The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How many rises for French Baguette? Size of dough to determine fermenting periods?

lorkp's picture

How many rises for French Baguette? Size of dough to determine fermenting periods?

I've baked three batches of French baguettes and they're getting better every time. One thing I'm confused about though is how many rises and how much should it rise during each period? I've read different things in different recipes here and on the web generally. 

What's the concensus or a rule of thumb?

Currently I will let it rise until it's doubled in size, and then carefully fold it. Let it rise for a second time, and then fold it. Cut it into pieces, wait 5-10 minutes, shape, then proof for an hour or so.

People give time estimates, but I'm curious as to what the measurement would be in terms of dough growth since everybody is baking in a slightly different climate.


Thanks, Loren

LindyD's picture

Doesn't your recipe give instructions for the bulk and final fermentations? 

In most cases there is one bulk fermentation, then the dough is divided, preshaped, rested, shaped, proofed, and baked.

While most recipes will give an approximation of how long the bulk fermentation and proofing will take, those are just approximations.  Air temperature and temperature of your dough are influencing factors.  Only you can determine when the dough is ready.

You would want the dough to double during the bulk fermentation, but you don't want it fully proofed before loading it into the oven.  A general rule of thumb is to proof it to 85 to 90 percent, then bake.  

StrokerMcgurk's picture

I have never baked a 'pig in a blanket' much less a loaf of bread. But I am interested in learning the best way to try and duplicate that wonderful, crumbly, airy French Quarter po boy bread. Other than buying it from a N.O. baker! Any receipes--ideas? StrokerMcgurk.