The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

36 hours+ sourdough baguette - everything I know in one bread

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

36 hours+ sourdough baguette - everything I know in one bread

 

This baguette has many inspirations: the long cold autolyse from Anis, long cold bulkrise from Gosselin, SD instead of instant yeast from David's San Joaqin SD... With 12 hr autolyse, 24 hr cold rise, the process last at least 40 hours from start to finish, however, very little time is spent on real work, most of the time, I just have to wait and let time do its magic.

 

"Little hands-on work" does NOT equal to "easy to make", in fact, with the extra long process, there could be a lot of variations on how much to S&F, when to start and stop fermentation, etc, not to mention shaping and scoring continue to be a challenge at 75%+ hydration. With plenty of tweeking and adjusting, tthe end result is DELICIOUS: thin and crackling crust dark from all the caramalized sugar, airy and moist crumb, sweet and layered flavor - in the past 2 months, this is our weekend dinner of choice. I have made it at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.

 

Right now, this is my favorite bagette to eat - and to make.

 

36hr+ SD baguette

100% hydration starter: 150g

flour: 425g (I usually use KA AP)

ice water: 300g (sometimes a tad more when I feel extra daring)

salt: 10g

1. mix flour and water into a lump of mass, cover and put in fridge for 12 hours. (let's say Thurs morning, takes <5 min)

2. add starter and salt to the dough, use hand to mix until roughly evenly distributed. Note that the 100% starter here has two purpose: it's levaining power to raise the bread, AND it's extra water acts as the "2nd hydration" step in the original Anis formula. To make it even better, the consistency of the starter is much closer to the dough than pure water, so it's easier to mix.

3. bulk rise at room temp (70 to 75F) for 2-3 hours until it grows about 1/3 in volume, S&F every half hour until enough strength has been developed. Put in fridge. (Thurs evening, 3 hours, with 15 min of hands-on work.)

4. 24 hours later, take out dough, if it has not doubled or nearly doubled, give it more time to rise at room temp. I usually have to give it about 1 to 2 hours, depending on temperature, which means the dough can probably be stored in the fridge for even longer than 24 hours.Do make sure it has a sufficient bulk rise, so the dough is strong enough; but don't let it go too long, the dough will be so bubbly that the shaping would be difficult - this is where you need to experiment with timing a lot.

5. divide and rest for 40min.

6. shape and proof for 30 to 50min, score, bake with steam at 460F for 25min. (about 2 to 4hours on Friday night)

 

There is a lot of room here in term of how to arrange the bulk rise timing - more time before fridge, less during/after; OR more in the fridge; OR now that it's cooler at night, put the dough outside instead and skip fridge all together... The goal is to give the dough a long sufficient bulk rise, regardless how it's done. The key for me is to learn how the dough "feels" and "looks" when it's properly fermentated, so I know I've gotten to the finish line, using whatever fermentation schedule. Before I thought the most difficult part of making baguettes is the shaping, now I thihk it's in managing fermentation - even though I am really not doing anything in that step.

 

Since we love to eat it, I will conitnue to make this bread a lot, hopefully I will get better with scoring this wet dough! Right now, I am not even trying to get ears, just aim to have the cuts expand properly in the bake.

 

 

Sending this bread to Wild Yeast's YeastSpotting event.

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Another great demonstration of how successful you can be fitting bread baking into a busy schedule. 


David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Your SJ SD is a big inspiration for this bread, thank you so much!

bonfire817's picture
bonfire817

I have made a few loaves of sourdough, they were ok, but these baguettes look amaizing! Mine came out far too dense. I want to try this recipe but am not sure how to convert grams to standard cup/teaspoon/etc. Do you use a scale for all your ingredients?

bakersinge's picture
bakersinge

the invariably bestresults I've had baking bread have come from accuracy. If I can find a $10 electronic scale that gets me results like those I see in pix here, then anyone can. They're out there, and scales take guesswork and "eyeballing, and did you have that measuring cup full or where there air pockets" factoe out of breadmaking. Get a scale. Makes life simpler and accurate. I have a cheapie that runs on a 9V rechargeable battery, I've never looked back, pix at 11 if you need them !

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Really...  Really nice!


Tim

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks! :)

arlo's picture
arlo

Wow, no wonder its your favorite loaf. It's internal structure is remarkable! I bet some bakeries would love that recipe.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Most bakeries probably would think the long schedule is not worth it, good thing we can make these at home!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Wow that is one awesome baguette. 


