The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

I have been wanting to do some whole rye and whole wheat SD baguettes that has at least 20% whole grains.  I wasn't going for holes but for taste.  The starter was a Rye and WW one as well.   I also told teketeke that I would try her baguettes she makes with YW and I am becoming a real YW convert  Since her baggies are YW using white flours, this doesn't qualify for doing hers yet but I didn't want her to think I had forgotten. The SD is nice and sour and YW is not.  Both have the same moist crumbthat is fairly open for so much whole flours.   I am OK with the slashing and know it could have been worse. :-)  The YW did spring slightly more.

Below left is SD and Right is YW.

Slash of SD below

Slash on the YW

Crumb shots follow SD top adn YW bottom

Close ups YW first

SD below

Below SD is on top

Method was the same for both.  Levain build in 3 stages over 12 hours and then retarded in the refrigerator overnight.  The next morning the levains were allowed to sit out on the counter for 1 hour to warm up.  The entire levain was placed in the mixer with half of the flour, 75% of the water and the rye malt.  This is mixed on KA 4 with the wisk for 4 minutes.  Then it autolysed for 30 minutes covered.

The rest of the flour and water is added and the dough hook goes on to knead for 4 minutes on KA 3.  Then the salt goes in and you knead on KA 3 for 2 more minutes.  The dough goes into a covered and oiled bowl to rest.  5 S& F's are done on an oiled counter 4 times every 15 minutes.  The the dough is formed into a ball and sits in the covered oiled bowl on the counter for an hour and half before going into the fridge for 22 hours. 

The next morning the dough sits on the counter for 1 1/2 hours to warm up and then is shaped, placed in a floured couche and then into a plastic bag for final proofing.  Mine took 3 hours. 

Preheat at 500 F regular bake with stone and steam in place.  Slash the baguettes and put into the oven to steam for 8 minutes.  Remove steam, turn down to 450 F convection and bake for another 8 min or so until done.  Here are the formulas.

YW Baggies  - All numbers in grams          
SD Starter     Dough Flour % Multigrain Sprouts%
 Build 1B 2 B 3Total% Rye303.89% Buckwheat 0.00%
SD Starter   00.00% WW303.89% WW 0.00%
Rye   00.00% Buckwheat 0.00% Rye 0.00%
WW   00.00% Spelt 0.00% Bulgar 0.00%
Buckwheat   00.00% Farro 0.00% Barley 0.00%
Dark Rye   00.00% Barley 0.00% Spelt 0.00%
WWW   00.00% 6 Grain Cereal 0.00% Water 0.00%
Bread Flour   00.00% Millet 0.00% Total Sprouts00.00%
AP   00.00% Amranth 0.00%    
Water   00.00% Lentils 0.00% Scald  
Total00000.00% Dark Rye 0.00% Buckwheat 0.00%
       Semolina 0.00% WW 0.00%
YW Starter     Bulgar 0.00% Rye 0.00%
 Build 1B 2 B 3Total% Oats 0.00% Bulgar 0.00%
Yst Water60301010012.95% White WW 0.00% Barley 0.00%
Rye   00.00% Potato Flakes50.65% Spelt 0.00%
WW   00.00% Ground Flax Seed 0.00% Water 0.00%
Buckwheat   00.00% Bread Flour 0.00% Total Scald00.00%
Dark Rye   00.00% AP25032.38%    
WWW   00.00% Dough Flour31540.80% Add - Ins  
Bread Flour   00.00% Salt70.91% Barley Malt 0.00%
AP60303012015.54% 50% Water/ Whey21527.85% Molasses 0.00%
Water   00.00% Dough Hydration68.25%  Honey 0.00%
Total120604022028.50%     Olive Oil 0.00%
       Total Flour435  Egg 0.00%
Total Starters     Total Water315  Red Rye Malt 0.00%
  %  0.1724 T. Dough Hydrat.72.41%  White Rye Malt151.94%
Flour12015.54%        VW Gluten 0.00%
Water10012.95%    Hydration w/ Adds70.00%  Sunflower Seeds 0.00%
Hydration83.33%     Total Weight772  Nuts00.00%
Levain % of Total28.50%        Total151.94%


