow speed. Let rest 30 minutes.

- Add levain, salt and yeast. Mix 7-8 minutes in slow speed, and then 3 minutes in second speed. Add seeds at the end of the mixing process.

- The temperature of the dough should be around 24-25ºC at the end of the mixing process.

- Let the dough rest 1 hour. Make one fold and let rest 1 hour more. 

- Divide in pieces of 350 gr. Preshape and let rest 15-20 minutes.

- Shape baguettes and place over linen couche with the seam up.

- Let proof 45 minutes to 1 hour.

- Bake at high temperature. I suggest 17 minutes at 260-240ºC, then release the steam and reduce temperature to 230-210ºC the last 6 minutes.

alfanso's picture

I guess this V3.0, or V2.1, or V1.2.  Who's knows, and more importantly who cares?

Plans and results laid out the other day, I thought I could do better.

Changes from last time:

  • Shorten BF from 70 min to 45 w/folds at 25 and 45 minutes.  Because...
  • Place BF vessel into retard for about 6-8 hours.
  • Divide and placed on couche, back into overnight retard.
  • Exhibit even greater gentle care in handling the dough both onto and off the couche.
  • Scored the slightly stiffer dough with my regular lame other than the other day's ceramic blade. 

Otherwise, all other aspects of the process were the same.


  • Better and more consistent shaping
  • Darker crust
  • Much less raw flour on surface
  • Some amount of oven spring, these are certainly a little more robust than prior
  • Noticeable bloom, although still relatively slight.

Unsure of whether the flavor profile was enhanced due to extended BF and retard.  But I think that this is the method I'll use when these come up on my "what shall I bake next" wheel.

Formula is in the link the top.

The "cover" photo is just prior to bake, what they look like on my new wide oven peel (used for full length baguettes).

Today, vs. the other day.  Richer crust coloration.


Today, vs. the other day.  Due to lack of any surface tension, these are delicate and more difficult to score.


950g x 8 dinner / hamburger rolls



alfanso's picture

Another back burner bread I'd wanted to get around to.  I've made the Weekend Bakery version a few times, but never in the "true" rustique spirit of things - basically a simple nearly unshaped AP bread.  Dump the BF dough on the counter, square it off nice and neat, and divide into rectangles or squares.  Nothing more.

The Hamelman version also uses a 50% fermented flour poolish but is a few clicks wetter at 69% hydration.  After the second of two folds during the 70 minute BF, it's time to ensure that the oven is fired up and preheating as things move fast. A final 20 minute rest after the second fold, then divide and another mere ~25 minutes before bake time.  

I made this yesterday, but was: 1) learning the error of my ways, and 2) underwhelmed by the basic blandness of the bread.  In fairness, this is a pretty unsophisticated dough as the name and description suggests.  

Time to do a reset and a V2.0.  Last night, in an effort to drive up the flavor, I dosed the poolish with all 10% of the swapped in rye flour.  Divided into "dinner / small hamburger roll" sized portions, rather than the suggested big rectangles in the Hamelman formula,  I ensured that they had a good roll in the flour to ward off yesterday's problems with sticking.  The dough at this point is so soft and fragile that the quick diagonal score across the surface looked good going in, but only allowed for the dough to expand a little.

Baked at 460dF with 13 minutes of steam and an additional 10 minutes, they plump up nicely with a crisp crust and opened well for an under 70% hydration dough.  The added rye gave the anticipated boost to the flavor.  Although they have a distinctly ciabatta-like appearance, they are definitely not the same bread.

The kids nestled in for their short nap.

Just another mini lunch sandwich.

1000 g x 9 dinner rolls.

Pain Rustique w/IDY based Poolish       
Jeffrey Hamelman, mod alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented50.00%   
 Total Formula   Poolish  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%583.1 80.00%233.2 Final Flour291.5
 AP Flour90.00%524.8 80.0%233.2 AP Flour291.5
 Rye10.00%58.3 20.0%58.3 Rye0.0
 Water69.00%402.3 100.0%291.5 Water110.8
 Salt2.00%11.7    Salt11.7
 IDY0.50%2.92 0.12%0.28 IDY2.64
 Totals171.50%1000.0 200%583.4  1000.0
Mix  poolish and allow ~12 hours.       
Mix  poolish, flour and water.  Autolyse 30 minutes      
Add IDY & salt.        
100 French Folds, 5 minute rest, final 100 FFs.      
70 minute bulk rise. Letter Folds at 25 & 50 minutes.      
Divide into squares or rectangles.  Onto well floured couche seam side up.   
Proof 20-25 minutes        
Preheat oven to 480dF        
Onto oven peel seam side down.  Score.       
Bake at 460dF till browned.  ~13 minutes with steam, 8-10 more and 2 minutes venting. 


