The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

how do you shape your baguettes

rolls's picture

how do you shape your baguettes

hi i just wanted to ask as there are so many different techniques out there, how do you shape your baguettes. i made seven baguettes the other day from a batch of pain ordinaire that i had made up from the village baker. initially i wanted to practice my scoring. the technique i used to shape was one i had seen in a video on youtube,  'artisan breads week 2 - baguettes'. i thought it was really informative. so i tried this as well as the technique described by richard bertinet in his book dough.

i noticed the first method had more folding involved while bertinet's just had the one fold after the initial 'envelope fold' then rolling to elongate and seal seam.

bertinet's method i used for only the last one and it did come out the nicest looking in appearance (shape, scoring, inside texture) but whether this was due to the technique or practice on the previous six baguettes, i don't know lol !

any thoughts?

hansjoakim's picture

Hi rolls,

I guess there are almost as many ways of doing this as there are bakers out there :-)

I use the same shaping technique as you do, from this youtube video. I don't make baguettes very often, to tell you the truth. I've tried all kinds of shaping, formulas, baking tweaks etc., but I don't seem to be able to reproduce the Parisian baguettes that I dream of and long for. Like any loosing tennis player, I'm blaming the equipment ;-)

That said, the best-looking baguettes I've made, have come from the technique in that video. At least for my doughs, that seems to be the best way to get the right balance between a tight skin while still keeping the crumb creamy and open.

douginjapan's picture

I use the same method Danielle Foresier uses. While I don't degas the dough as roughly and as much as she does, I still use her shaping technique.

I turn the rested, portioned dough over smooth side down. I then gently pat the dough into a rectangle. From there, I gently make a groove down the middle with my thumbs, and fold from the top to the bottom 1/3rd and seal gently, and repeat. After I fold twice, I do a final fold from the top all the way to the bottom of the loaf and seal, and put aside to rest for a bit. When the dough as rested a bit, I don't use any pressure, i just rock the dough between my hands and the table to stretch it out.