The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


teketeke's picture

This is how I finally have open crumbs and ears using high heat (500F)

August 13, 2010 - 5:19am -- teketeke

Updated 9/29/2010

Updated: 9/15/2010 I want to introduce Edwin's recipe( pipo1000) that is absolutely phenomenal.

 Next time, I want to try dragon trail pattern for my baguette. That is fantastic!

Jonathankane's picture

I made Don's Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation. I used fresh yeast and and Sel Gris de Guerande salt. The flavor is excellent! I baked these the same amount of time as other baguettes using Dmsnyder's  Anis Bouabsa's baguettes formula, but didn't get the darker crust -my crust has never been as dark as David's, but still excellent. I was concerned about over baking them, the internal temp was 200+ degrees. I want to thank Don and David for their great recipes. I just started baking recently and your posts have been very informative.




jstires's picture

Burst Baguettes

April 28, 2010 - 5:15pm -- jstires

Help!! My baguettes keep bursting at the seems. It's as if there's a giant bubble of gas within the loaf... but there isn't. The crumb is open and airy; very artisan. (There are no instructions for attaching a pdf... if you know of any, please share with me, I'm new to forums... fora? I have several pics.)

varda's picture

Today I made Hamelman's poolish baguettes.   Which retaught me a lesson I've already learned which is that making baguettes is hard.   A month or two ago, I tried the Bouabsa formula several times, without having any idea that it wasn't reasonable to start one's baguette making career with that, so I backed off to Hamelman which I think is quite delicious in its own right.   But it is still hard for the novice bread baker.  

From this side it doesn't look so bad -

From this side, not so much ...

All I can say is thank god for bagels which are tasty and rewarding -

varda's picture

Recently I have been experimenting with making sourdough multigrain breads.   My first attempt had 50% bread flour, 25% spelt, and 25% rye.   Suffice it to say, I hope our friendly neighborhood coyote didn't break a tooth on it.   Yesterday, I went down to 6% spelt, 6% rye.   This wasn't bad.   Today, I went down even further and made baguettes with 3% rye, 3% spelt.   This was downright tasty.   Here they are with a flag in honor of Patriot's Day.

and with the remnants of the 12%er. 

470 g Bread Flour, 17 g Rye, 15 g Spelt, 250 g white starter around 75% hydration,  312 g water, 1 T salt. 

Start feeding active white wild yeast starter afternoon before, with at least two feedings, maintaining 75% hydration.   Leave on counter overnight.   Mix all ingredients but salt and autolyse for 30 minutes.  Mix in salt.   During bulk ferment, stretch and fold every 45 minutes  twice.   Leave for 45 more minutes.  Cut in three pieces (could have done two, these were short) preshape and let rest for 15 minutes.   Shape.   Final ferment until done (I really don't know the right amount but I did 40 minutes.)   Bake at 475 for 23 minutes.


dmsnyder's picture

A few days ago, DonD blogged about some gorgeous baguettes he baked using a combination of unconventional mixing and fermentation techniques adapted from formulas developed by Pierre Gosselin and Anis Bouabsa, both very highly regarded Parisian boulangers. His description can be found here: Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation

Don used both the long autolyse under refrigeration of Gosselin and the cold retarded bulk fermentation of the complete dough employed by Bouabsa. He got such wonderful results, I had to try his hybrid technique.

I had been concerned that the double cold retardation would result in a dough that had so much proteolysis as to be unmanageable. However, Don described his dough as "silky smooth." Well, my dough was sticky slack. It was all extensibility and no elasticity. Fortunately, i have worked often enough with doughs like this to know they can make the most wonderful breads, so I shaped (best I could), proofed, slashed and baked. Voilà!


Since I was already afraid I'd over-fermented the dough, I erred on the side of under-proofing. The baguettes had almost explosive oven-spring. They about doubled in volume during the bake.

The crust was crunchy. The crumb was .... Oh, my!

The flavor was very good, but not as sweet as I recall the "pure" Gosselin Pain à l'Anciènne being.

These baguettes are worth baking again with some adjustments. I would endorse Don's decrease in the amount of yeast. I'll do so next time. And I will try a slightly lower hydration level. These were 73% hydration.

Thanks, Don, for sharing this very interesting twist in baguette techniques.


DonD's picture

My first post in April of last year was about a side by side comparison of two of my favorite baguette formulations by Philippe Gosselin and Anis Bouabsa that David Snyder had previously published here on TFL. It was a tough choice to decide which one was better. The Gosselin baguette had an unequaled sweetness due to the overnight cold autolyse and the Bouabsa baguette had an incredibly complex taste due to the cold retardation. I was thinking why not have the best of both world so I started to experiment with combining the two formulations. After a couple of tries, I have succeeded in making a baguette that has the best attributes of both.

