The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This Weekend's Sourdough Baguettes

occidental's picture

This Weekend's Sourdough Baguettes

I've been attempting to improve my baguette making skills over the past few weeks.  This weekend I came up with my own formula based on a few of the things I learned from my last effort's with Pat's (proth5's) baguette formula.  Most notably I wanted to come up with a relatively low hydration formula using AP flour.  I also wanted to get a bit of whole wheat flour in the mix as well, and come up with enough dough to make two decent sized baguettes .  With that in mind I came up with the following formula which I calculate to be at 66% total hydration:

  • 100 g starter (60% hydration)
  • 280 g AP flour
  • 30 g ww flour
  • 210 g water
  • 12 g salt

I followed the steps below:

  • Refresh starter the night before
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl to a shaggy mass, allow to autolyse 30 minutes
  • Fold in bowl, about 20 strokes two times at 30 minute intervals
  • Remove from bowl, stretch and fold then place in container and bulk ferment approximately 3 hours
  • Divide dough and shape two baguettes, allow to rise approximately 2 hours
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 475

All went well, including shaping, which I always struggle with when making baguettes.  At this hydration scoring goes better for me than if I am working with a higher hydration dough.  Here is a visual of what I came up with:

I was pretty pleased with crust and crumb and went to the taste test and that is where the disappointment set in.  This was the flattest tasting, most flavorless bread I can recall tasting.  I sat and thought "What went wrong?"  The solution didn't come to me right away, but later in the afternoon I remembered I didn't ever add the salt!  I've forgotten the salt before but I've always remembered at some point and have been able to get it worked in before baking.  Well, I guess it's another lesson learned.  I finished up the first loaf with the help of lots of honey and jam.  I took the second loaf and did with it what I have been doing with a lot of my leftover baguettes:  sliced, added butter and garlic salt, wrapped it in foil and placed it in a ziplock in the freezer.  I come home from work and throw the foil wrapped frozen loaf in the oven for about 30 minutes at 325 and you have great tasting garlic bread to accompany your dinner.   Hopefully using it as garlic bread will help the flat taste!


AnnaInMD's picture

the baquettes look beautiful though. You did good !   :)


EvaB's picture

that ws my first thought did you forget the salt? This is why you do the mise en place or set out all the ingredients for the recipe so its sitting there staring you in the eye when you are mixing! I've done this for years, mainly because trying to find ingredients in my kitchen is a treasure hunt, and if I waited until I started mixing, I might never get it done. Find them all, and pre measure if necessary so all you have to do is add!

Oh yeah work from a recipe, not from your memory that way you can check off at least mentally the ingredients you've added, even better is if you can do it on the page, which brings us to laminated recipe cards or papers, that you can use a dry erase marker on.

Librarian's picture

especially for the low hydration, congratulations, that is how it should look like