The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes with 100% Hydration Levain

jpchisari's picture

Baguettes with 100% Hydration Levain

This a adapted from a formula I've used for a few years now and decided to replace the 100% Hydration Poolish with 100% Hydration Levain. I made no adjustments to original formula for this.

Original formula is from Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2002






Final Dough








Dissolve Yeast in water

Add flour and mix until smooth and well incorporated

Let ferment 12 -14 hrs at 70degF until poolish has risen and just begins to fall.


Final Dough

Place Water, Flour, Malt and Poolish in bowl of vertical mixer and mix on speed 1 for 4-5 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Rest for autolyse for 20 minutes

Add Yeast and Salt and mix speed 1 for 2 minutes

Mix speed 2 for 1-3 minutes to develop structure

Gluten should not be fully developed

Dough will be light and lively and be on the soft side.

Ferment at 75degF 2 hrs with punch and fold at 1 hr

Divide into 12 oz pcs and gently preshape into cylinders and rest for 30 minutes

Shape into baguettes

Final Proof 50-60 minutes

Bake at 475degF for 20-25 minutes with steam( mine take approx 18 minutes in my oven)

Vent oven for last 3 minutes of baking


The last three photos are baguettes I retarded for approx 4 hrs before proofing and baking. To bring to room temp and proof took approx. 2 hrs.

These retarded baguettes browned much more quickly and had a more open crumb.





jpchisari's picture

Of course bake with steam!!!

Original instructios don't specify!

GTurch52's picture

Can you convert those percentages into measurements in grams?

Guy Turchiano

jpchisari's picture

Hi Guy,

No problem




Yeast---- .5g


Final Dough







Also originally, the formula called for "A high quality low protien flour"

I have used High Gluten flour from many different sources for this dough and have had good results. This one in particular is "Bouncer" from GFS. 25lb bag is usually under $9.



geneivy's picture

John, could you please give more detail re "malt". I looked it up in KA Bakers Compainon and it seems there are several different types. I am really confused. Thanks a bunch, Geneivy

jpchisari's picture

Essentially there are two kinds of malt diastatic and non-diastatic. Will come either as a syrup or a powder. Non-Diastatic malt is used for bread making. If malt is not available, I substitute sugar in its place in equal measurements. Malt can be hard to find other than commercially. 


geneivy's picture

I found a barly malt syrup at a local health food store but there was no indication as to diastatic or not. This is the reply from the manufacturer that I received.

Thank you for contacting Eden Foods and your interest in Eden products.
Eden Organic Barley Malt Syrup is unique because the barley has been organically grown, processed, and certified by a third party certification agency. We begin with organic barley that's grown in the northern USA states. The barley is cleaned, then steeped in water. Sprouting gives rise to enzymes that convert the barley's carbohydrates to soluble starches and sugars. These sugars include maltose, glucose, sucrose, and fructose. Maltose makes up approximately 76% of the sugar profile. Our syrup is non-diastatic meaning the diastase (enzymes that convert starches into the sugar, maltose) has been thoroughly changed in the natural conversion process. There are no enzymes remaining, which makes our syrup the ideal variety to use in baking.
If you should have any further questions, please contact Customer Service.