The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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fredsambo's picture

So it has been a while since my last post, I guess it was a busy summer, LOL.


I made some simple baguettes today. I did a 4 hour poolish and then mixed up an ordinary french bread recipe (water, salt, flour, poolish). I then put the dough in the refrigerator, since I wanted to go to bed (9pm). My wife took it out at five this morning and this is what it looked like at seven, when I got up:


First Rising


I cut the dough into four somewhat equal pieces and shaped them into logs; I set aside the fourth piece for my next batch.



Then I let them sit on the "bench" for an hour.

Covered with a dish towel.


After pacing around drinking coffee for the longest hour ever, I flattened out all of the air...



...and rolled them into baguettes.



Now, I usually cover my french bread with a big pot, to emulate steam injection, but alas, these baguettes were too long! My solution was to start off at 550 degrees preheated for an hour and then carefully pour 1/2 cup of water into a small cast iron skillet, closing the door quickly. I think the key is keeping the oven above 450 degrees the whole time, since the evaporated water will make the temp drop dramatically. My water never stopped boiling and the steam cloud upon opening the door was impressive. CAUTION: A lot of steam comes out of the oven when first opened up, don't go sticking your face down there!



After proofing for another hour I scored and then brushed them with plenty of water. Once they hit the stone I turned the temperature down to 500 degrees for four minutes, then removed the skillet and turned the temp down to 450 for the remaining time.

Ready to go!


I am pretty happy with the results, although they could be darker, but they taste wonderful!



I am making a country style next, with the old dough I saved from this batch!


Happy Baking!

AnnieT's picture

I know very well not to place 2 loaves close to each other or they will "burst" on the adjacent sides. So why in the world did I line up 4 pans of discard bread across the oven shelf? They were almost touching, and yup, each one burst open. I had 4 cups of starter and made the dough a little softer than usual - and the crumb is light and tender. I also decided to bake them from cold and the bottom crusts are very dark  Hopefully the neighbors won't be too critical. My only excuse is a rotten cough and cold which must have affected my thinking, A.

Floydm's picture

I too have baked a batch of Norm's Onion Rolls. They are wonderful.

I added 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds to the dough as well as an extra quarter cup or so of rehydrated dried onions. Otherwise, I followed his recipe.

I may have gotten a little too carried away with the poppy seeds and onions, but they were awfully tasty.

redcatgoddess's picture

This is the most basic & easiest to acheve Baguette formula from Le Cordon Bleu (where I am trained).  This formula will yeild about 3 22" classic baguette.  You can use this recipe for

 805 g bread flour

16 g salt

6 g instant yeast (or 18 g fresh or 9 g active)

523 g water (or 511g if fresh yeast is used, or  520g for active yeast)


This is what we called "straight dough," basically, everyone comes to the party!

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, includes the yeast (active or fresh yeast needs to disolved in the wtaer 1st.
  2. Add the water to the dry.  Now, just mix the dough w/ you hand, until there is no dry or wet spot (and yes, the dough is still VERY sticky at this point and I know, but just leave it).  Cover it with the mixing bowl & let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough and knead/throw the dough (and yes, it will stick to the counter top or board, but please do NOT use any more flour, additional flour WILL change the formula.  Just knead the dough until it is not longer stick to your tough about 5 - 10 minutes.  Cover the dough w/ the mixing bowl again, let stand for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough and LIGHTLY knead it until the dough starts to show a little tearing on the side of the dough. 
  5. LIGHLY spray the mixing bowl w/ commerica pan spry (to make sure the dough doens't stick to the bowl, then cover w/ the plastic wrap.  Let ferment for 45 minutes (yes.. that's all it takes).
  6. After 45 minutes, slowing & lightly (use a bowl scraper) 'flap' the dough upside down onto the counter, then lightly pat out the large air bubbles & fold the dough into 3rd (3 folds).  Put the semi-rectangula/long dough back to the bowl, cover, let rest for another 45 minutes.
  7. Use a bowl scraper, 'flap' the dough from the bowl & dived into 3 potions (about 450 g each).  Lightly pat out large air cells, 3 folds, cover w/ plastic wrape and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Shaping... seal the seam of the baguette dough by firmly push the seem against the counter (as if you are chopping it, then start from the middle of the dough, slowly roll out the length of the baguette.  Then place the shaped dough onto a inverted baking sheet w/ springle of cornel, parchment, corn meal (pan, corn meal, parchment, corn meal).
  9. After shaping, spry the shaped baguette w/ either commerical pan spry or warm water, then cover w/ plastic wrap again, and let it bench rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Scoring... use a lame or sharp knife. Slash the baguette 5 or 7 times at 45 degree angle & about 4" long on the surface of the baguette.  The angel of the slach should look about 20 degree.
  11. Baking... 400F w/ 8 minutes of steam + 12 minutes = 20 minutes + extra minutes for desired crust color. Now, if you are a home baker, make sure you spry the baguette w/ WARM water HEAVILY then bake at preheated 400 F oven, about 20+ minutes, depends on the desired color.
  12. DO NOT CUT OPEN THE BAGUETTE UNLESS IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED!!!  Restaurants have us thinking WARM bread is the best, however, if you are cutting open a warm baguette, your 2 hrs work has just down the drain for nothing.  It has to be cool, please... another 30 minutes will not kill you...

