The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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

  • Pin It
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

northwestsourdough's picture
northwestsourdough

Terrific airy loaf!

frogdog's picture
frogdog

How do you do your  "steam bake".   I am new to this and have only done the no knead method.   Your recipe sounds like something I could do (physically).  But have never done steam bake.  Can't wait to try. 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

It's not steam bake, it's "bake with steam", here's the explanation from the handbook section of this forum[Note: since you are new to baking, I suggest to first read through the handbook of this forum (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/handbook), and follow the lessons section of the forum to make your first loaf (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf). I wouldn't make this buguette as your first bread, even though it looks "hands off", it actualy involves a lot of judgement calls that require experience. Not to mention the challenge of shaping 75% wet dough into baguettes.]:


-------------------


Steaming: A crackling, crunchy crust requires more than just a hot oven. It also needs steam, and that's not easy to do in a home oven. But it can be done. Here are a couple of methods:


• The Cast Iron Pan Method: Under the stone, even on the bottom of the oven, if you like, place a cast iron pan and let it heat up along with the stone. Not one you like to use day-to-day, because this process will rip the seasoning right off.


Just before you put the bread in the oven, boil some water. Get a towel and, after you open the oven door, cover the glass of the oven door with the towel. This will prevent water droplets from hitting the hot glass and shattering it (ask me how I know.) You may also want to shield the front of the pan with aluminum foil so that droplets don't jump out of the pan onto the glass and crack it (again, ask me how I know).


Load the bread and dump one cup of boiling water in the pan. WEAR MITTS WHEN YOU DO THIS. Close the oven door, and let it bake. About halfway through the bake, remove the pan so that the bread can finish in a dry oven.


• Covered Cooker Method: In this method, do not use a baking stone. Instead, place a cast-iron Dutch oven (enameled and non-enameled both work fine) or a clay cloche (Sassafras makes a good one - you can find them at Amazon or King Arthur Flour for about $50) in the oven and let it heat up for 45 minutes. Pull out the oven rack, take off the lid, plop your bread into the bottom, score it quickly and replace the top and the rack.


About 15 to 20 minutes before the bake is done, remove the top so that the bread can finish in a dry oven.


The covered cooker captures the steam given off by the dough, and so mimics a wood-fired brick oven. Unfortunately, this method only works for round loaves (though Sassafras also makes a 14 1/2 x 5 1/8 inch clay cooker which works for batards).


 

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

Your mastery of bread making is absolutely awesome.  Thank you for sharing. 


 


Bernie Piel

Chris23's picture
Chris23

Hi


 


I'm very new to bread making and would love to make this bread.


What do you mean by 100% hydration starter: 150g? 


How do you make the starter ?! Would appreciate your help = )


 


Thank you and Blessings


Chris



Chris23's picture
Chris23

Hi


 


It's me again... I've never started a sour dough starter before and after reading some of the comments on starting a sourdough... got even more confused !


 


Please help !


 


Thanks


Chris

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Here's a good tutorial:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10251/starting-starter-sourdough-101-tutorial


 


A good summary here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/sourdough


 


100% means water:flour ration is 1:1, which is baker's percentage - i.e. (X/total flour weight)%


For any new comer, I would highly recommend to go to the "Handbook" and "Lessons" section of this website, it would save you a lot of time and headache.

Chris23's picture
Chris23

Hi


Thank you so much for your prompt reply... I will check out the link and will let you know how everything turned out = )


Blessings


Chris

sebasto06's picture
sebasto06

beautiful, astounding result IMHO !


As far as i'm concerned, the more i bake, the more i realize how important it is to actually trust the process, once a process has indeed been elaborated.


Working on highly hydrated doughs can be really daunting, when one's never seen the final result.


But, the long and cold autolyse, added to the lengthy retardation and the few S&F sessions in between are actually sufficient to give the dough enough strength to endure the delicate shaping and oven spring phases.


In fact, the deeper i explore this new path, the more i seem to acknowledge that such a dough (between 80 and 100% hydratation), despite its actual absence of kneading (4 S&F spreaded on 4 days, roughly averaged), tends to develop way more once in the oven than heavily worked dough.


