The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My 1st Whole wheat baguette

Mebake's picture

My 1st Whole wheat baguette

My 1st Whole wheat baguette


Hi , again!

This time, i wanted to attempt a whole wheat baguette. It didn't turn out as i hoped but i'll tweak the technique and ingredients next time to achieve better outcome.

To begin with i'd like to list the recommended steps i already followed for whole grains:

1- I have prepared a biga (75% hyd) and left it to ferment for 2 hrs, dflated it, and then refrigerated  for 4 days!)

2- I have used some milk powder (2 Tblsp)

3- I mixed in two tblsp of gluten into the final mixture.

4- the final dough was 70-75% hydration.

5- after 1st rise, i did not deflate, i just scrapped carefully the dough into some floured workspace, and began gently shaping (by folding ends and forming a roll by sealing seams) and then rolled into a baguette.

6- I heard 1 or 2 poppings of gas as i slashed the dough after final fermentation.

7- I steamed the oven with a pan under the the rack.

8- I did not spray the baguettes with water prior to inserting them into the oven.

9- the oven was preheated to 470F and then reduced to 425F for baking.

The outcome: Well, I couldn't wait for the bread to cool, so i cut it. It tasted well, and heavenly with butter!!!. The holes resulting from fermentation weren't uniform across the baguette length. But the crust was crunchy and crumb was light (for a whole grain).

Tell me, oh wise internet users, could i achieve better results? Pictures as below:

LLM777's picture

Perhaps there could be more rise but I'm not sure because of the whole grain. Hopefully, someone with more experience could help you achieve that but, all in all, they look delicious. Good Job!  :)

Mebake's picture

Thanks fpr the replie LLM777, they sure tastes good, but they loose their taste quickly (they are lean only some 1tblsp whole milk pwdr), you have to slice and toast them to revive the taste.

 Any suggestions?? i love to eat whole wheat baguettes and stuff them with all kinds of goodness..


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hello Mebake,

I wrote a response to you yesterday, and then my cursor bumped into something at the edge of the window and kicked me to a new page before I could save it. Hate it when that happens. I lost the whole thing, and didn't have time to rewrite it. I shall try again today :-)

Perhaps the most important thing to understand in working with whole wheat doughs, is that everything goes faster with whole grain. With that in mind, a 4 day biga doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The pale crust color is a sign that there aren't enough residual sugars left in the dough for good browning, and I can't tell for sure from the photo, but is the crumb at all gummy or sticky? Both those things are signs that the effects of fermentation went beyond good, to too much of a good thing.

If you reduce the fermentation to something more reasonable (increase the yeast if you need to), you may see improvements across the board. After that, I would suggest more steam and a finer grind of flour.

This baguette was made with just 100% ww flour, water, salt and yeast. I used an overnight poolish.   -dw



Mebake's picture

Hi Debra Wink,

Well, the crust is a tad gummy but that wasn't even close to comprise the taste.

However, i DID add gluten. In  fact the way i make gluten is similar to making seitan (gluten meat). I knead AP flour dough under water until i bleach away all starch. Once i make the gluten i take a small portion, and slice it to smaller bits and distribute evenly into the final all wheat dough. I keep on kneading until its a homogenious mixture.

Now you might ask why bleach away starch from a dough when you can buy gluten powder, well its coz i can't find any in dubai. They only sell Vital gluten in tonnes or large tanks for bakeries.

As for the fermentation the Biga sat covered in a refrigerator for 4 days retardation. Does retarding a fermented Biga Wholewheat dough in a refrigerator require any timeline?

I have a question ,though. Will i be able to attain similar results in my Whole grain baguette if i didn't include gluten?, and what is the best way to get a decent rise from any Wholegrain / wholewheat doughs?

I really appreciate your reply..





Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hi again Mebake,

Mixing a pre-ferment is such a quick and easy thing to do, that I'm not sure there is any benefit from mixing it more than 8-16 hours in advance of mixing your dough. Do you have an objective to retarding, beyond slowing it for scheduling issues?

"Will i be able to attain similar results in my Whole grain baguette if i didn't include gluten?"

That's a question I don't have the answer to, not being familiar with flours available in Dubai. The flours I have experience with here, perform well enough most of the time without added gluten (but long fermentation breaks it down). Since it's so much trouble to make your own gluten additive, why not give it a try without that extra step, at least for a small batch of dough. That should tell you if it's worth the trouble or not. If it is, then maybe you could purchase a small amount from one of the local bakeries :-)

salma's picture


I am new to this site.  Your whole wheat baguette crumb looks sooooo good!  Would you post a recipe?



Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thank you, Salma!

I don't really have a recipe, but I'll look back through my notes and see if I can outline the process for you later in the week :-)