Daisy_A

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thank you :)

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I find your summary of work time and elapsed time very useful.  Thanks.


Glenn

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I am glad you find it helpful, it meant as a rough guideline, most probably will need to adjust more or less.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

very nice writeup on your lovely baguettes, thank you for sharing!


Sylvia

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

THank you for being so encouraging!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Wow... that crumb is amazing!  


Would you mind if I post this on the front page for a bit?

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Please do. :)

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Wow, those are very awesome.  Amazingly awesome.


I think mastering fermentation is the most crucial aspect for all breads.


I'm still at the lower end of that learning curve - but you, txfarmer, have mastered it.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

THank you for the kind words, but I am far from "mastering" it, just experimenting and trying out ideas, that's the fun of it right?

ananda's picture
ananda

Agreed, LindyD., fermentation mastered!


Natural levain and cold fermented all that time...plus the small matter of 75% hydration.


Some talent  here!


Wonderful delicate baguettes txfarmer


BW


Andy

evastanger's picture
evastanger

Txfarmer, incredible baguettes!!!  Someday, when I'm all grown up in the bread baking world, I want to make baguettes just like yours.


Eva.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

It's just practice. I have been making it so much, and have made all kinds of mistakes in the process, but each mistake taught me something. Once I even forgot to turn on the oven until after scoring!

shawnamargo's picture
shawnamargo

What  is bulk rise?


What is S&F?

shawnamargo's picture
shawnamargo

what is Bulk rise?

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

bulk rise == main/first fermentation == the first rise you do before shaping after mixing


if you haven't, may I refer you to the "handbook" link of this site, very useful. specifically: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/handbook/appendix-glossary :


Fermentation: (1) the process by which yeast metabolizes sugars to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol (2) (aka bulk fermentation, first fermentation) the period of time the dough rests after mixing and before dividing/shaping.

sanchiro's picture
sanchiro

What is S&F?


 


Please advise!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Stretch and fold, please also see the handbook section I linked above for details

Kingudaroad's picture
Kingudaroad

   I'll be trying this one soon. Thanks for sharing.


 


Keith

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I just KNEW this had to be your post... :-)


 


I've been pretty depressed about my bread baking lately, things are working for regular leavened bread, but my sourdough baking has failed me.   I am tempted to give these baguettes a try, maybe my electric oven could work.... 


 


I will definitely keep you posted when I try it.


 


Great job, Txfarmer, as usual!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Txfarmer, I am not sure I missed it, but how many baguettes does this recipe make?  I already printed out the recipe and will give it very careful consideration for this weekend......   (cross your fingers for me!)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

For me, this recipe gives 4 baguettes, each has about 220g of dough. It's tight on my 16x16 baking stone.


 


Good luck Sally!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Thanks!


 


I might have to half the recipe to suit my small oven....   I will be home for a wekk in October, and if I have a chance, I'll make them in my regular oven.

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi,


That's the most open crumb that I can imagine.  Awesome. 


I'm attempting to follow your instructions at the moment.  You say to let the initial mixture of refrigerated flour/water mixed with 150g starter and 10g salt rise for ~ 3 hours until it grows about 1/3 in size, while doing a stretch and fold every half hour.  My problem is that the way I do a stretch and fold it degasses the dough and it essentially returns to its initial bulk.  In other words, if I keep doint s&f every 1/2 hour I don't think the dough will ever get much larger than it started because I keep degassing it.  Can you help me?


Thanks,


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

S&F is not degassing the dough. For me, I simple oil my hands, take out the dough, gently stretch it with my right hand, fold back (seam under), repeat with left side, put back to the container smooth side up. The whole process takes <1 min, consists of 4 movements exactly (right hand out, right hand in, left hand out, left hand in), the dough never touches the table (so there would not be sticking), just my well oiled hands. That's just my way of doing S&F, there are other ways that's equally effective, but however you do it, be gentle, do NOT punch down, you should be able to preserve most of the gas.

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks.  I'm at that point in the recipe now and I see that the next time that I do this I will pay more attention to getting the dough into an oiled container to begin with and oiling my hands to manipulate the dough.  That worked really well. I have the dough currently fermenting in a 75 degree environment.


I look forward to baking these tomorrow and seeing if my crumb comes anywhere near that amazing crumb that you have produced.  Thanks again for the initial posting and the help along the way.


