The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jennyloh's picture

I've on a quest to make baguette,  fluffly,  thin crust,  light, open crumbs.  My baguettes so far has been on a thicker crust,  not so open crumbs and a little too chewy. I'm not sure when I will be able to to achieve what I want to achieve, but I'm starting to keep track of this records in my blog.

So far,  I've done 3 experiments,  they are still not ideal at all.  I'm looking to improve my techniques before I go for taste.  Currently,  I'll stick to a recipe from Peter Reinhart on french loaf. I'm going to continue trying until the day that I can consistently achieve what I'm looking for.

Perhaps I'm so used to having Asian baguettes, especially the Japanese bakeries here.   Actually I have no idea how a french baguette looks or taste like,  only from the local french bakery here,  not sure if it is authentic.  Anyway,  we like the taste of baguettes that are really light,  crusty, flaky crust,  open crumbs and doesn't quite fill your stomach even when you eat up a full loaf.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has suggestions for me on my techniques.  Here are also some pictures to show you what I've done so far.


JoeVa's picture

Just a Sourdough Miche I baked this morning.

I used King Arthur All-Purpose and Whole Wheat flour my father bought for me in Boston.

The miche was made with:

  • KAF AP - 80%
  • KAF WW - 20%
  • Water - 70~75%
  • Salt 2%

Short mixed, raised with two starter (a liquid one over AP and a stiff one over WW), proof retarded.


A really easy flour to work with. As strong as you need, balanced extensibility/elasticity profile, beautiful fermentation activity. And it taste very good too! I'm really pleased with this flour ... even more if I think it's sold in every store (US bakers are lucky).

Here crust & crumb:




Salilah's picture

Based on a recipe from cityhippyfarmgirl through Yeast Spotting:

I thought I'd give these a go.  I didn't have the malt flour, and my shaping is not quite up to scratch - so I went more for the rustic look and didn't do the rye wash.  Also I didn't have flaxseed so used linseed instead!


200g starter at 100% hydration (I did this as a preferment from starter to make sure it was lively after a week in the fridge)
250g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
50g golden flaxseed
250g water
10g salt


Mixed all except salt for an autolyse of about an hour.  Quite a few S&F over about a 4 hour period - quite a sticky dough!

Cut into 6 chunks and roughly shaped for a 20min rest; shaped into batards (couldn't quite get the points from the original) and proofed for about 2 hours on a teatowel until well risen.  Bedtime dictated timing for baking - so I didn't really check if they were fully proofed.  10mins under a cover at 220C, then 20mins uncovered at 220C (turning once) - this felt quite long for rolls, but they are quite big!

And - for those who would prefer to see the real colour rather than the jazzy iPhone photo:

Toasted for breakfast - very nice flavour, "yum" said OH, "tasty - but a bit like a crumpet" (not too sure what this bit means!)

Would do again...

davidg618's picture

Back home from my trip to the Grand Canyon. First bake since return (sourdough, of course) is preshaped and resting, coming to room temperature. I promised photos; here is one of the four-hundred I took. At best, a photograph, no matter how good, only triggers the sense memory of awe I felt when I first looked at the Canyon from Mather's Point.

David G

ph_kosel's picture

I liked the Whole Wheat Walnut Bread I got back in July from Acme Bread Company in Berkeley so much that I decided to try to duplicate it.  I posted photos of the Acme walnut loaf previously in my description of my July bread pilgrimage. 

I found a description of the bread and it's ingredients on acme's website:

The recipe I came up with after a couple of attempts is as follows:

Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough


100g of whole wheat starter (containing 50g water, 25g whole wheat flour, and 25g white flour)

350g whole wheat flour

100g white bread flour

250g water

1.5 teaspoons salt

0.5 teaspoons diastatic malt powder

200g walnuts


After a first attempt was so dry the loaf cracked up the middle I concluded the walnuts soak up a lot of water.  Soaking them in advance in hot water and draining them in a collander before adding to the dough seems to overcome that.

I mixed the dough in a stand mixer, let stand until it rose, and baked it in a dutch oven, about 25 minutes at 450F, with the cover off in the last minutes for browning.. 


It came out pretty good, maybe not the equal of the Acme loaf but very tasty with butter or cheese!