SD Baggies  - All numbers in grams

SD Starter     Dough Flour % Multigrain Sprouts%
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total% Rye303.65% Buckwheat 0.00%
SD Starter20  202.43% WW 0.00% WW 0.00%
Rye  10101.22% Buckwheat 0.00% Rye 0.00%
WW 10 101.22% Spelt 0.00% Bulgar 0.00%
Buckwheat   00.00% Farro 0.00% Barley 0.00%
Dark Rye   00.00% Barley 0.00% Spelt 0.00%
WWW   00.00% 6 Grain Cereal 0.00% Water 0.00%
Bread Flour   00.00% Millet 0.00% Total Sprouts00.00%
AP80202012014.60% Amranth 0.00%    
Water60302011013.38% Lentils 0.00% Scald  
Total160605027032.85% Dark Rye 0.00% Buckwheat 0.00%
       Semolina 0.00% WW 0.00%
YW Starter     Bulgar 0.00% Rye 0.00%
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total% Oats 0.00% Bulgar 0.00%
Yst Water   00.00% White WW303.65% Barley 0.00%
Rye   00.00% Potato Flakes50.61% Spelt 0.00%
WW   00.00% Ground Flax Seed 0.00% Water 0.00%
Buckwheat   00.00% Bread Flour 0.00% Total Scald00.00%
Dark Rye   00.00% AP25030.41%    
WWW   00.00% Dough Flour31538.32% Add - Ins  
Bread Flour   00.00% Salt70.85% Barley Malt 0.00%
AP   00.00% 50% Water/ Whey21526.16% Molasses 0.00%
Water   00.00% Dough Hydration68.25%  Honey 0.00%
Total00000.00%     Olive Oil 0.00%
       Total Flour465  Egg 0.00%
Total Starters     Total Water335  Red Rye Malt 0.00%
  %  0.2043 T. Dough Hydrat.72.04%  White Rye Malt151.82%
Flour15018.25%        VW Gluten 0.00%
Water12014.60%    Hydration w/ Adds69.79%  Sunflower Seeds 0.00%
Hydration80.00%     Total Weight822  Nuts00.00%
Levain % of Total32.85%        Total15


Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I just came across some videos explaining bakers math and making baguettes.


codruta's picture

It seems that days and weeks really flies lately and I don't have enough time to write about all the breads I bake. To get upto date, I'll make a resume with the most important breads I've baked in the last days/week:

1. I made semolina bread, in two different days (first it was a 60% semolina + 40% white flour with 67% hydration, next time it was a 70% semolina + 30% white flour and 71% hydration), inspiread by Hamelman's Semolina Bread and Giovanni's bread. I used a stiff levain and I had to add a lot of water to the dough, and I still think it was not enough. But semolina bread is one of my latest revelations, I love it's flavor so much... too bad I have only one bag of semolina left... :(

The crumb is yellow, but not as opened as it i in giovanni's bread, yet, it is a very tasty formula. It's elastic and chewy and it's wonderful sweet when toasted.

Here are pictures from the first bread:

And from the second one: (I dind't realise before how much they resemble, till I put the pictures together)

2. I make baguettes again, using the same formula as the last time, reducing the hydration to 71%. Better than the first time, but still a long way from perfection.


3. I made another rye bread, using a rye soaker and rye chops made from soaked berries, chopped and then soaked again. I started with 90g berries (140g after soaking and draining) and ended with 210g rye chops, soaked and drained.

The bread has more volume than the last time, even if the dough got stucked in the banneton in a couple of places and it deflated a bit while I forced it to come out. (mini, I did not cheat while I sliced the bread, no funny angles while cutting it, and I have 8-9 cm max... well it's better than 6 cm from last time:)

The bigger holes in the crumb are a sign of overproofing, or a sign of air or/and water incorporated in the dough while shaping?

