The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wet baguettes

sergio83's picture

wet baguettes

So I think I finally figured out how this thing works... well, well enough to put up some pictures and some text around them-- this is how my 66% hydration (3 1/3 cups of bread flour and 2 1/3 cups of water?) came out.

The fork is to show how runny the dough-batter is.  I kneaded for about an hour-- though i could have stopped after 45 minutes, and I think this is what I ended up with (I took the pictures a while ago so I'm not really sure)

Okay now I get it, that was when I started to get tired of kneading.  After an hour, it looked like this:

hmmm... yeah, i'm such a mess, all my pictures are a mess i'm not sure what's from what-- anyway, i'll get to the good part--

so i baked the bread and this came out:

A sad flat little spaceship of a baguette... pitiful, oh pitiful, feel so sorry for me, as aretha would say.  And then:

MY BEST CRUMB EVER!!!!! It's not the best thing I've seen on this site, but it's the best i've managed to do!

and of course

Proving, to me at least, that it's what's on the inside that counts :)


pmccool's picture

That's a nice looking crumb, sergio83.  It reminds me of a ciabatta, especially with the hydration you are using.  By the way, hydration is always measured by weight, not by volume.   Depending on who does the measuring, a cup of flour will weigh somewhere between 4 and 5 ounces.  A cup of water will weigh (close enough) 8 ounces.  If your flour weights are in the middle of that range, your hydration was (2.33*8)/(3.33*4.5)=124%.  That's a very wet dough, as you already know.  Good work wrangling something that gloppy into a loaf of bread!  The last thing I baked that came close to being that wet was a focaccia at 119% from Rose Levy Berenbaum's The Bread Bible.


sergio83's picture

Thank heaven for that.  I was like, I know florida's supposed to be humid, but this humidity effect is ridiculous!  I've got no head for numbers and on top of that my brain is spent so i won't try to figure it out just yet, but thanks, i'll be using it soon and saving myself sooooo much work.


SallyBR's picture

Nice looking crumb indeed.....

but, did I understand corretly - you wrote you kneaded for 1 hour????

sergio83's picture

uy, Sally, don't even get me started. I live in the middle of nowhere so i drive everywhere.  well, when i went to n.y. i was all excited and walked from greenwich village to the met museum (i'm not sure how people say the met and they expect people to know that they're talking about the museum and not the opera house) -- i can't tell you how far that was except that it was enough for me to hurt my foot something awful and have to limp around the city for the rest of my time there all because i don't know when to stop. anyway, after that little hour long kneading session i decided to have another go at it, except to double the water and the flour and everything else.  well, that took two hours of kneading-- once it holds together enough i do the pull-lift-fold method.  to be fair, i had to take two breaks from kneading so it wasn't two hours non-stop like the hour for the first one... mind you, my back didn't hurt nearly as much as i thought it was going to the next morning.

SallyBR's picture

I tend to overdo stuff and pay later, but kneading bread for one hour or more seems like more punishment than even I can take... :-)


hope you are fully recovered....

shuttervector's picture


Skip those cafe lattes and save up for a small digital scale. They really don't cost that much-under $50 and what a difference. You will be sooooo empowered.


sergio83's picture

it took me a while but i finally got one-- actually, now i don't knead hardly at all-- i think it gives a better crumb... maybe-- i'll find out with my next baguette

longhorn's picture

You basically made a 100% dough which is in the ciabata or foccacia range. So now you have first hand experience that really wet doughs

1) don't hold their shape, and

2) give great crumb.

Try backing down to about 70 percent and you will get better shape and should still get good crumb!

Good Luck!