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

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.


Ebooyens's picture

OK thanks

Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul's picture
Paul Paul Paul ...

You should consider making a video tutorial on making this bread, or at least on shaping it! The next viral hit it shall be!

breadbythecreek's picture

36+ hours is so worth the wait!  I made this recipe using my 100% starter about 2 hours after feeding it, while it was still young.  Baked at 460F with 25 seconds injected steam and lid on for 10 minutes, then another 10 minutes with the lid off.  I didn't get much in the way of ears, but the crumb and the taste... out of this world. Thanks txfarmer for all of your hard work.

crumb shot


oceanicthai's picture

This post was extremely helpful, thanks for sharing all that you did to acheive your breads.  I am using this method, tweaked of course, for my breads which have quite a bit of whole wheat flour in them and I am getting nice open crumb for WW flour breads. 


IsBillyThere's picture

txfarmer, and everyone else who as contributed to this thread thank you very much - just inspirational stuff. 

I used the opringal post and a few of the comments as the basis for some baking over the last couple of days and was pretty happy with the result!



Uploaded with

Couple more phots and some description here if anyone is interested:


wilca428's picture

Hi! First of all friends - I love all of your input on bread! And I would really love a movie or something that shows the consistensy of this dough at the time for F&S as this is after all water is added. It would really help transgressing the borders of flour between countries! 

Can you help me?

jklarsen's picture



When the bulk fermentation is done, and the dough is resting on the counter, and also when it has been shapped,
do you then cover the dough, or should it rest uncovered?



txfarmer's picture


kifla's picture

I tried three times to make this baguette, and every time failed. Dough is to wet and sloppy so it can not be shaped. After proofing in the fridge its consistency was good and it doubled in volume, however after proofing at room temperature it becomes sloppy. I tried with stiff starter but again no result.  I was following the instructions step by step, but obviously somewhere I am making a mistake. Do you have any picture of your dough after proofing at room temperature, or after shaping? Any suggestion? Please.

txfarmer's picture

After proofing

After scoring (not the same batch as above, a little wetter probably)

Suggestion: tighter shaping, shorter proofing, more folds during bulk fermentation to increase dough strength.

BurntMyFingers's picture

I just ran across this old post, txfarmer, and am trying it out. The top picture intrigues me because I've never seen a couche with that shiny surface next to the proofing loaves. Do you use oil instead of flour? Or is it some other material than the usual linen/muslin?

kifla's picture

I have just realized that nothing was wrong with my dough. I just did not know how to handle it.

Here is a link to video "HOW TO"

Tomorrow I will try one more time. Hope for a success.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

had to let it double out of the fridge for about 4 hrs before dividing up the dough.  (kitchen is 23°C)  I used Austrian W700 which is a bread flour/relative high ash and the dough is final proofing right now.  I hope the long retard didn't make them too sour.  That fact that it took so long to double is reassuring that they are not too sour.  We shall see...  The dough has a nice elastic feel to it and no signs of age that I can tell.  Plan on baking them crowded in a two part steel roaster for the first 20 min. then onto the rack to brown and dry out.

Baked.  Not good, got the holy bread but chewy hard crust, going back to AP flour.  Sour is just right!  (innoculated with 10g rye sour) Baked the third baguette after the first two and ...see I could  proofed longer, came out with a rounder shape and singing crust.  :)

txfarmer's picture

Yeah, even thought the name says 36 hours, but in reality, the timing is rather flexible. I have also retarded 2 days instead of one, which worked out ok.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

thinking about yellow baguettes...   :)

chefscook's picture

beautiful looking breads nice crumb

myitaliansmorgasbord's picture

Hi txfarmer, more and more impressed by your bread and willing to start trying some of th etechniques you use. In this baguettes you suggest using ice water. Do you mean very cold water? What temperature exactly?

Hope you can find the time to answer as I am really eager to try this method.

best, Barbara

txfarmer's picture

I mean ice water -- water that's been in fridge for a long time for instance. probably 4C.