Perfect for baguettes, in a word.


The only foreseeable reserve for a beginner stands in two arguments :


- the initial look of the dough, right after the beginning of the autolyse. Let's admit it, it looks more like a soup than like a regular workable dough, doesn' t it ?


- it actually is hard to preshape and shape a highly hydrated dough.


My answer is simple, and can be summed up into one principle and two major rules :


- Time is on your side. I often autolyse on tuesday or wednesday, and bake by midday sunday, except for when my son comes home from college for the w.e. unannouced.


- Have faith in the process, particularly in the autolyse. Autolyse does a great job as far as dough's strength and starter's bubbling capacity (as defined by the initial expression of gluten and sugars) are concerned. The longer the better. 12 hours are better than one. And cold is definitely a must.


- When considering that the cold fermentation process has had enough time to fully develop (i've gone up to 6 full days —144 hours, i guess— with amazing results, both in terms of taste and consistency), don't let your dough stand on the counter too long before preshaping it : divide, preshape while it's cold and doesn't stick too much, and let sit for 10 mns. Then proceed throughout the final shaping stage, let proof for a good half an hour (for baguettes or batards) and score generously before baking.


- One more hint : steam it up, babe, steam it ! One can never have too much steam when time comes to put the loaves in the oven.


This process has given me a steady , reliable and consistent result over the last quarter, ending up into loaves that'd be good and nice enough to sell.


Keep up this great work, and don't forget to boogie with experimentation, you'll get surprised !


Seb


 

frogdog's picture
frogdog

Looks like I have a problem.  Started Wed. night.  Everything was fine.  After the 24 hours in frig (after s&F) there was no rise at all.  It has now been out at room temp.  for an hour and still no rise.  My starter was active.  Just made sourdough the day before.  It was just fed and looked like it always had.  Any suggestions on maybe what I did wrong.  Should I just throw this batch away and start over.  Or leave out for more hours than the 2 suggested?  It just seems there should be a little rise by now........I do have bubbles though

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Let it sit at room temperature for a whlle longer and see whats up.  My dough "usually" (I've only done this process 3 times) takes 4 or 5 hours out of the 'firdge to double.  And what does "room temperture" mean?  I do this phase in the proofing box set to 73F.  If it's colder, it'll take longer.  Try to get a feel for the dough.  Maybe it'll come 'round with some more time.  You've got nothing to lose by waiting and watching.


Good luck!


:-Paul

sebasto06's picture
sebasto06

From my experience, once the autolyse is done and it comes to inseminating, either with dry yeast or with a starter, it's better to mix salt+yeast thoroughly, let it rest for a couple hours over the counter, then give it about 10 S&F and let it begin bubbling before putting it in the fridge. Once the reaction has started, it really keeps on going despite of the low temperature. But you gotta give it a chance to start.


In any case, don't, i repeat : don't throw your dough away, just reinseminate it with a couple teaspoons dry yeast, mix thoroughly, let it gain 25 % in volume and refrigerate it at will. That'll do just fine, believe me, it'll just be a "pain sur levain de levure" instead of a "pain au levain".


Seb

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Like Paul said above, you won't lose anything by waiting. Some starter just needs more time to recover from cold. What's your room temp? Mine is around 73F. If possible move it to a warm spot, like oven with pilot light on. If your room is indeed much colder than 73, such as 60s, next you need more time to rise after mixing before putting in the fridge.

frogdog's picture
frogdog

Me again....Well I let it rise to double and then followed the remaining steps.  It came out really wierd, but edible.   I am half way to my second batch now - its in the frig for 24 hours until tomorrow a.m.  I must say the most difficult part of this is forming the wet dough.  Any suggestions?   Should I oil my hands to form, or is it best to flour, or???