I made the following Epi w/ this formula.
chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Yesterday , at night , I tried Bridgestone recipe for sweeedish sweet filled buns , I made the round shape filled with chocolate pudding "made from scratch" , , the other shape is rectangular and filled with Mango pudding , I found that I have a lot of mango in the refrigerator,so why not to try  a new fruity taste in yeasted bakes,I was totally amazed , soooo yummy!!!!!

The kids loved it so much.The dough was very tasty and light.

so I would like to thank " Bridgestone " for sharing this lovely recipe.

Here you are some of the pics:-



holds99's picture

The following is taken from Michel Suas' description of mountain bread (page 223, Advanced Bread and Pastry): "Combining rye levain and white flour this bread began as a staple in the mountainous regions of Switzerland.  The long shelf life created by the sourdough process was an adantage in a time and place when bread was baked only once a week.  The hole in the middle of the crown [I didn't make a hole in the middle of the crown because I don't have a clue as to how to do that--will research the issue later] was used to hang the mountain bread to a pole fixed high on the wall to store the bread safely."  Hmmm.  Maybe hanging it from the pole is to keep it away from the kids until breakfast is ready.

Anyway, I doubled Mr. Suas' "test" formula and made 4 lbs of dough (2 X two pound boules).  As can be seen in the photo below I used linen lined bannetons, generously dusted with a mixture of 50% AP flour and 50% rice flour.  This bread tastes great, with a hint of sourness and terrific flavor.


Michel Suas Mountain Bread (Switzerland) - Advanced Bread and Pastry

Michel Suas Mountain Bread (Switzerland) - Advanced Bread and Pastry

ehanner's picture

I have been considering milling my own grain, especially Rye and WW recently. After looking at the details of the process, I have come to the conclusion that if you want to produce tasteful high quality flour, sifting is necessary. The whisper mill type impact mills shatter the grain and make sifting impractical. Essentially all of the grain is included in the flour since it is processed so finely.

On the other hand the age old milling process using adjustable stone, ceramic stone or stainless burrs allows for grinding to certain sizes and grades. Sifting can then be employed to arrive at the grade desired. I'm thinking about Medium Rye and White Rye in particular. Both of those products seem to be hard to locate in many markets and they also seem to be sensitive to spoiling in a short time.

After talking with Bill Wraith, who is a long time contributer here and is a trustworthy source of intelligent discussions in many areas, I'm confident that I can produce great flour that will help me bake the best tasting rye breads.

Proth5. I'm hoping you are reading this and are seeing a comrade in arms in the march to better home milling.

Suggestions and comments are welcome. 




PMcCool's picture

My wife recently picked up a copy of Leader's Local Breads, and I am part way through reading it.  I needed to bake this weekend, so thought that I would try a formula from the book.  Based on what I had available, I opted for the Pain au Levain, using my existing sourdough starter to prepare the levain for the formula.  I also chose to add sunflower seeds to the bread, following one of Mr. Leader's options.

It was enjoyable to work with a mostly-white bread dough again.  Much of my recent baking has been predominantly whole-grain breads (not counting RLB's focaccia that factored out at 113% hydration!), which tend to have somewhat heavier and stickier doughs.  This formula calls for small quantities of both whole wheat and rye flours, but they are fairly low percentages of the total flour content.

Here's the finished bread:

Pain au Levain batards 

And a shot of the crumb:

Pain au Levain crumb 

As you can see, there was plenty of oven-spring.  The dough was a little bit short of being completely proofed.  I may have been able to let it proof a little longer than I did, but I'm happy with the outcome.  The flavor is surprisingly (to me) mild; the wheat flavor comes through cleanly, along with the nutty sweetness of the sunflower seeds.  The last couple of sourdoughs that I have made had a high whole wheat content and a pronounced sourdough tang.  Other conditions were essentially the same, so it appears that the flour has an influence on the degree of sourness.

This is a very enjoyable bread.  I hope that others in the book are equally good.


tubaguy63's picture

I decided to make sesame semolina yesterday.  I haven't baked with duram for over a year.  The dough was a bit more hydrated than I expected, so I had to throw in a bit more duram and bread flour than anticipated.  All in all, the bread came out better than I had hoped.  Next time, I will throw in the sesame seeds into the dough instead of just on the exterior.

Sesame Semolina


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