Yesterday, at the request of my wife, I made a batch of Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation for her monthly Book Club Party. The formulation follows David's transcription of Gosselin's Pain a l'Ancienne with a few slight variations. I have to clarify that this is not the formulation that Peter Reinhart and Daniel Leader had adapted from the original Gosselin technique but the true ice cold overnight autolyse method that David had published. After the overnight autolyse and the incorporation of the reserved water, yeast and salt the next morning, instead of bulk fermenting, shaping and baking the same day, I partially bulk ferment the dough at room temperature for 3 hours then retard it in the refrigerator for 18 hours before shaping and baking. I use a mix of 94% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan Flour (11.3% protein) and 6% Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour with 70% hydration. I also reduce the yeast amount by 2/3 because of the extended fermentation. Here are the results:

The crust has nice caramelization from the extra sugar produced by the long cold autolyse.

The crumb is open and soft with a slight chewiness. The taste is sweet and nutty with a complex aftertaste.

The crumb is medium thin with nice crunchiness and the crumb shows good translucent gelatinilization.

P.S. Following a number of requests, here is the entire formulation.


 Flour Mixture:

  • - 470 gms Unbleached AP Flour

  • - 30 gms Dark Rye Flour

  • - 300 gms Ice Cold Water


  • - 10 gms Sea Salt

  • - 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast

  • - 50 gms Cold Water

 1- Mix flour blend and ice water w/ flat beater for 1 min. and refrigerate overnight.

 2- Add yeast and water and mix w/ flat beater for 3 mins or until all water has been incorporated. Add salt and beat for 3 mins or until dough slaps side of bowl.

 3- Let rest 15 mins and do S&F 4 times at 30 mins intervals (1 1/2 hrs total) and 2 more times at 45 mins  intervals (1 1/2 hrs total).

 4- Refrigerate for 24 hours.

 5- Divide dough in 3 and gently pre-shape in torpedo shape. Let rest 1 hr.

 6-Gently shape baguettes and proof on linen couche for 45 mins.

 7- One hour before baking, preheat oven to 490 degrees f w/ baking stone and cast iron skillet filled w/ lava rocks.

 8- Mist sides of oven then slash baguettes 4 times and transfer baguettes to baking stone in oven. Immediately pour 2/3 cup boiling water on lava rocks.

 9- Reduce oven temperature to 460 degrees f and bake 10 mins.Remove cast iron skillet, reduce temperature to 430 degrees F and bake for another 10 mins on convection mode.

 10- Remove baguettes from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!


varda's picture

I wasn't planning to make baguettes in my seven day bread making challenge to myself, but this morning I realized that my refrigerator was being taken over by bread byproducts.   In addition to my whole wheat sour dough starter and rye sour, I had the leftover levain from the pain de compagne I made the other day, as well as the bread equivalent of a chain letter - a white flour starter for Amish Friendship Bread that a friend dropped off the other day.   I had no intention of making the friendship bread.   It has most likely never been cooked in an Amish kitchen, since it calls for a box of instant vanilla pudding in the batter.    But the starter looked fine and healthy and I've been feeding it for a couple of days.   So I decided to mix the levain and the "Amish" starter together, add some salt and make a couple of baguettes.   The thing that has been holding me back from making baguettes is I don't have a couche or a baguette pan, and I am hesitant to run out and buy them until I get a better sense of what type of bread I want to make on a regular basis.   So I just set these baguettes out on a board, and let them flatten out as they would while rising.    So these don't look like much, and I'm sure whole wheat baguettes would be considered an abomination by some, but they are actually quite flavorful, and I'm hoping that I will be able to figure out how to make these (or something like them) again.


Now I'd better take a break for a day or two to give my family a chance to catch up on all the bread!

ehanner's picture

I have been working on Sam Fromartz's mixed yeast and levain, long ferment method for baguettes. I know Hamelman prefers the poolish preferment method and I have to say I like the aroma that comes off the poolish better than almost anything. So, I decided early this morning to start the poolish and spent the day rereading the chapters on preferment of yeasted breads in Bread.

Along the way, I read over a sentence I had no doubt seen several times in the past, concerning steaming and baking on Page 100. Here in plain common words I discovered something I don't recall ever seeing before that I think is going to change my breads for the better. Hamelman is saying that for the home baker, after the steam period, the door can be propped open with a spoon for the remainder of the bake to help give a crisp crust in the drying phase of the bake. I have turned the oven off and left the bread in the oven at the end of baking to crisp the crust and make it slightly thicker and easier to cut after cool down. But never have I had the door propped open for 18 minutes. Right out of the oven the crust is hard and well colored. Now that it has cooled and been cut, I'm a little surprised that it's more open. The crumb is airy but not the dense crumb with many larger size holes. This is more like foam with a few larger holes. Honestly, I'm not sure why at this point. I'll have to think on it over night as it's already past my bed time. :>) I think I like the flavor better with these over the long refrigerated ferment. I still have another 700g of dough in the fridge I saved to bake Saturday so we'll see how that is after the overnight.

These were baked for 24 minutes at 470F. They are 350 grams pre bake.

The loaf on the left got 4 slashes and looks a little over proofed at 1-1/2 hours to me.

Not quite as open as I like but good for brochette.


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