alfanso's picture

Yes, I've posted this before, but this is a slight mod.  2 changes from my past excursions.  This is a first time combining two distinct olives into one bread.  Okay, minor news.  More importantly, since enduring my Martin Philip Classic Baguette w/IDY marathon, I've changed out the timing on divide and shape.  

Whereas I always would retard the dough for a few hours pre-divide, I now go the more traditional route - complete the BF and then go right into the divide, pre-shape and shape phase.  It adds an additional up front half hour onto my "work day" but I really have been enjoying the comfortable feel of taking the dough directly from BF to shape without the intermediary retard for x hours first.  And I like the feel of the dough in my hands at this stage.

*For clarity - I should note that once the dough is shaped and placed on the couche it is then retarded for 12 or so hours before baking. * (added June 13)

I think I'll stick with this method for a while going forward.

Olive Levain with 100% AP Liquid Levain       
alfanso, based on Jeffrey Hamelman        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1915 Prefermented18.00%   
 Total Formula   Levain   Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%1000.0 100.00%180.0 Final Flour820.0
 AP Flour90.00%900.0 100%180.0 AP Flour720.0
 Rye10.00%100.0 0%  Rye100.0
 Water65.00%650.0 100%180.0 Water470.0
 Salt1.50%15.0    Salt15.0
 Green Olives25.00%250.0    Green Olives250.0
 Starter3.60%36.0 20%36.0   
 Totals191.50%1915.0 220%396.0  1915.0
Mix Flour, Water, /Levain.  Autolyse 20 Min.  2 stage liquid levain build 
Add Salt & incorporate   Stage 1    
300 FFs: 150 / 5 min rest / 150   AP Flour90.0   
Oil bowl, Bulk 2 hrs.   Water90.0   
Letter Folds at 40, 80, a final 30 min rest.  Add olives on first LF Starter36.0   
Divide, Pre-Shape, 20 min rest, Shape.  Seal seam well Stage 2    
Onto couche.  Little to no flour req'd. on couche.  AP Flour90.0   
Preheat 480dF.  Bake 460dF.   Water90.0   
13 min w/ steam.  Release steam, rotate loaves, complete bake. Total396.0   



370g x 4 baguettes/long batards

alfanso's picture

If you are new to SD baking and still having problems with high hydration and complicated doughs, don't get your knickers all in a knot.  Instead drop the hydration down and get a solid footing with lower hydration breads first.  Although these are baguettes, the dough can easily be adapted to batards or boules.  So...

Two easy formulas that I recommend for you to get that feeling of accomplishment and dough handling skills are:

  • Jeffrey Hamelman's Vermont SD at 65% hydration
  • and this lovely bread, Jeffrey Hamelman Pain au Levain with WW at 68% hydration.

Make these in whatever shape you wish and feel an instant accomplishment and surety as another step to moving up the hydration ladder.


Pain au Levain w / WW, 100% levain       
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1250 Prefermented15.50%   
 Total Formula   Levain   Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%736.2 100.00%114.1 Final Flour622.1
 Bread Flour75.00%552.1 100.0%114.1 Bread Flour438.0
 Whole Wheat20.00%147.2 0.0%  Whole Wheat147.2
 Rye5.00%36.8 0.00%0.0 Rye36.8
 Water68.00%500.6 100%114.1 Water386.5
 Salt1.80%13.3    Salt13.3
 Starter3.10%22.8 20%22.8   
 Totals169.80%1250.0 220%251.0  1250.0
Autolyse levain, water,  flours for 30min.  2 stage liquid levain build 
Add salt, mix.  Then 150 French Folds, 5 min. rest, 150 FFs. Stage 1    
Bulk Ferment 2.5 hrs., Letter Folds at 40, 80 Min.  Bread Flour57.1   
Divide, Pre-Shape, 20 min. rest, Shape.  Onto floured couche Rye0.0   
Retard for 12-16 hrs.   Water57.1   
Oven to 480dF, 45-60 min.   Starter22.8   
remove from retard, onto oven peel, bake at 460dF.   Stage 2    
13 min w/steam, rotate loaves, 10-15 min. more.  Bread Flour57.1   
Vent oven for 3 min and remove to wire rack.  Rye0.0   



410g x 3 baguettes/long batards

alfanso's picture

Another blog entry aimed at our wave of new levain/SD bakers on TFL.

