The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baguette:very hard tough crust...not so many bubbles, help!

IanT's picture

baguette:very hard tough crust...not so many bubbles, help!

Alright ... tried this recipe the other day (a few times...3 to be exact...) first time making bread in quite some time... I want to really start baking a lot, as i love bread. but also because id like to donate alot of it to people and families in need...kind of just a personal thing... ok...


this is my recipe I used (from


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup, (2 ounces) very warm water ( 105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 3 cups, (13 1/2 ounces) unbleached allpurpose flour
  • 1 cup, (4 1/2 ounces) cake flour (see note)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon, (10 1/2 ounces) cool water ( 75 degrees F)


I kneaded, let sit for a while to rise to 2x size, then pat down and let rise for 6-7 hrs while at work...came home and baked at 400F for 10 mins with steam, and then about 15 w/o. The bread came out with o.k. texture, i forgot to score the loaves of the first two batches so they came out a little funky, the 3rd batch was the best. but on all three the crust is very hard. I used the method of a smaller pan inside and steaming the oven (which i know now to use metal that was preheated with the oven...) What can i do to improve it?? id like not such a thick crust, with more crunch (and less probability of breaking a tooth) other than that the taste of the bread is quite nice.


So can anyone help a newbie baker!! :)  I d greatly appreciate it!!

I cant wait til i feel like i know what im doing and i can make a good dough :)



LindyD's picture

First, welcome to TFL, Ian.

I'd ditch the Food Network recipe and try this one.  

I don't have access to Giusto's Baker's Choice so I use King Arthur bread flour.

Follow the instructions for folding in the bowl and you'll be guaranteed a beautiful, open crumb.  Check out the videos at the Back Home Bakery - there's one showing that technique.

Let us know how it goes.

xaipete's picture

Everyone has access to it because it is sold online.


LindyD's picture

True, you can buy anything online, however, I think it is folly to pay as much for shipping as the cost of the product.

Besides, I'm quite content with KA bread flour, especially with my sourdough or mixed with a bit of rye.

mkelly27's picture

I think you need to look at your technique.  The time frame is all out of whack.  I don't know who's recipe you are using, but there maybe some misunderstanding of terminology as far as rising periods go.

nbicomputers's picture

that 6-7 hours rise is that in the fridg?


IanT's picture

First off... thanks much!!! Im excited about this new hobby to add to the neverending list (haha)...

I love the links/recipe provided thank you, going to check the videos out !! much appreciated...

what is guisto flour?? i have been using the Gold Medal flour, now i have a bag of unbleached all-purpose, some pillsbury whole wheat flour, and a bit of cornmeal. coool.. I would LOVE to get into milling my own flours eventually but im not at that stage yet... figure i should get the bread making thing down first before attempting anything advanced!

....Yeah I think my technique sucks right now lol, getting better at it! (Im studying to be a massage therapist so this is also my hand workout routine i want to do either every day or a few days a week at least!) I just figured out that the dough changes consistency once the gluten strands are developed after like 10mins of kneading... it was real cool to feel it happen... (which is why i am glad i made 3 batches in succession..) first one sucked, then got better from there but still not up to what id like, not good for first try... soo I am assuming practice and videos are good for technique?

are there any newbie tips youd typically dole out?? lol...


and no the rise was not in the fridge, i let it rise in room temp about 74 degrees or so covered with oiled plastic wrap and a towel. (was that a no-no??)


thaaaaaanks! :)

ericb's picture

Ian, welcome to TLF. 

The second rise of 6-7 hours at room temperature probably killed it. I would expect bread proofed for this long to be rock-hard. The norm for the second rise is usually 1-3 hours.

Baguettes are one of the most difficult breads to make, so you might want to start here and work through the lessons. There's a lot of good information there that applies to almost every bread recipe you'll ever cross. However, if you want to give baguettes another try, I would recommend this one at King Arthur Flour. Follow the directions precisely and you'll end up with a passable baguette.



IanT's picture

Alright... I appreciate all the help!! so back to the kneading board lol... going to try the recipe in the turorials or maybe another baguette recipe... I dont know why i have to pick the hard ones before the easier ones...guess its my nature ;)


I will keep ya all updated!!!


thank you sooo much for welcoming me and for your advice!

Paddyscake's picture

Everyone is very anxious to help newcomers, but it can get confusing. Let me just say, that there is nothing wrong with using Gold Medal, Pillsbury flour or a store brand. Try a First lesson recipe (see above). Get a feel for the dough. Your positive results will lead you to experimenting with different flours and techniques. You're gonna love it! and so will your recipients!

Let us know how your bread bakes!


xaipete's picture

Yeah, I think you're right about Gold Medal vs King Arthur. It probably doesn't make any difference; the main thing is to get the feel for the dough. Practice makes perfect here. Just keep trying and it will click in.