The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


sergio83's picture

since we're having a lovely cold winter here in florida in spite of la ninia i've started baking again. i've just got done with my second baguette and the thirds in the fridge-- the first one stuck to the pan i was using to shift it into the oven but it was still tasty. this last one stuck to the couche because i'm trying to be a bit more conservative with adding flour since i think my loaves have been too dusty. i may not be able to post pics since my cameras giving me grief, but when i took this one out, well, after i took it out it was crackling so loudly i could hear it at the other end of the kitchen! ... hmmm, let's see what that meant...


apparently not very much, at least at the ends... hmmm, needs salt...

AndyPieper's picture

Homemade Baguette Pans

December 17, 2010 - 6:28pm -- AndyPieper

Let me begin by saying this is my first post, and I have learned a tremendous amount from so many of you.  I am an amatuer baker...serious, but time constrained.  One of my major curiousities has been how people get bakery quality breads with home equipment.  I have learned many great tricks from you all.  I hope I can share one with you.

proth5's picture

 Even in what passes for "normal" in my life, mid-November to the end of December ranges from busy to insanely busy.  There are jams to package, candies to make, and cookies to bake.  Being the designated holder of family culinary traditions, the doing, packaging, and shipping can take on a life of its own.

As the one or two of you who read my blogs know, 2010 hardly started out as a "normal" year.  I had high hopes it would quickly settle to normal. But it was not to be.

 Doesn't mean I don't keep up with the bread, though.

 Lately I've been getting some big bear bites as I try to adjust my usual formulas to use two pre ferments.  I'll have to admit, my mental mise en place was somewhat lacking and some very, very odd things came out of that fancy, new oven.  Today, however, I looked over at the days baking and thought - "It's far from perfect, but that's some nice looking bread."

Twp Preferments - same day

I've been varying the percentage of flour in the preferment all over the map.  What I found, is that reverting to my old faithful of 12-15% of the total flour pre fermented once again, did the trick.  

 The formula (for 6 loaves of about 10 oz of dough per loaf) (And y'all are going to have to put up with ounces...):

 Total percentage of flour pre fermented: 15%


Percentage of flour in the poolish: 10%

 King Arthur All Purpose Flour           3.7 oz

Water                                            3.7 oz

Instant yeast                                        generous pinch


Percentage of flour in the levain: 5%

Hydration: 100%


King Arthur All Purpose flour                   1.7 oz

Water                                                  1.7 oz

Seed                                                    0.35 oz

 Final dough

67% hydration

Desired Dough temperature 76F


King Arthur All Purpose Flour                   31.35 oz

Water                                                  19.2 oz

Instant Yeast                                         0.05 oz (Yes, that little - that's 0.135%)

Salt                                                        0.55 oz

All of the poolish

All of the levain


Mix the flour, water, polish and levain to a shaggy mass.  Autolyse for 30 mins.

Mix in mini spiral for 3 minutes at single speed.  Moderate gluten development. (Could also be mixed by hand or stand mixer.)

 (At this point I divided the dough in half, with one half receiving a normal bulk ferment, and the other half sent into the refrigerator for a retarded bulk ferment of about 10 hours.)

 Bulk ferment 4.5 hours at 72F, stretch and fold at 2 hours.

 Divide and pre shape.  Rest for 25 minutes.

Shape. (At a mere 7% of the flour in the levain, I achieved a dough that fought back during shaping.  This 5% of flour in the levain handled very nicely.)

 Proof for 1 hour 30 minutes.

 Slash and load.

 Bake 5 minutes with your favorite home steaming method at 500F conventional bake.

 Switch to convection bake at 480F (I love my new oven...) for 12-13 minutes.

 Since I have the convection oven, all my loaves (even the ones where the bear gets me) sing pretty nicely and the crusts are quite crispy even after the bread is cool.

 The taste?  Not a really assertive levain taste, but definitely more flavor there than a typical poolish baguette.  The crumb is much more yellow than I can capture with my negligible photographic skills.  I would describe the taste as "creamy."

This formula hasn't passed the "I baked this for many weeks and it is consistent" test, but I though I would share.

 We'll see how the other half turns out tomorrow (In general I've not been best pleased with shaping after retarding with these mixed pre ferment breads, but we shall see...)

 Happy Baking!

Added by edit:  The batch of baguettes that received the retarded bulk ferment were removed to a proofing box at about 72F for an hour and a half before shaping.  Thye still fought back a bit, but not nearly as badly as other batches.  Unfortunately time ran out for picture taking, but they had a more open crumb than the first batch.  My official bread tester declared them, the best bread, yet. I, of course, was unhappy with the shaping...

Yuval35's picture

Ultimate Sourdough Baguettes - Questions

November 6, 2010 - 1:27pm -- Yuval35

Today i made this wonderful baguettes from KAF.

here is the link :

the flavors was great and more importanat it is vary quick receipe.

however, I have several questions about the process.


1. why adding Gluten ? we are not using whole wheat or Rye ? Is it typical for Baguettes ?

dmsnyder's picture

Traditional baguette, Dragon tail and Épi de Blé (left to right)

These baguettes were made with my San Joaquin Sourdough dough. I shaped a traditional baguette, an épi de blé (sheaf of wheat) and a dragon tail. Each was scaled to 248 g. They were baked with steam for 10 minutes at 460ºF conventional bake and in a dry oven for 10 minutes at 435ºF convection bake. My formula for San Joaquin Sourdough is available here: San Joaquin Sourdough, updated However, for those attempting these shapes for the first time, I recommend using a lower hydration dough such as Pat's (proth5). That formula can be found here: Baguette crumb - 65% hydration dough

Instructions for making an épi

1. Shape a baguette and proof it.

2. Transfer a baguette to your peel.

3. Starting at the left end (if you are right handed) or at the far end, if the baguette is oriented perpendicular to your body, make evenly spaced cuts along the baguette with a sharp scissors. The scissors should cut at about a 45º angle, almost but not completely through the loaf. With each cut, the cut part is rotated away from the long axis of the loaf, alternating right and left.

4. Load the épi onto your baking stone and bake as you would a regular baguette.

Instructions for making a dragon tail baguette

The dragon tail is made in the same way as the épi, except, rather than rotating the cut pieces, the tip of each is folded back over the body, away from the cut surface. Here is a photograph of Miyuki Togi, my SFBI instructor, forming a dragon tail:

SusanFNP has made an instructional video for shaping a Dragon Tail baguette which is highly recommended. Dragon Tail Baguette Shaping Video

Dragon tail, close-up 1

Dragon tail, close-up 2



Submitted to YeastSpotting

fminparis's picture

My Baguettes

October 19, 2010 - 12:49pm -- fminparis

I use a cuisinart with the metal blade to knead and a disposable type aluminum roasting pan to cover the loaves for the first part of baking. The bread produces its own steam and the aluminum pan keeps it in.


The night before or at least 2 hours before make sponge:


Put 2 1/2 oz bread flour in a bowl

Add 1/4 tsp instant yeast (rapid rise, bread machine yeast)

davidg618's picture

I've been immobile for the past two months with sciatica. With steroid treatment and physical therapy, it's nearly completely diminished. Fortunately, the freezer was well stocked with baguettes, sourdough loaves, and a couple of Jewish Ryes at the onset--now nearly depleted. 

Yesterday afternoon, after a two month hiatus, I celebrated my new-gotten mobility by mixing dough for my Overnight Baguettes formula; shaped and baked them this morning.


Nice to know, I haven't gotten too rusty. Sorry, no crumb shot; these are restocking the freezer.

David G


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