Well, that's about it, for now. Not quite up-to-date, I still have some "san joaquin"s left that I want share with you, but this is already a too long post.



davidg618's picture

My wife and I have differing opinions about sourdough--I like it tangy, she likes it mild; sandwich bread--I like its crumb chewy, she likes it soft and fluffy; and biscotti--I prefer parmesan cheese, and black pepper, she craves ameretto-almond. But when it comes to baguettes we are 100% in accord: wheaty flavor, lightly chewy, open crumb, crackling crust. And in that order.

I've spent nearly two years working on a formula, and a process that yields what we want. I've learned quite a few things about baking in general, and baguettes in particular. I've also relearned a few lessons about myself. In this moment, I think I've reached the semi-experienced novice level--somewhat akin to the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Please, this is just my offering of what I've found works for me. 

Here's what I've learned about a formula: use quality ingredients; don't obsess over the quality.

Flours:I've lusted over descriptions of French milled flours, King Arthur's French-style, and Guisto's artisan flours: lusts never realized. It's simply a cost decision. I use King Arthur's super-market accessible, all-purpose flour. I've made a couple of excursions into other brands, with consistent disappointment. One brand's flavor was really nasty.

Salt: I use sea salt, purchased in bulk from a local organic food store. It's ridiculously inexpensive. My children, knowing my Foodie obsessions have gifted me, more than once, with Sal de Very Expensive. I've used it. I can't discern a difference; neither can my wife.

Water: Our well. (Suwannee River aquifer)

Yeast: SAF: as little as possible.

Flour (one kind), salt, water, yeast: it doesn't get any simpler than that.

Process: Herein, I've learned  the biggest lessons. K.I.S.S.--Keep it Simple, Stupid! (I learned this, the first time, from a Navy Chief Petty Officer, when I was a bottom-of-the-ladder Seaman)--outpaces them all.

A few general lessons: These support K.I.S.S.

Be consistent: Use the same ingredients. Same brand, same type, same weight ratios, same temperatures, etc.. Which of course you won't so...

Make small changes (only one at a time if you have the discipline; I'm not yet that disciplined, but I am at the point that I never make more than two.)

Be consistent: Do the same steps, with the same tools, in the same order, for the same duration, at the same temperatures , etc.. Which of course you won't so...

Keep notes: what you used, what you did, what you changed, what you forgot, what resulted, what you're going to do next. Also, at the beginning of a follow-on bake review your previous notes, and write down what you're going to do. Underline the change(s).

Baguette specific lessons:

These are the things that work for me, with K.I.S.S. always in mind. I marvel at the time and effort other TFL'ers put into baking baguettes. I'm certain their results make my baguettes reminiscent of dog biscuits. Nonetheless, we (my wife and I) are happy with our results, so far, and the neighbors make complementary noises with their mouths full.

Flavor develops during fermentation: Yes, you've got to use ingredients you trust. They have to be capable of giving good flavor, but it's fermentation that exploits those qualities. Up to a point, retarded (chilled) fermentation develops flavor proportionate with the fermentation duration. I don't know what that point is. I've learned I get desirable flavor between 15 hours and 21 hours of retarding at 54°F. Furthermore, the desired flavors are more present after 21 hours compared to 15. hours. I'm fortunate to have a wine closet wherein the temperature is maintained at 54°F. I've not attempted retarding in a refrigerator--most home fridges are 38°F-40°F--but from reading TFL other bakers are having great successes.

Hydration differences don't seem to change the flavor profile significantly, or, at least, not as significantly as retardation time. I've investigated from 65% hydration to 72% hydration. Arguably, the more flour, slightly more flavor in that Hydration range, whereas, 15 hour retardation yields an excellent flavor, 21 hours a bigger excellent flavor.

Substituting sourdough levain for commercial yeast, makes a different bread. It's sourdough in a baguette shape. Delicious, sometimes, but not an accurate rendition of the modern baguette. Furthermore, sourdough levain masks the delightfully "wheaty" flavors a baguette can (and should) have.  White flour, salt, water, and yeast: it doesn't get any simpler than that. (I'm looking forward to the hiding I'll get for this comment.)

Open crumb structure improves with retarded fermentation. I'm fairly sure this is accurate, however, mishandling can massacre the gain.