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I'm a fan of flour.  My whole preshape/shape process is like this:


First I flour a basket that's lined with cloth, I flour it plenty and I dust the counter with flour as well.  I put the basket on the scale and zero it out then I pour/scrape the entire dough mass into the basket and get a weight.  Then I calculate what that means to me, that is, how many lumps of what weight I want to end up with.  For example, 4 baguettes of 220g each if my total dough weight was 880 grams.


I then dump the lump of dough out of the basket onto the floured counter and separate what looks to be the right size and using the counter scraper and my hands I put it back in the basket to check the weight and make additions/subtractions as needed to get to the weight I want for a single piece.  I then pull the sides up and incorporate the pieces into a single ball.  I do this carefully and lightly and pinch the final ends together to encourage it staying one ball.  If my hands start to stick i dust them with more flour.  I don't use a tremendous amount of flour, but I try to keep flour between me and the dough so I don't stick to it.  Then I cover the preshaped pieces and let them rest the prescribed amount of time.


Shaping is similar.  I generally shape batards, but for baguettes especially I would preshape into kind of hot dog bun shapes.  For final shaping I would just do a single lengthwise fold, pulling gently on the dough while I was doing that to lengthen it.  Then I would pinch/seal the fold and then I would roll the dough.  Rolling is touchy - too much flour and it doesn't roll, it slides, too little flour and it doesn't roll, it sticks, so it's hard to find the place between too much and not enough, but it's possible.  Anyway, I roll the baguettes, hopefully just once or twice and they're long enough.  Then proof, etc.


The trick, for me, in the whole process is getting enough flour without too much flour.


Watching lots of videos on handling dough is helpful.


Good luck.


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

First of all, baguette shaping is the trickest shaping procedure in all of bread shapes.


Secondly, baguette shaping with a 75% hydration dough is challenging. No ways around it.


Thirdly, unfortunately there's not really a trick to it. Just do it a lot, know from experience what needs to be done (keep the surface tension taunt yet keeping the gas inside intact, iron hands velvet gloves), and do just those movements, no extra touching at all - because the more you touch it, the more you stick, and the more you man-handle the dough.


Finally, if you have not made baguettes before, may I suggest to 1) watch some shaping videos on youtube (search baguette shaping) 2) practice on some dryer dough (68% hydration is a good start)


 


Some have asked me how much flour I use, the truth is I don't know and it changes. 2 months ago, I probably flour a lot more than now because I have become a bit more familiar with the procedure. Keep at it, practice practice practice. Baguette is one of those breads that really shows how much time you've invested in it, no shortcuts at all. I have made baguettes at thsi hydration for 6 months+, once or twice every week, I still make shaping mistakes every time.


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Even though inexperienced shaping would result in untraditional shapes, but usually it doesn't affect taste that much. If you bread comes out weird "tasting", usually it means something went wrong with fermentation, not shaping. A well fermentated dough can recover from "some" degassing during shaping. In fact the original Gosseline baguette doesn't even shape the dough, just stretch it long and call it "rustic", the fermentation is the key.

frogdog's picture
frogdog

It tasted great. Tomorrows will be better.  Learned a lot in the first one.  But it was really ugly.....

Chris23's picture
Chris23

Hi


 


What's the taste like for the sourdough loaf here ? Is it very sour ?


I see two types of sourdough starter on the tutorial - one that is started with just water and flour and the other one with pineapple juice. What's the difference and which is better ?


I'll be starting my sourdough starter soon and would love to hear from you experts ; )


 


Chris


 


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

No, it's not very sour. It has a mild taste.


 


For pineapple juice solution, see here:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10856/pineapple-juice-solution-part-1 , it should tell you the reasons for adding pineapple juice and you can decide for yourself which way to go. I have no tried pineapple juice method, so I don't have first hand opnion on it.


 


The search function on the left is great for getting answer fast (search for pineapple juice, the link above should be among the first ones returned), and you can get a lot of people's input on the topic.