What happens when I don't refresh my starter, but then decide to make a bread?  I last refreshed my 100% hydration AP starter either on April 24th or May 1st.  My refresh history chart is a little unsure of itself.  But I had plenty of starter/levain ready to use.  Now, I know the drill because I've been there before, but many of you may not.

As you can see, my 3 or 4 week old levain, which sits in the back of my refrigerator is generally as potent as had I refreshed it the prior day.  There are a lot of new folks here who seem get somewhat bent out of shape if their itching to bake but their starter isn't refreshed just that day.  

Do not worry.  While it is true that my levain has been around for a few years, just make sure that your levain is robust enough.  And then skip a day, or two, or seven days after your last refresh.  And then scale it out and add it to your mix.  You may just be surprised at how strong your starter/levain is!  

Hamelman Vermont SD.  90% AP flour, 10% rye, 65% hydration.  310g x 4 baguettes.

Again, for those who think that you can't get open crumb without high hydration.  This is 65% hydration...

alfanso's picture

For all the hundreds of baguettes that I’ve made these past 5 plus years, it is a curiosity that I have never made a traditional French baguette.  For the record, as enticing a standard French baguette may be, they are often too unexciting, flavor wise.  

They may be a national symbol, akin to the Eiffel Tower and the beret, their place well cemented in the culture.  The best of them carry a bright and sparkling if not forceful flavor, and the rest serve as a landing pad for a sandwich or honored place at the dinner table.

Once I became enamored with the Bouabsa baguette, there was no turning back.  I never looked to create the French baguette.  Until now.  Recently Dan posted a link to some King Arthur videos of isolation baking, including one by Martin Philip that I homed in on.  Here he is creating the french baguette, and thus inspired me to take my own shot at it.

And after 8 bakes, I think that I am finally there, each bake modified slightly in order to create a baguette that meets my standard.  My first bake was a wild goose chase due to the wrong formula link under the video.

I rewatched the video where I saw that the formula being held up to the camera was not the same as the one in the link!  Time to go with bake #2.  And so on, each time trying a little something different.  Until finally I started to piece the puzzle together.  8 bakes in 11 days.  I am decidedly not a natural, but rather one who is often willing to put the time in to figure it out piece by piece.  Usually I get lucky on a first bake, but not here in these uncharted waters.  And not dissimilar to my multiple consecutive bakes in search of an acceptable pan de cristal.

One problem I had was that I was pussy-footing around the shaping phase too much.  Trying to be gentle with this soft and pliable dough, I was not creating the appropriate surface tension.  But that began to resolve on bakes 7 & 8 after another video review of Mr. Philip’s shaping technique.

Here is the BBGA formula based on the KA recipe page... Note that I accidentally excluded the addition of the salt at mix time!

French, Classic Baguette        
KA, Martin Philip   Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 950 Prefermented22.50%   
 Total Formula   Poolish  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%557.2 100.00%125.4 Final Flour431.8
 Bread Flour100.00%557.2 100.0%125.4 Bread Flour431.8
 Water68.40%381.1 94.0%117.8 Water263.3
 Salt1.75%9.8    Salt9.8
 IDY0.35%2.0 0.17%0.21 IDY1.7
 Totals170.50%950.0 194%243.4  950.0
My kitchen is warm, therefore BF and proof times are shorter here.     
Scale dough @310g each.        
Mix  poolish and allow ~12 hours.        
Mix  poolish, flour, water and IDY. Mix until dough is springy, but not toally smooth.   
Cover in greased bowl for 80 min.  Letter Fold at 40 min.       
Divide & shape.  Onto well floured couche seam side up or down.     
Retard immediately, perhaps for overnight.       
OR proof on counter, covered,~30 min.       
Preheat oven to 480dF        
Onto oven peel seam side down.  Score.       
Bake at 460dF.  ~13 minutes with steam, total bake time ~22 min  3 min venting.    

 Highlighted are a few notes on each and the progression.  Only changes from previous run are noted.