:-Paul

Pablo's picture
Pablo


Thanks!  :-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Very Nice!

Pablo's picture
Pablo

It jsut gets better and better.  I was more comfortable having done the process once and noted things to improve in my implementation of the techniques in my kitchen.  I have a 15 x 20 stone specifically to bake large baguettes so I upped the recipe a tad and did 2 500g baguettes. 



Nice size - just what I'm after



while not as totally amazing crumb as yours, they're on their way.



Just a beautiful close-up.


I can't thank you enough for this formula.  The dough feels tremendous at the end of the bulk ferment, pliable but full of life.  I've often done long fermentations and gotten into proteolytic situations where the dough has lost it's body and become morbidly flaccid.  There is none of this here.


There are many differences between this formula and how I've been treating my dough.  I dont know which technique changes are more meanful than others but I intend to keep experimenting.  Off hand, your initial remonstrance to be more gentle in my stretch and fold was tremendously helpful.  Your post division, preshape rest of 40 minutes instead of my usual 15 was interesting, baking baguettes at 460 instead of 550 is quite different than my previous efforts.  Then, of course, there are the two long ferments.


There's no denying results and these results are fabulous.  I'm just wondering which technique changes are the most effective.  It's great fun.  I love baking so much, especially with just flour, water, and salt baguettes, batards, etc. where the only differences are the techniques of manipulating the processes with he same ingredients.


So, thanks again.  Somehow there seems something incongruous about calling an open crumb, bougouise baguette a Texas Farmer inspiration, so I'm working on what to call it as I work with it.


sincerely,


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I am so glad that it's working out for you! Look at those holes!


 


I think the gentler handling made the biggest difference. Let time and wild yeast do the work, and we just stand back and not be in the way. Since baguettes need to be stretched out, it would get more "man-handled" during shaping more than most of other breads, hence the longer bench rest. This way the dough is sufficiently relaxed so it would take less "handling" to stretch them out. I think "minimal" handling to accomplish what needs to be done is the key for an open crumb.

Pablo's picture
Pablo

At some point in my journey I got the idea that baguettes needed really high heat for rising and crust.  550F and the top shelf and plenty of preheating.  This has certainly put the lie to that!  I was so pleased with these being nearly 20 inches long but still not burnt on the ends closest to the sides of the stone.  That may be a combination of a lower baking temperature as well as slightly oversized parchment paper that shielded the ends from blackening.


Yes, I agree that the gentler handling is probably important.  When I divide them I also do a little bagetty preshape to minimize handling in the shaping phase.  This time I proofed for an hour since the first batch blew out its seams a bit after 40 minutes.  They do get manhandled pretty savagely to get beguettized but seem to bound back admirably.  It's amazing how well some people can manage dough on the bench.  Practice, practice, practic.  The dough is still cold enough for me that I can get pretty good slashes for ears.


Again, this is such a thrill for me to be able to do really long fermentations without turning the dough into a proteolytic puddle.  I've never been a fan of overnight fermentations in the loaf shape, it's never worked for me, so this is great to do the shaping after the long fermentation.


This morning it was lox and cream cheese and baguettes.  Delicious!  I'm interested as to how these techniques will transfer over to a petite batard shape.  If I get anything interesting I'll post it.  I wonder how the whold deal would work running through the KA rather than by hand.  I wanted to ditch the KA awhile back altogether "by hand only" but I didn't and I've been using it more lately.  Doing some cakes and pastry as well as my usual bread obcessions.


Your technique has been a great hit and help with me.  I intend to keep expanding and exploring.


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

The keywords for this baguette are: wet dough, min. handling with enough S&F, and long fermentation. I think these can be applied successfully to any dough, not just baguette. I made the basic country loaf from the new Tartine Bread Book this weekend, 77% hydration, no kneading, the S&F procedure is very similar to this, and I retarded the dough after shaping (which I often do with success) - great results. Since boule and batard shapes are easier than baguettes, it's easier to keep those bubbles inside. I will post a blog post about it later, but the crumb is amazingly open and moist.