^The loaf

^The crumb

^The cooled loaf in the cooker

ph_kosel's picture

On July 2, 2011, I drove from Sacramento down to the San Francisco Bay area and (among other things) visited two rather famous bakeries, Acme Bread Company and Tartine Bakery.

Acme's store in Berkeley was first stop.  It was a very small place and there was a line of customers out the door.  I snapped a couple photos of their sign and the profusion of breads visible through the window.  When I got inside I was a bit flummoxed and felt I had to decide what to buy quickly so as not to hold up the line.  I hastily chose loaves of whole wheat walnut sourdough, olive bread, and braided challah covered with sesame seeds.

^Acme's sign

^Acme's Window

^Loaves from Acme ( top to bottom: Olive, Challah, and Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough)

^Acme Olive loaf crumb

^Acme Challah crumb

^Acme Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough crumb


After leaving Berkeley my wife and I drove across  the Bay to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.  Acme was busy, but Tartine was a total zoo, line out the door no place to park for blocks around, and us arriving too early to buy the bread that only goes on sale at 5PM.  We found a place a couple miles away where we could actually park and get some coffee and wait until Tartine was ready to sell bread, but it wasn't easy.  We went back to Tartine at the appointed hour and my wife circled the block while I braved the line and finally scored three loaves of their country bread and a cookbook.  By the time we left my wife was having panic-like shivering fits from the crowded city, narrow streets, and outrageous traffic.  Tartine was not a convenient place to shop and San Francisco is not a nice place to visit in a car, especially on a holiday weekend.  The bread from Tartine was nice but I never ever want to go there again - way too stressful for me!  Once I worked in San Francisco years ago, but these days I'm too old and gimpy to ride the bus and hike up and down hills in a town not designed for people in cars.

I was too dazed by the mob scene at Tartine to snap photos of the place.  The Tartine loaves I bought looked exactly like the photos on the website and the cover of  the "Tartine Bread" cookbook.

Here's a crumb shot:

^Tartine Crumb shot.

It was all great bread.  I gave some to friends and ate at least half a loaf of everything I bought over the next few days (my wife, being on a perpetual low-carb diet, was not competing with me).  The olive bread was great for snacking on while on the road.  The Challah was soft and nice.  The Tartine bread was great although I never want to face that mob scene again.  The Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough from Acme was really great, so good I had a whack at trying to duplicate it, but that's a story for another day.




Franko's picture

 Last week I posted on a bake I did of a bread called Le Pavé d’Autrefois that didn't turn out the way I'd hoped it would , particularly the crumb. Click on the link for all the grisly details and graphic images. Even though last weeks bread was under fermented, it held the promise of great flavour if a few procedural changes on my part were made. By allowing myself more time and having better control over temperatures during the bulk fermentation and final proof, I was confident I could produce something a little closer to what Alan/asfolks was able to achieve when he posted on this bread back in August.é-d’autrefois

This bread does need a lot of time. I began at 6:00AM by mixing the flour soaker of all purpose, whole wheat, rye and buckwheat which then sat covered until 10:00 AM when I began the final mix. By the time bulk ferment, resting/shaping, proofing and baking were finished it was almost 5:30PM. I realize this amount of time for a single loaf might sound slightly mad to folks who don't bake these types of breads, my wife being a good example, but I was on a mission of sorts that I'm sure many TFL'rs can relate to. As it was, I had a few other non bread projects going on in the kitchen as well, so for me it was time well spent. time I make this bread I'll try doing it with an overnight retard just to see if there is anything to be gained from it other than an extra hour or two of sleep.

This session yielded what I feel is a much improved loaf, with a more open, though not even, crumb. The crumb on Alan's Pave is the benchmark for me, and this one is still a ways off that, but it's getting there. The flavour of this loaf is much better as well. With a proper fermentation the flavours of the various grains are more balanced and without the 'green' or raw taste of under fermented dough. I think the best thing you could pair with this bread is a favourite cheese and a good glass of wine or beer. Just on it's own it has more than enough deep flavour to satisfy any sourdough or multigrain lover. Generally I'm happy with the results, not entirely satisfied yet, but closer to the mark this time around.