Bake #1.  375g each. Wrong formula.  Too big, too long BF, 2 S&Fs, log pre-shape, overnight retard, too low oven temp - 425dF, tight crumb.  Bland color, bland taste.  I thought the overnight retard would improve flavor.  No!


Bake #2. Mr. Philip's referenced formula.  310g each.  23% AP poolish, 90 min BF, 1 S&F, boule pre-shape, too hot oven temp - 500dF, tight crumb.  Scorched from excessive heat, flavor improved slightly due to the "roasted" aspect.  Comparing bakes 1&2 here.


Bake #3:  23% AP/Rye poolish, 80 min BF, 460dF oven.  Improved everything - but got away from basic formula with addition of rye flour in poolish.  First good scoring.


Bake #4.  23% all AP poolish again, continued good scoring.


stubby image for unknown reason...


Bake #5. 50% AP poolish, sticky mix due to amount of liquid preferment, back to log pre-shape, rolled in flour before couche, reverted back to less impressive scoring.  I though the increased preferment would improve flavor.  Not really.



Bake #6.  Back to 23% poolish, log pre-shape again, continued overly gentle handling of shaping - created a lack of surface tension, displayed in unimpressive scoring.


Bake #7.  Improvement over #6 due mostly to familiarity of process and dough handling, more aggressive shaping to force better surface tension, 


Bake #8.  putting it all together!  Short log pre-shape, retard for 4 hrs.  Still not as open a crumb as expected, but flavor has now improved significantly over original bake.

again, stubby image...


 This is what happens when the wife wants to see if we could vacuum seal a baguette to "keep it fresh longer".  Don't try this at home kids!


alfanso's picture

We have a boatload of new participants on TFL, many drawn, or reacquainting themselves, to bread baking in the era of quarantine.  This write-up is for you!

I go back to basics once in a while, and re-familiarize myself with my baguette roots.

I know.  The sourdough/levain train pulled into the station some 15 years ago for home bakers, many of whom never looked back.  And left behind in its wake its prior favored commercial yeast siblings, ADY and IDY.  Often forgotten and, to me and many professional bakers, much maligned.  As you likely know, the classic French baguette is made with commercial yeast, whether it be cake yeast, ADY or IDY.  And when made well, they are still a beauty to behold and eat.

I also mostly snubbed IDY once I adopted, and adapted to, my precious levain.  I’ve only ever made one from scratch, years ago now - the pineapple juice solution version, and my levains of today are the great grandchildren of that initial concoction.  But I sometimes like going back to where it all began for me.

Dedicated to those of you who wish to:  

  • admit that IDY has a valuable place in the lexicon.
  • get a feel for higher hydration dough handling.
  • sharpen or develop your nascent baguette shaping skills.  
  • don’t faint at the sight of a dough lacking in whole grains.

Just the other day I had the bright idea to bake a batch of the Anis Bouabsa baguettes.  This is the one that put me on the board.  To learn more of my connection to M. Bouabsa and his marvelous creation, see the link above.

Short of an IDY no-knead bread, this is perhaps the simplest bread with real quality that one can make.  

  • 75% hydration - which is quite high for an all AP/Bread flour dough.  
  • 0.16% IDY, an insanely small percentage of commercial yeast when not added to a levain dough.  
  • No preferment.  
  • Incorporates a bassinage - 2nd hydration during mixing.  
  • Takes 60 minutes to rise in a warmed evironment with Letter Folds at 20, 40 & 60 minutes.  
  • Then refrigerated ~ 20 hours.  
  • Develops a silky, ultra extensible character.  
  • Has a minimal amount of stickiness to it.  
  • Just about rolls itself out into baguette shape.  
  • Demonstrates exceptional oven spring under steam.
  • Yields a lovely open crumb.

Should you decide to tackle this dough by hand mixing, be aware that after bassinage the additional water will be a bit of a challenge to incorporate. Adding partial amounts of the bassinage water between incorporation will help some.  So will giving the dough a 5 minute rest before the a final pinch and fold in the bowl and the beginning of the French Folds.  The dough will come out of the mixing bowl as a pile of wet completely disorganized goop.  Much caution advised here!, but wiithin the first ~20 French Folds the dough will begin to organize and take form.  From there on out will behave quite nicely.

If you do Letter Folds on the workbench, wet the area that the dough will be on to prevent it sticking to the surface.

There’s ample write-up on TFL about the development of this version of the formula going back to 2009 and the collaboration between dmsnyder and janedo.

