The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

all help greatly appreciated...

clinpath's picture

all help greatly appreciated...

not a newbie to the kitchen, but relatively so to baking.  i have been trying (way too much acording to my wife) to make a decent, hopefully better than acceptable french bread...baguette, loaf, pb-boy bread (my real target...oh i miss new orleans).  anyway, each and every attempt has been an improvement over the preceding, but the crumb is still WAY off.  the crust is "usually" acceptable, but the crumb is more dense, wet, somewhat and spongy rather than light, airy, and full of wholes.  i have even progressed to using a variety of enhancers.  my first rise develops quite well and is quite light and soft.  the second rise, after forming the loafs, seems to be soft and light as well...but then are quite dense when pulled from the oven.  any help/suggestions are REALLY appreciated.

the baking doctor...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Recipe?  Method?  Photo?

Yumarama's picture

Because people are not face to face and can't immediately respond, it's ALWAYS best to give as much info as possible, and then a bit more on top of that. If you give it all from the start, people can ignore anything that's not relevant burt will likely have at least a good portion to start finding the solution. Having to ask about this detail or that detail makes the process a lot slower.

This internet rule of thumb applies to anyone asking for help on anything, whether bread, computers, photography, gardening. You cannot give too much info. 

So please pass along more info like the recipe, steps you've taken to fix the issue and their specific results, etc. and we can try to figure out what's happening or not happening.

Edit: Dang, Mini beat me to the point.

janij's picture

with the above whole heartedly.  But the one thing that pops into mind is overproofing.  But we need more info.

AW's picture

to me. I realized I needed to have a softer touch and less manipulating of the dough while folding.

will slick's picture
will slick

Go to a high hydration dough like jason's ciabatta, Then with stretch and folds though out the fermentation you can build enough strength to from a baguette. That assuming your problem is to low a hydration to begin with.


alabubba's picture

To Baguettes! try this version

These should give you the crust and crumb that your looking for.

copyu's picture

If you don't mind a 'boule' instead of a 'baguette', you could give it a try. If you have a dutch oven, La Cloche, or similar heavy, covered container to bake in, you're almost 100% certain to make great bread on your first attempt. 

Check out the original NY Times video with Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey and see what you think—then google a bit for the quicker and *improved* versions.

Making this bread is long on time, low on technique and very high on successful crust. [Especially crust, but the crumb is often fantastic, too. It always tastes superb.]

You could also check out '' for tips and videos, if that looks like 'your thing'.