Le pavé d’autrefois









Mature Rye Starter-100%



Whole Rye Flour-Rogers






Total Weight









Organic AP Flour



Whole Wheat Flour-Sloping Hills Farm



Medium Rye Flour-bulk generic



Buckwheat Flour-Nunweiler's






Total Weight






Final Dough



Organic AP flour









Sea Salt-Sel Gris






Total Weight






Total Flour



Total Hydration







Mix levain 14 hours prior to mix with 2 feedings, and ferment at 70°-75F. Mix the soaker ingredients 4 hours previous to the final mix

Mix Levain, Soaker, Final 286g of AP flour and salt. Cover with plastic and begin the bulk ferment.

Stretch and fold 4 times during a 4 hour bulk ferment. Turn out dough onto heavily floured surface and fold over on itself. Rest 30 minutes. Spread out dough by lightly dimpling with fingertips, being careful not to degas the dough. Cut into rectangular slabs roughly 1/3rd longer than the width, place on floured linen for a final rise of 45-90 minutes. Bake on a 500°F preheated stone for 10 minutes, with steam system in place. After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 475F, remove steam, unblock the vent, and rotate the loaf for even colouring. Continue baking for 20-30 minutes. Check for an internal temperature of 210F , then leave in a cooling oven with the door slightly ajar for 15-20 minutes. Wrap in linen and cool on racks for 8 hours or overnight before slicing.


The other loaf pictured is a Francese, the formula from Advanced Bread & Pastry by Michel Suas. Back around the weekend of March 18/19 of this year I'd planned to do a bake of this bread and coincidentally it turned out, so had David Snyder, posting his usual meticulous writeup along with photos of his excellent Pan Francese.

For anyone wanting to make this bread David has provided the full formula and procedure in the link above.

I thought OK, no problem, I'll stick with the plan and make mine on Sunday to post on Monday. If I recall correctly I was email chatting with breadsong that evening and discovered she was so taken with Davids loaf that she decided to do one as well. Breadsong's loaf is posted a little further down in David's post and it's gorgeous! Well now I'm thinking do I really want to add a third Francese to the mix when two of the best bakers on the site have contributed stunning examples of the loaf already. I decided to make something else and do the Francese at another time. Six months have passed since then and I thought maybe it was time to finally have a go at it. Like David and breadsong I just followed the formula and procedure from AB&P, but only making a single loaf. In terms of flavour I don't know that I prefer this to a baquette, but I do prefer it to baking a baquette in my home oven. The stone I have isn't long enough to accomodate a decent size baquette so I don't make them, but the Francese works just fine. It's a good bread, with lots of crunch and chew to it, and relatively easy to make since there's no molding to speak of involved. It needs a minor tweak in the flavour profile but I can't put my finger on just what it is yet. My guess is it's probably rye or sour...likely both.





loydb's picture

After seeing, I knew I had to try it, and grapes were on sale at the grocery store. It's cooling now, dinner soon!


MarieH's picture

I baked two sandwich breads yesterday - sandwich buns and a multigrain sandwich loaf. Kind of had a theme...

The sandwich buns are adapted from a King Arthur recipe. I added white whole wheat flour and milled golden flax (both from King Arthur). I have used the golden flax a few times and really like the nutritional goodness and the texture it produces. Pictures first, then the recipe.

For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in a humid
environment, the greater amount in a dry climate and something in between the rest of the time.

Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer bowl, on the lowest speed mix all of the dough ingredients until they come together.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on speed number 2 for 10 - 15 minutes to make a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough, and let it rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk - 1 to 2 hours.

6 to 8 ounces lukewarm water

1 ounce soft butter

1 large egg

7 ounces whole wheat flour

7 1/2 ounces AP flour

3 tablespoons ground golden flax

1 3/4 ounces sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about
3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.

Lightly beat 1 large egg and 2 TBS water together and brush the top of the buns. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Multigrain Sandwich Loaf

jamesjr54's picture

A week of triumphs and face-plants! The good: a really nice version of Lumos' Swiss/Bernese Oberland-style Sourdough Loaf,–-heinz’s-swss-artisan-bread-made-sourdough, awesome Honey Wheat from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes, and some nice versions of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes.

The bad: 10-grain whole wheat from HBI5 that I put in a loaf pan and undercooked even after 65 min@ 400F.

The ugly: whole wheat bagels: in my haste I misread the recipe and use 3 stead of 2 C water. (recipe said 3 quarts, hence the "3") Added lots of flour but ignored my misgivings and now have a dozen ugly - but tasty - bagels.

Lessons - gotta figure out how to balance - and schedule- life and baking! And mistakes at least taste good.


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