 


Good luck!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Allow me to share with you some photos of my baguettes!  I promise a more detailed description of my adventures, as I tested three different ways to generate steam during baking (you will notice the surface of the baguettes has slightly different color)


 


I also played with the shaping, in one case "stretching" it after shaping, but the crumb suffered - the other ones had more airy texture


 


I think I'm in love..... :-)


 


SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

about the crumb - my good bread knife stayed in LA, so I had to use a horrible knife to cut my bread, and that messed up quite a bit. Amazing the difference a good knife can make, I advise all of you who use a less than great bread knife to invest in a good product


 


Pablo's picture
Pablo

They're gorgeous.  How satisfying!


:-Paul

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Even with the dull knife I can see a very nice crumb. :)

frogdog's picture
frogdog

I have tried this recipe twice and I cannot get a good rise.  I do very well with the sour dough no knead recipe.  Have been doing that at least once a week for many months.....Could it be that our house is oceanfront on the Oregon coast???? 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

1. Starter not active enough


2. Too cold -- not enough time to rise, keep dough at room temp for longer to rise, or use warmer water to mix (but not so hot that it will kill the starter)


3. Not enough strength in the dough -- this is NOT a no knead formula, it requires some S&F to develope dough strength, without enough strength, you won't get enough rise both in fermentation and oven.


 


Like I said in the original post, it's a formula that's not "easy", it requires tweaking according to you own temperature and starter condition. However the rule of the thumb is that if your starter is indeed alive, give it enough time to bulk rise, and develop enough strength by S&F during that period, so that it will grow in volume by 50% to 100%(i.e. double or nearly double).

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Sorry to bother you again, Txfarmer, but I just wanted to clarify something - when you shape your baguettes, particularly if you are in the "daring mode" and add a little more water, do you go through the pre-shaping plus shaping routine?   (you know, form a little batard shape,  then roll it to form surface tension two or three times?)


 


I am wondering if with the high hydration it would be better to skip the shaping and just "coach" them genly into a baguette-like form?


 


I pretty much decided I will skip the stretching part anyway - I liked the crumb better when I omitted that step.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I do preshaping and shaping like regular baguettes. I find that both of those steps are there for a purpose - they provide a taunt surface so that the dough can rise effectively during prooofing and in the oven. I've tried the "rustic" method of just stretching it, the crumb is much less open - which is counter-intuitive since you handle the dough less by skipping preshapping and shapping, until you realize that when done right, those two steps benefit the dough more than hurting it.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Ok, I understand - I will not skip it then.  The shaping was not too hard, actually, I followed a youtube video that was very detailed.  Of course, the guy makes it seem like the easiest thing in the world, but with practice I think I can improve.


 


Too bad I won't be able to try them again until my next trip home in November.  But it's ok, I took a lot of notes, should be easier then


 


 

Ebooyens's picture
Ebooyens

These are phenomenal - I've had in my mind for months now that I would feel that I've arrived as a home baker when I can do sourdough baguettes with a 75%+ hydration dough, and look, you've done exactly that!  Brilliant.


Thanks so much for posting your recipe and experience here, can't wait to try it!  I'm moving house next week so I've been planning on starting a new sourdough culture in the new house and seeing how long I can go without commercial yeast, so it will take me a few weeks but I'll follow your steps and report back!


Awesome

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Good luck with your move and baking!

jackew's picture
jackew

I used this recipe for Pizza today with 70% hydration and baked at 540. Best pizza I have ever made. Crust was soft and full of wholes.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

It's a great idea to use this dough for pizza!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

You beat me to it! As soon as I read txfarmer's post on this dough and saw that amazing crumb, I thought 'pizza'! Maybe I'm subconsciously planning an escape route in advance. I've made a lot of SD bread over the last 2 years, but have never tried baguettes...if the shaping doesn't work out, I can always flatten 'em and change to pizza!


Currently have txfarmer's baguette dough waiting in the fridge, now only a few hours off shaping. The moment of truth approacheth!


Cheers
Ross

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

things have been pretty hectic lately, but here is the full description of Txfarmer's baguettes experience in my kitchen....


 


I look forward to baking another batch next month


 


http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2010/10/18/36-hour-sourdough-baguettes/

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Please see my new blog post for more variations on this formula!

chykcha's picture
chykcha

Wow, great looking baguettes! Thanks for the recipe, I will try it this weekend.