Ebooyens's picture

Just wanted to say I find myself baking bread at least once a week and almost every time I have a quick peak at these pictures and recipe, still blows me away!! I'm not getting close but I'll keep trying ;) Our flour here in South Africa is very strange (for the lack of a better word) - I started baking bread while living abroad and had to readjust when we moved back. I've just baked rolls at 90% hydration and adding 100% starter and I can still shape them fine OK using the techniques you've described but the crumb is still not nearly as open as yours! Anyway, thanks again for sharing, it's truly inspiring!

drips's picture

These pics are of my 3rd & 4th loaves ever, and the first bake since I discovered TFL and was bitten by the bread bug (and good!). I have a long way to go [starter was just 2 weeks old, subpar S&F, underproofed a little I think, my scoring is awful...] but the fact that it was as good as it was is due almost entirely to txfarmer and the rest of the wonderful folks on TFL. If it weren't for all the hours and pages of free education I received here I never could have gotten as close to great bread as I did. You guys are the best!


binagirl's picture

Txfarmer - I have been using your 36 hour recipe for about a year now and I (finally) registered on this site today specifically to say thank you!  This recipe has revolutionized my baking.  I've tried for years to get big holes, crisp crust and a good, complex sour flavor.  Now I have achieved those goals using your techniques.  I bake your bread at least once a week and my family is thrilled...we have txfarmer baguettes, regular loaves and pizza and it all gets eaten with never a crumb going to waste. I also love your shreddy-soft breads and used that recipe for my Thanksgiving rolls this year.  Everyone raved about them and pronounced them my "best ever".   So, thanks for sharing!  If you ever write a book, I'm gonna be buying it.

grind's picture

gave it a try -




Thank you for the excellent recipe.  I could eat this bread all day long (and wide).

pocadilla's picture

Hello and thank you for the recipe

1 question: after mixed up the yeast and salt, what should be the temperature at the end of kneading dough ?

Because the dough is very cold after 12h of fridge, it must continue kneading until the dough is at 23-24 ° ?

thank you very much

txfarmer's picture

No, 23-24 is environment temp, not dough temp. As formula states, just mix until even and let it be.

pocadilla's picture

ok well ! I ask because it takes bakery 23-24 ° C at the end of kneading.

Thank you very much for your time
I can not wait to bake my bread Sunday

DarkNova's picture

Hello txfarmer,

I have been reading a lot about sourdough, and have been experimenting with different starters, trying to achieve good results. It seems like the "nature" of the sourdough starter changes a lot based on the procedure one uses to feed it. I am amazed by your results, and I'm wondering if you could share your approach to feeding your starter? Do you feed it once a day, twice a day, and do you feed 1:2:2, 1:3:3, etc? I couldn't find anywhere where you discussed this. Thanks!

txfarmer's picture

Twice a day, 1:1.5:1.5. However it's in fridge most of the week, only fed at room temp over the weekend when I have time to make breads.

DarkNova's picture

Thanks for the response! Seeing as you keep it in the fridge during the week, how many times do you feed it after taking it out of the fridge before you use it to build your bread's levain? Do you feed with bread flour or whole wheat? Thanks!

txfarmer's picture

Once or twice (it's doubling/tripling reliably after the first time anyway). I feed bread flour to the white starter and rye to the rye starter.

textplus's picture

Nice, clear recipe!

I'm new at sourdough and will be using a batch of starter that is a few days old, so is it okay if I refresh it at the same time as I mix the flour and water and rest both for 12 hours? (In my case that will be overnight.)

txfarmer's picture

Yes, as long as the starter is healthy,

textplus's picture

Thanks! Can't wait to try your method!

passionne's picture

Beautiful bread.. would like to try out someday!!! looks really yummy!! btw u mentioned the 100% hydration starter. is that like sourdough starter? I am very new to baking thus do not know what is tt!! 

passionne's picture

ans u mentioned tt u feel your starter twice a day.. what is 1:1.5:1.5??? can i prepare the 100% starter one day before i bake the bread?

maurera's picture

Need to work on shaping and scoring, but the crumb came out very nicely.





heidet's picture

I am almost at the end of the final stage,the scoring and baking. One question. before putting into the fridge for its 24hour rise, I did not stretch and fold. Was I meant to ? 