If I was able to pique your interest in trying out this dough, you will be rewarded with a refreshingly light and delicious high hydration, open crumb, crisp crust bread that blooms beautifully in the oven.  And at the same time, developing your high hydration dough handling, and perhaps hand mixing skills.  And for each baguette, you will have multiple scoring opportunities.

You will likely not be disappointed, and the experience will be richly rewarding!

End note: if baguettes are not your thing, or you feel it is beyond you right now, the same dough can be formed into batards or boules or bunny rabbits.  What ever suits you.


Bouabsa Baguette       
dmsnyder, janedo       
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000     
  Total Formula     
 White Flour100.00%564.5     
 Water  2nd bassinage 63.5     
Mix IDY into water, then flour.  Pinch and fold.  Autolyse 30 min.     
Add salt.  Add bassinage a portion at a time, pinching and squeezing dough to incorporate  
Affter bassinage, let dough rest covered for 5 min.  Then final mix and dump onto workbench. 
300 French Folds.  150 FFs, 5 min. rest coverd, 150 FFs.     
Into oiled covered container.  Letter Folds at 20, 40 & 60 min.  Retard for a total time of ~20 hrs..
At some point a few hrs in, flour workbench well then divide, pre-shape and shape dough into baguettes.
Dough should be scaled to approx. 330 grams each.      
Onto well floured couche, cover and bakc to retard.      
Preheat oven to 500dF for ~ 1 hr.       
At bake time, remove baguettes, move onto baking peel and score.   
Load into 480dF oven to bake, and steam well for 13 min.     
Release steam and rotate baguettes in oven.  Bake another 10-13 min.   
Vent oven, now off for 2 min.  Then remove baguettes to cooling rack.   

Progression from goop to ooh-la-la during French Folds

1. Just out of the mixing bowl.  A pile of disorganized goop.


 2. The first ~10 French Folds will look like this.  Drawing the mass up.

3. Preparing to flop it over on itself.


4.  The mass after ~20 FFs.  Organization is already happening.

5. After close to 300 FFs.  We now have something that looks like, and will act like, dough.


6.  After just 20 minutes of bulk rise, the first of 3 Letter Folds.  the extensibility of this dough is amazing.


350g x 4 baguettes/long batards

alfanso's picture

I’d last made this bread just over 3 years ago.  A long enough gap, too long in fact, to have gone without another bake.  On the last dance, I was in the middle of my 125% rye levain waltz.  For this bake I changed it around in several ways, hence this new posting.

This was the first time I used the potato skins as part of the mix instead of the peeled potatoes of prior bakes.  Having lost track of my potato ricer, I opted for the food processor, which yielded a somewhat grainier potato to add to the initial mix.  I also shifted the mix around to employ a 100% hydration AP levain.  And a third change.

These came out a shade browner than the past pictures reveal, and I think I know why.  Mr. Hamelman uses only Bread flour(85%) and WW flour(15%). On my previous bake I subbed out the WW with the rye levain, still maintaining the 85/15 balance.  Here I used both WW and Rye, the flours therefore amounted to 70/15/15, and hence the browner bread and a further change from the past. 

The scoring didn’t quite grigne as wide.  Perhaps, being such a low hydration dough I scored a bit too straight into the dough rather than at a sharper angle than I do with higher hydration doughs.  This is not an extensible dough and it takes a bit of work, short of manhandling, to even manage the limited length baguette that my oven will accommodate.

Still, I’m pretty happy with the result and the flavor.


Roasted Potato Levain with 100% Hydration AP Levain    
Jeffrey Hamelman, Prarie19 (TFL), alfanso      
    Total Flour    
Total Dough Weight (g) 1904 Prefermented15.00%   
Total Formula   Levain   Final Dough 
Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
Total Flour100.00%1000.0 100.00%150.0 Final Flour850.0
Bread Flour70.00%700.0 100%150.0 Bread Flour550.0
Whole Wheat15.00%150.0 0%0.0 Whole Wheat150.0
Rye15.00%150.0 0%0.0 Rye150.0
Water63.00%630.0 100%150.0 Water480.0
Salt2.40%24.0    Salt24.0
Roasted Yukon Gold25.00%250.0    Mashed Potato250.0
Starter3.00%30.0 20%30.0   
Totals190.40%1904.0 220%330.0  1904.0
Roast 65% more potatoes than called for, rice.       
Mix Water, levain, riced potatos and Flours  Autolyse 30 min.     
Add salt, pinch and fold to incorporate        
300 French Folds: 150 FFs, 5 min. rest, 150 FFs.       
Dough will be very rubbery and quite stiff, breaking apart.     
Smooths out considerably after 5 min rest period      
Bulk ferment for ~ 2 hrs.  3 Letter Folds at 40, 80 & 120 min.  Retard.    
Divide, pre-shape and shape.  Seal seam well!  Little to no flour on couche.    
Retard total time - 10-12 hrs.       
Preheat oven to 480dF.        
Load and steam oven        
Bake at 450dF for 13 min with steam..       
Release steam, rotate, bake for another 12 min or more.      