Don't ignore DDT. It gives one a finer control over results from retardation. Don't think of DDT as just small adjustments to room temperature water to hit the "magic" 76°F or 80°F. Pre-chill the formula's flour and use ice water in the dough's prep, to bring the mix to the planned chill temperature immediately. Chill the dough during autolyse, and return it to the chiller immediately after each manipulation, e.g., S&F.

Process, i.e., techniques: their flow and finesse, account for more than 50% of a baking success, especially with baguettes. (I actuallly think its considerably greater than 50%, but, then again, 85% of all people make up their own statistics.)

Here's a series of photos I took today of a 65% Hydration, 21 hour retarded baguette bake.

I've documented my earliest attempts to make baguettes here  . It gives the 72% hydration formula I started with. Most of my subsequent many tweaks involved exploring hydration, and retarding effects.

This is my post-retardation setup: I preshape the baguettes immediately and leave them to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

After 1 hour rest, I shape and proof the baguettes (seam side up). Proofing time today was 1 hour.

Here is the second loaf, slashed, and ready for loading into the oven. After many attempts, with various commercial peels, to load baguette loaves either serially, or in multiples I've settled on loading them serially with a home-made peel--it's really just a scrap piece of birch plywood, cut 2" narrower than my oven. I also load sourdough loaves (2) side-by-side serially using the board held along the narrow side. It works better than any of the commercial peels I've purchased--including the Superpeel.

I load the peel by simply flipping the loaf onto the rice flour dusted board, and slashing it. Then right into the oven, one at a time.

The oven, loaded to its meager capacity: 3 baguettes. You can see the only down-side to serially loading I've experienced. Oven-spring is already well underway in the first two loaves.

On the top shelf you can see the way I generate steam: two wetted towels. SylviaH convinced me to try this approach, and after the first try I stuck to it, but I made it simpler than her method (involves heating towels in the microwave). I wet the towel with 2-3 cups of the hottest tap water. I put the wet-towel tray on the top shelf, and switch the oven control from "Convection Bake" to "Broil" at 550°F. I do this about 6 to 10 minutes before loading the first loaf. I can watch the wetted towels begin to bubble. I switch the oven to "Bake" (conventional, shutting off the convection fan) at 500°F. Finally, after all loaves are loaded, I decrease the oven to "Bake" 450°F. After 10 minutes I remove the steam pan, restore "Convection Bake", and finish the baking. Early in my trials I discovered the rear-mounted convection fan dried out the surface of the most rearward loaf, and inhibited oven-spring. That's why I do all the oven mode switching.


and the crumb.

Recall, this is a 65% hydrated dough. It's consistent open crumb like this that supports my arguement retarded fermentation supports open crumb development.

So far, I've not lost sight of K.I.S.S. I bake baguettes once each week, so if you see where I can make it simpler, please comment.

David G

varda's picture

Cambodian-French Bread

August 16, 2011 - 4:30pm -- varda

My daughter is in Cambodia for the summer working on her master's project.    I asked her if there was good bread in Cambodia.   I guess I was expecting some cool and unknown to me Asian varieties.   She surprised me by saying that there was a lot of very good very cheap French bread.   I asked her to send me some pictures to post on this site.   Here is what she sent:

dmsnyder's picture

Well, I'm back from a lovely week at the beach with family. I surely enjoyed the week, including Glenn's fabulous pastrami and corn beef with his and my rye breads. Glenn's Tartine BCB and my SFBI miche were also appreciated. 

Yesterday, I thawed dough made for pizzas 4 and 6 weeks ago and frozen. I made a couple of pies, one with each of the doughs made with Maggie Glezer's and Jeff Verasano's recipes.


Pizza using Maggie Glezer's dough

Pizza made with Jeff Verasano's dough

Glezer's pizza dough retained its distinctive crispness. Verasano's dough was still more elastic than Glezer's but not as chewy as it had been before freezing. I would say that neither was quite as good, but both were better than any you could get at the chains.

