The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Facebook Group Bake - French Baguettes - 2/2 to 2/8/2009

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Facebook Group Bake - French Baguettes - 2/2 to 2/8/2009

Hey Eveybody,

Just starting a thread for the Facebook Group Bake - French Baguettes

Please post pics, recipes, successes, and or failures...


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Here's my version of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes.  My version does not use any refrigeration or retardation of the fermentation process...  I reduced the amount of yeast, and increased the time...  Here's the link to the original recipe.

My recipe is as follows:

All purpose flour: 450g

Bread flour: 25g

Whole wheat flour: 25g

Ice cold water: 375g

Kosher salt: 10g

Active dry yeast: 1/16 tsp


7:00pm - Measure (weigh) out dry ingredients (flours, salt, yeast) mix well in large bowl.  Add iced water and mix into scrappy dough, cover and let autolyse for 20-30 minutes.

7:30pm - Knead dough in bowl for a few minutes until smooth with slightly wet hands, and there are no lumps.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, turn dough using stretch and fold method, roll into ball and place back into large bowl, cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.  Use scraper if dough starts to stick to the work surface.  Try to add as little flour as possible...

8:00pm - Turn dough and cover

8:30pm - Turn dough and cover

9:00pm - Turn dough and cover

Give dough one final turn before you go to bed...

7:00am next day, or before you go to work - turn dough and cover.  Go to work.

6:00pm when you return from work - Place baking stone on center rack of oven, turn on to 550F.  Divide dough into 3 portions and shape into small batards, cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

6:15pm - Final shaping of baguettes.  The should be about 14" long.  Place in couche, cover and let proof for 30-45 minutes.

7:00pm - Transfer baguettes to peel, slash, and place in oven.  Bake for 2 minutes at 550F, then turn oven down to 480F and bake for remaining 18 minutes, rotating baguettes halfway.

7:25pm - Take baguettes out of oven, check to see if internal temperature is between 205F to 210F.  Let cool before cutting and eating...


metoob's picture

I've been starting it with artisan baking after a job rejection as a baker ( I've been talking to the bakery owner and he's been helping me with baking) and so far the most success I've had is with reinharts pain a l'ancienne and like that one most of my doughs have been probably upwards of 75% hydration. Something I've noticed about them though is they are very hard to shape, stick to the couche, and sort of turn into a puddle over time. With the pain lancienne that isn't an issue, I just proof it in one big session then cut it and bake it.

I've got a bowl of it on the counter now waiting for the turns. It,s almost like a batter.

So how do I Shape this one and how does it keep its shape? This is a really slack dough just as it's written here, so I figured you had some techniques on dealing with it.

Also, by turn do you mean stretch and fold?

Thank you so much 


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi melody,

What I mean by "turns" is "stretch and fold".

I like to do my stretch and folds in the bowl with wet hands and a scraper so there isn't much mess and extra flour going into the dough.

After the stretch and folds and fermentation, you should be able to portion the dough, preshape, let rest for 30 mins, and then give the final shape.  If your dough is developed correctly, you should be able to shape them fine.

Maybe these links will help:



metoob's picture

I did the first 3 folds yesterday in the bowl with my hands and I was just sort of grabbing and stretching it. It didn't help much at all and the little gluten development that happened was really uneven. My mother has this set of things made to pick up bread that are semicircle shaped but otherwise a lot like a pastry scraper and I used that just like in the video and it made a difference instantly. 

This helped soo much, thank you! I'll tell you how it goes from here

metoob's picture

The reason it was so slack in the first place was because I left out the whole wheat flour. 

After the first mix and S&F I added 25 grams of the in since I don't have whole wheat.

I made some French with the before and it was kind of a yummy texture and dense in the middle, might this happen here? Was that a result of underproofing?

Also, to avoid underproofing, what will it look like after rising? Time doesn't help much(in some recipes I've taken twice as long to rise as in the recipe)

That's the last question, I promise.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture


As for proofing, use the poke test.  If you poke it and it bounces back quickly, it is not ready...  If you poke it and it comes back slowly but doesn't completely fill back in, it's ready.  If you poke it and it doesn't come back, it's overproofed...  Hope this helps.


metoob's picture

well, the first rise went too long i think, it had a lot of big bubbles, and i just went with your time on the final proof, but they turned out beautiful! nothing professional, they couldn't stand up to yours, but this is my third batch of baguettes ever (and one of the others was at a bakery under an instructor) and the crumb was easily the best i've ever gotten and after that video the dough was surprisingly easy to handle.

i wish id steamed the crust, its a little dull, but these were great! (they are darker than they look in the pictures - i didn't have good lighting since i made them at night) and they even had little ears!













































































of course they were so soft that by the time i had folded them into the baguette shape i didn't even roll them out they were already so long. a little too long as you can tell from the candy-cane baguette. im so proud of this though. thank you for your help! i'll definitely be making this again!

newgirlbaker's picture

looks beautiful.  did you remove the dough from fridge before work, or after?

breadbakingbassplayer's picture


There was no fridge involved...  This was all room temperature, countertop fermentation using even less yeast...

gaaarp's picture

Tim, those look amazing!  I am baking on Sunday and was planning on following the Greenstein recipe (after all, I set up the bake, so I figure I should use the recipe I picked), but I think maybe I'll do a couple batches now so I can do the Anis ones, too.

I noticed that your baguettes sitting on the couche are seam side down.  How do you get them onto the peel?  I've always put mine seam up and flipped them onto the peel.


Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Make your own Flip board bro.
Mine is home made to match the width of my bread cloth.
I made it with very smooth brown wall board from Lowes.
It's cheap, only about $12 for a 4x8 panel and it does not stick to bread on the smooth side.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture


I got them onto the peel by just picking them up...  Fortunately they didn't stick to the couche so they were easy to transfer.  They are also not very long, about 14".

I was going to get a flipping board earlier last night after work, but just got lazy...  I will the next time I bake these baguettes.

I was at an art supply store yesterday and found something suitable for a flipping board.  In the hobby wood section where they sell balsa wood.  I forgot the company name, maybe "midwest" or something...  Anyways, they have basswood planks that are 4" x 3/16" x 24" long, and 6" x 3/16" x 24" long...  The 6" wide plank is maybe about $8.00.  I was going to get the flipping boards from, but now that I have this local source, that will be unnecessary.

Looking forward to seeing your breads...

LindyD's picture

Mine is made from cardboard and covered with a clean section of old pantyhose.  Cost:  zero.

I believe Howard came up with this rather nifty idea.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Oh, by the way, they were yummy...  I have one left for tonight...  I'll probably bake these again later in the week to see if I can get the recipe to work again...