390g x 4 baguettes/long batards.

alfanso's picture

Today is my niece's birthday, and part of my "gift" is to send her the link to this blog entry.

Background  - years ago dabrownman christened me Donnie Baggs here on TFL.  I had written this at some point in response to one of his comments.  But decided to resurrect it here with updates.


I have lineage to a town in Sicily called Bagelone, just 25 km west of Logginsenda Messina as the cronut fries .  And I was christened Don Alfanso Bagelone by Patricio "Buns" Pattimeltini, a member of the local Muffinosa.  But everyone knew me as Donnie Baggs.

 For the record I was raised by my Lievito Madre.  I was just a po’ boy.   But grew up to be a hero, feeling my oats.  While it may be true that my Popover was Big Tony di Ciabatt, he was more of a creampuff, liked to loaf around and it was easy enough to butter him up.  Durum those days, times were tough but fun, and I recall with fondant memories when my bro mated witte the bubbly but pale English Ali on the unbleached shores of Marsala.

We were often stretched as thin as a window pane and pinched for dough.  At first I thought about going straight, like my aunt Maize.  We always had an oven door policy at our house, and one day Buns, who at times could get hot and crossed, stopped in to ask if I wanted to make some real bread.  So I thought rye not?.  And pretty soon a lot was starting to hoppen and I barley had thyme for any bran new ventures, wheat all that I kneaded to do.

Poppy Tony di was not at all like Uncle “Leggs" Fougasse, who was crusty and hard as grisini.  I always looked up to and prefermented him to my own pate.  That is, until the day that he called me a floury little batard.  A poolish mistake.  I really didn't care if he was a biga shot or not.  Now he was just another crumby sour don't.  I didn't stand for that sheeter from anyone.  I had a short fuse back then.

I made few calls but couldn’t find my button man Rico Pugliese, who was raised in Como.  I refreshed my memory and recalled that we had a 3-stage plan to build-up to something like this.  But I couldn’t figure out wetter Rico was just playing me for more bread or wort else was going on with him.  Was he trying to ficelle me out?  No.  Naan times outta ten, he’s reliable.  A pita, really.  I wasn’t sure what to cake of this.  I was divided and didn’t know how the final shaping of my pan would work out.  I woulda spelt it all out to him, easy, as he’s a smart guy with a lot of couche-t and a self starter.

Nobody Pullmans my chain and so I decided to e-laminate Fougasse myself.  My typical M.O. was to whip out my lame and give some Paisano a close shave.  It was the yeast I would do.  His face woulda bloomed with a bloody grigne from ear to ear.  And you talk about scoring?  Then I thought about Mario Egwite, who’d get whipped into a pique over something like this.  He made sure that the yolk was never on him.  So instead I pulled out my gatt with the hollow ground bouletts from my lederhosen.  Leggs made a run for it, but I was able to peel off a few rounds, and in the mixer of the action one spiraled its way into his glutinous maximus.  I pumpernicked another in there too.  He was levain large until that moment, and just like 1:2:3 he French folded and dropped like an epi.

I was held on a Filone charge.  But that was dismissed as I already had all the fudges in the court system baked into my jellyroll.  That was my only close brioche with the law.  Any other stooge would have had to give up his 36 month autolyse on that new car, bake a run for it, and steam on outta town.  Not me!  It was proof positive that I had a formula that worked.   Still a bit unnerved I fell asleep on my living room couche that night, a baker's dozing, if you will.

Back then I had the swagger of a young Robert Miche-um.

So, yeah, keep your distance from Donnie Baggs.


Yesterday saw another bake of the marvelous Maurizio's levain baguettes. 

375g x 4 baguettes/long batards


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