The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguette Problem

Matt_in_the_OC's picture

Baguette Problem

I have adapted a reinhart recipe to my home steam oven setup.  I made the baguettes yesterday and I was very happy with the oven spring and crust on the outside.  When I cut into the bread that the crumb was small and not open.  I was closer to Italian bread. 

Does anyone have any tips to help me get that open crumb?

Here is the recipe I am using:

225g Unbleached Bread Flour

225g Water

1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast


Combine all ingredients and whisk for 1 minute.  Leave covered at room temperature for 12 hours.


450g All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

225g Water

13g Salt

1 teaspoon Instant Yeast


Mix all ingredients with until everything is hydrated.  Knead until the dough passes the window pane test.  Let dough rise 1.5 hours or until poking the dough remains. 


Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into round balls.  Fold each piece into a trifold.  Join the fold end of the tri-fold to each other by folding tri-fold in half and pinching to seal.  Roll the dough out to the width of the couche and wrap in the couche.  Allow to rise for 1.5 hours or until poking results in an impression that lasts 2-3 seconds.




Transfer dough, using a transfer peal, to the oven peal covered in parchment and sprinkled with a little semolina.  Score each loaf 4 times with lame.  Spray loves lightly with water.  Bake 2 at a time at 450F steam for 10 minutes and 450F for 10 minutes.

jombay's picture

Generally to achieve an open crumb you do not want to knead the dough that intensively, if at all.

I would suggest doing a 30 min autolyse (just flour and water sitting together for 30 mins), adding the rest of the ingredients, then moving on to folding the dough about every 45 mins. Do this 2-3 times during your 1.5-2h bulk fermentation.

After this your dough should be developed enough for shaping and proofing.

Here is a video of Mark from The Back Home Bakery doing some folding.

All that aside, it could also be a problem with your shaping.


dmsnyder's picture

With a poolish, the pre-ferment should be part of the autolyse, because it contains a significant proportion of the water.

Otherwise, as Matt said, the likely sources of your crumb problem are over-mixing and, perhaps, shaping (de-gassing too vigorously).


Matt_in_the_OC's picture

thanks for the tips, I am definitely over working the dough.  I will try your tips and report back.

kalc's picture

So has your crumb structure improved? Am curious to know if you got an open crumb with 67% hydration?