The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

french baguettes

laurale's picture

french baguettes

Just tried french baguettes for the first time.  All went well, except they didn't brown well.  I used King Arthur Flour recipe, which calls for a 500 oven reduced to 475 when the bread goes in.  Several blogs on the KAF website recomended starting with a 475 oven and reducing to 450, so that's what I did.  Any advice?


ananda's picture


If your dough is getting tired by the time you put it in the oven it could well be "spent"... This means all the sugars in the dough have been used up by the yeast.   So there is no sugar left to go brown in the baking.   The dough will look sad and have no keeping properties at all.   So it should be easy to decide if this is your problem or not

Best wishes


bread_chemist's picture

I am not certain on this, but based on the relative concentration of enzyme (yeast) and substrate (flour) I would be truly amazed if all sugars had been consumed.


I would concentrate on oven temperature, i.e. did you use a reliable thermometer in the oven (these are cheap), or just the oven thermostat?  In my experience, the difference betwen the thermostat value and the value measured in the oven can be 50 to 100 F, depending on oven.

sortachef's picture

I think you stinted on the salt. You need to have slightly more salt than normal to encourage the browning of the crust. BTW- most bread flours already have malted barley flour in them, but a bit extra doesn't hurt either!