PetraR's picture

I do like an open crumb, but yours are just holes and i wonder how can you ever spread anything on this one?

I bet the taste is wonderful though.

Librarian's picture

I like what you achieved, but isnt it a bit impractical to eat ? btw i adopted one of your yeast recipes into a straight sourdough baguette one and thats my standard now :) so thx for directing me there

MJ Sourdough's picture
MJ Sourdough

I am going to try and incorporate some of your techniques into my sourdough baguette! thanks!

cessnabmw's picture

Am going to try this over the weekend!!

How many baguettes does this make and how long? Want to know so that IO can figure out how many to divide into.

greenbriel's picture

About 18"-19" each. Good luck, post the results! 

greenbriel's picture

What a great recipe! I made these yesterday and they are the best bread I have baked. I've been baking for 18 months or so, but only broke out of my FWSY straight dough in a combo cooker routine a few weeks ago. I began a starter a couple of weeks ago and this was its first use in a pure levain dough. These were my fifth baguettes, I'm totally hooked!


Pics here:

novelconcepts's picture

I've been coming to this website for the past year as I've gone from not having baked bread since living at home to starting the no knead loaf to keeping my starter, George, on the counter because I use it every day, and I actually made an account just to tell you how beautiful those loafs are. The crumb looks amazing!

George has got some work to do for the next couple days! Thanks for the inspiration. I was going to wait until I got baguette pans to do something like that, but I think I'm just going to go for it.

Luyv&#039;floot's picture

Hi txfarmer,

This is my very first time on TFL. I've tried this recipe twice, both came out too sour for my palate. Do you have any advice? I found out that on the first 6 hours of retardation, the dough I made had doubled in size, then just deflated after 24 hours

 I've got one more question. To achieve the same dough consistency, how much water should be added if I swap all purpose flour for whole wheat flour (lets say, for every 100 gram of whole wheat flour)?



breadmd's picture

You mention, "With plenty of tweeking and adjusting, the end result is DELICIOUS: thin and crackling crust dark from all the caramalized sugar, airy and moist crumb..."

Is the sugar made during fermentation? Or am I missing an ingredient? I don't see any sugar in the recipe.

By the way, your detailed, thoughtfully done instructions make me so very grateful for the internet! I realize this is an older post, and I hope you're still active no the site.


IrishUkulele's picture

any clues what I did wrong? It tastes okay, but something just doesn't seem quite right :)

also, please ignore the shape on account of this is the first baguette I've ever made and the dough was...sticky to say the least. 


stevie_prodigy's picture

i m new to baking just wanted to know i tried making sour dough baguettes but they are coming flat are you baking your baguettes in any moulds or straight on the deck

Pizzabox's picture


I´m not sure should I post this question in this topic or start my own because my question is a lot more general than just this bread recipe. So, I'm having only rye starter (100 %) because I bake also classic finnish rye sourdough which needs, not that surprisingly, rye based started. And the question is, how will my end product differ in this case and in general if and when I substitute the (Supposedly) wheat starter of this recipe with rye one?

frajasago's picture

I don't know if it´s because my english is not very good but I can get the schedule.

Step 1: Day 1 in the morning. Got it.

Step 2: Should I do this inmediately after step 1? 

Step 3: I understand that I do this after step 2, S+F for for 2-3 hours until it grows about 1/3 in volume, and then put in the fridge until the next day?

Steps 4, 5 and 6 are pretty straight forward.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

Hi txfarmer - I'm joining everyone else in singing praise of the method, the air bubbles and the taste. Truly excellent - below and here's my effort.