Today, I baked a couple bâtards of Pain au Levain from Hamelman's Bread. This has become a favorite. Today's tweak was to shape the loaves using the method portrayed on the KAF videos but proofing the loaves in cotton-lined oval brotformen rather than on a couche.


The loaves assumed a rounder/less elongated shape during baking. I wonder if, en couche, with lateral support but no support at the ends, the loaves spread longitudinally more. Hmmmm ….


I have dough for my version of Gosselin's Baguettes Tradition in the fridge to finish tomorrow. I'll update this entry accordingly.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,
Just wanted to let you all know I'm still baking even if I'm not posting as often...  Here's the latest from my kitchen:
1.  Invisible Pizzas (We forgot to take pictures)
2.  Baguettes
3.  Olive Oil Brioche with Dried Pears and Toasted Walnuts

This recipe makes 2 pizzas, 2 baguettes, and 2 olive oil brioches...  Bear with me through all the madness:
Recipe: (Makes approx 3000g of base dough)
Stiff Levain:
400g @ 50% hydration

200g AP
200g Water
1/2 tsp instant yeast
402g Total

Final Dough (approx 65% hydration):
1196g AP
52g WW
36g Rye
808g Water
38g Kosher Salt
1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
402g Sponge
400g Stiff Levain

For Olive Oil Brioche with Dried Pears and Toasted Walnuts
180g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
175g Dried Pears
175g Toasted Walnuts

Digital Scale
Large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Measuring Spoons
2 - 4L Plastic Tubs with Covers
Rubber Spatula
Plastic Scraper
Bowl with Water
Large Plastic Bag
Baking Stone
Steam Pan with Lava Rocks
Oven Thermometer
Instant Read Thermometer
2 Loaf Pans
Baker's Linen

1.  Prepare stiff levain, mix, let ferment for up to 1 hour, and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

2.  4:45pm - Mix sponge, cover and let rest for up to 1 hour.

3.  5:30pm - Mix base dough by hand in large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients, and then dry ingredients on top.  Mix from bottom up with rubber spatula.  When shaggy dough forms, mix dough with wet hands for a few seconds to work out all lumps.  Place in bag and let rest for 1 hour.

4.  Roughly cut up dried pears, and toast walnuts in pan and let cool.  Lightly oil 2 tubs with olive oil.  6:30pm - Stretch and fold dough and divide into 1600g and 1200g portions.  Place 1600g gram portion into oiled tub, cover and let rest.  7:00pm - Turn baguette dough, and in the mixing bowl with the 1200g portion, add 180g of olive oil and slowly mix by hand until olive oil is combined completely into the dough.  This takes about 10-15 minutes.  Then add the toasted walnuts and dried pears.  Mix until combined evenly, place into plastic tub, rest for 45 minutes.

5.  7:45pm - Turn baguette dough, and brioche dough, rest for 1 hr 15 minutes.

6.  9:00pm - Arrange baking stone in oven on 2nd rack from bottom.  Preheat with convection until oven thermometer on baking stone reaches 600F.  Divide baguette dough into 4 pieces at 400g.  Preshape 2 baguettes.

7.  9:15pm - Final shape baguettes, place on bakers linen couch, cover and let proof for 60-90 minutes.  Oil 2 loaf pans with olive oil, divide dough into 2 equal portions (900g approx), shape brioche, brush tops with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to proof until dough reaches top of pan, then refrigerate.

8.  9:45pm -  Prepare pizza as you like, turn off convection and oven temp down to 550F, and bake for 6-7 minutes directly on stone.  Boil some water in a pot for steam pan.

9.  10:30pm - Turn oven down to 475F, Pour boiling water into steam pan, and place on top rack of oven.  Turn baguettes out on to flipping board, slash and place in oven.  Bake 10 minutes at 475F with steam, then 15 minutes at 450F without steam.  Cool completely before cutting.  Take brioche out of refrigerator.

10.  Turn oven down to 400F, remove plastic wrap from brioche, place in oven in pan directly on baking stone.  Bake for 45 minutes until internal temp reaches 190F to 200F.  Turn oven off.  Remove from pan, return loaves to oven directly on baking stone for 10 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.





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