Carolyn.S's picture
Carolyn.S

Beautiful bread loaves, great crumb.


As a novice baker of french baguettes, I've been experimenting with different sour dough starters. I read through your recipe several times. Did you mention how you made your sour dough starter?  And for those of us new to this website,and some of the acronyms used here, can you tell me what "S& F"' stands for?


Thanks so much.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I raised my starter following the "Bread Baker's Apprentice" method, without pineapple juice. If you are not familiar with it, try search "BBA starter" on this forum, you will get lots of good info.


S&F is stretch and fold.

Kobali's picture
Kobali

do you worm up the flour and water mixture to come to room temperature before adding starter and salt or you use it straight from the fridge?

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Straight from the fridge.

neustart7's picture
neustart7

Hi TXfarmer


Just wanted to let you know that I made baguettes for the first time using your recipe with my own SD starter. I was pretty happy with the results (see fotos) but have some questions:


-How do I get the dough to hold it's shape? It's extremely wet and sticky and doesn't seem to want to hold the baguette form. If I let it ferment longer in the fridge or on the counter will it firm up?


How do you get those big holes in your crumb? I baked these baguettes directly on the baking stone at 500°. The bottoms didn't really brown and the crumb seemed denser at the bottom and "holier" at the top.


I'm going to make another batch soon. For me one of the most satisfying parts of baking is playing with the variables.


Feel free to critique...


The crumb, Loaf shape is kind of flat with a denser bottom


Baguettes


Great color, I'm pretty happy considering it was a first attempt. Flavor was good, not too sour and fairly chewy. I'm striving for airy and light...

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

- To make the dough "hold shape" you need to work on shaping. make sure the surface tention is tight. The dough is wet so it will look a bit flat, but if the dough is strong enough, it will spring up in the oven. Fermentate ( I am guessing you mean proofing) longer is NOT the solution, it will only lead to LESS oven spring.


- Open crumb (holes) is related to many things: proper developement of dough strength, proper fermentation, shaping with "iron hand, velvet glove"(tight surface, without disturbing air bubbles inside), proper steaming and baking. It will come with practice.

Ebooyens's picture
Ebooyens

I only got around to trying sourdough baguettes now but it seems my starter is very week, had to cheat in the end and work in some extra dough with yeast!!  I've also stuck to 70% as I didn't feel particularly brave, but the result looks quite good and tastes great.  Will keep pushing!




txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Very nice!

ifanpayne's picture
ifanpayne

Has anyone tried this recipe at altitude, say 5000ft? If so, what, if any changes are recommended?


I have just baked my first txfarmer loaves following the recipe and they came out fine. However, I am wondering if I can improve over "fine" if I adjust for the altitude.


 

jimbodeuxe's picture
jimbodeuxe

In your recipe, you simply combine water and flour. But in many traditional (instant or dry yeast) baguette recipes, you make a poolish starter with a portion of the flour, water and yeast. Have you tried a variation of this recipe in the same manner, substituting the yeast with your SD starter?

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

You are confusing "autolyse" with "starter" (instant yeast or sourdough). Autolyse==mixing water and water, let it sit for a period of time to let gluten form and water be absorbed. No yeast or sourdough starter is added at that step.It's independent of the fermentation process.


 


Putting aside autolyse, you can of course use yeast instead of SD starter, but you'll have to adjust fermenation schedule and the bread you get will have different characteristics.

Ebooyens's picture
Ebooyens

Hi txfarmer, could you give me some tips on how you bulk rise in the fridge?  What I find is if I cover the bowl with plastic it collects damp and a little moisture runs down the side of the bowl and sometimes drips onto the dough which messes up the top "smooth" layer.  On the other hand if I just cover it with a cloth like I would when normally bulk rising dough in the cupboard then it seems there is a fair level of ventilation taking place in the fridge which dries out the surface.


So I was just wondering how you do this?  Thanks a lot!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I cover mine with plastic, haven't noticed too much moisture.

Pages