 


I have a KA pro6 and I willl never let it go. :P I make a lot of Asian style sandwich loaves (sourdough ones too),which require a thorough kneading. Not to mention all the chiffon cake and gnoise I make regularly, without my KA, I would need to seriously get some serious arm muscles!:P

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi TxFarmer,


My third shot at this dough.  This time I doubled the recipe, substituted 20% reduced bran w/w and machine mixed.  I kept the long fermentations and the very gentle handling of the dough.  ' hope you like photos:



3 bâtards, prebake weight: 715g - this is the usual house shape for daily bread



Bâtards turned onto parchment paper.  That's a piece of poster board for my 20" peel.



They looked pretty good.  I would have liked more vertical lift.



I think it's a pretty loaf of bread.



Still with a wonderfully open crumb.


I'm thinking I might try bumping the hydration down to 73% from 75% to try for a bit more vertical spring... I don't know what that will do to the crumb though.


For all this fermenting, I still am looking for more flavour.  That's why I substituted the whole wheat in for part of the white flour.  It did make the dough a bit sticker and slacker as well as adding some whole wheat flavour.  I think I'll try about 10% rye as well.


I can't thank you enough for this recipe.  I hope you enjoy the report.  I wanted you to know that your inspiration lives on in my kitchen.


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

It looks wonderful!Thank you so much for showing me the fantanstic outcome. :)


 


With the ww flour, I would bump UP the hydration since ww tend to absorb more water. As far as height, maybe you can do an extra S&F or two? Another idea is to shape into a boule and bake it in a dutch oven type of container to keep the shape better. Or maybe keep the temp very high for the first 5 min to encourage a speedier oven spring. Regardless, this is already a first-rated loaf!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Pablo...


 


I've been following your progress with this recipe, and wow, you are doing a great job!


 


Tomorrow will be my first attempt, I am a little "out of practice", haven't made a baguette in many months, but - it's exciting to try this method by our very own Txfarmer!


 


please keep your fingers crossed for me - as my scale stayed behind in Los Angeles, I'll have to bake by volume, so that's already a bit of trouble in the horizon, but... I have no choice

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Fingers Crossed.  No scale!  That's a touch bridge to cross!  Good luck.


:-Paul

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh, my!


 


THEY ARE AWESOME!


 


Txfarmer, thank you thank you thank you!


 


Pablo, thanks for the fingers crossed - I actually took one measuring cylinder from the lab (don't tell anyone... :-)   to measure the water amount with more accuracy.  I was "very close" to taking our precision scale, but decided against it, some students come to work during the weekend, and they could need it    


 


anyway,  worked great - I hope I can get some nice photos out of it, don't have much time to work on them today, but hopefully later in the week I'll do so and post here.


 


By far, the best batch of baguettes I've ever made, I know it will get better the more I play with it, shaping is tricky, but doable. 


 


 

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Good for you!  I'm completely enthralled with this formula - I'm doing it over and over with different flour combinations.  I love the big holes.  Ain't baking' great?!?


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sally, congrats! I am so glad it worked out for you! Even without precise measurement.


 


Paul, I am so happy to see that you are liking this formula so much and keep tweaking it. I have made variations of it myself, all with great results. I will collect the pictures and do a combo post later.

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful baguettes!


I have tried making sourdough based baguettes in the past, but they usually turned out with less light crumb and less holey compared to yeast based ones, so I definitely want to try your method next time. Thank you for sharing. Your posts are always inspiring and enlightening.


Can I ask you something? Can you elaborate the explanation on your method of S & F for me please?



The whole process takes <1 min, consists of 4 movements exactly (right hand out, right hand in, left hand out, left hand in), the dough never touches the table (so there would not be sticking), just my well oiled hands.



You mean you pick up the dough with your oiled hands and S & F it while holding it in your hands?  Do you repeat the 4 movements you described for several times so that the total S & F time by 4 movements would be about 1 minute? (Just picturing it in my head, I'm a bit worried if the earlier S & Fs would be a bit tricky to do because of less developed gluten... or am I misunderstanding completely?)


I understand other S & F methoeds would be as effective as yours (I usually S & F in a bowl or letter-folds on worktop), as you mentioned, but I'd like to try your method, too.


Thanks in advance.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Jjust 4 movements. Once. When I say <1min, it's actually just seconds. All I am doing is gently stretch the dough out to either side and fold it back. with 500g of flour, the dough is small enough for me to do it in my oiled hand. It's really not complicated, don't overthink. After such a long autolyse, and some mixing in the beginning, it would already have some strength at the very first S&F. Try it and you will see.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks!


I'll definitely try and let you know how I got on. :)

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