The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stubby baguettes. Will try, try again.

Sylviambt's picture

Stubby baguettes. Will try, try again.

Fortunately, these first baguettes taste lots better than they look. Pretty homely, really. Instead of the lean elegance of a French loaf, these are peasantly stubby. No gleaming crust either. And the crumb? Could be lots more open.  I figure the dough could have used considerably more time for both the bulk and 2nd rise because my kitchen is cold. I also think I should have let the pre-shaped pieces rest a full 30 minutes before attempting the final shaping. I'll definitely try these again, and perhaps substitute a bit of the bread flour with AP.

Here are a few pictures. They tell the tale. Top left: ready for bulk fermentation. Top rt: After one hour and one fold.

Middle left: pre-shaped. Middle rt: the stubby loaves. Bottom left: a look at the crumb.  Bottom right: just thought I'd throw in a look at my farm, Bull Brook Keep. This view is looking to the East.


Baking Mama's picture
Baking Mama

Hello, I was reading your blog and I would like to share a recipe with you that worked perfectly for me the very first time.

200g poolish

227g whole wheat flour

255g bread flour

2.3g instant yeast

270g water(70degrees)

7g salt

bakers % 199.8

1. Remove poolish 1 hour before making dough.

2. Sift the wheat flour to remove bran.

3. Sift together flours, salt & yeast.

4. Pour water into mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and poolish. Mix int ball that is soft and tacky. Adjust with flour or water.

5. Knead on floured surface to "windowpane" stage, dough temp should be 77-81 degrees.

6. Ferment at room temp until doubled in size. Degas and repeat. 

7. Sprinkle work surface liberally with flour. Transfer dough gently, careful not to degas.

8. Portion dough and form baguette(390g each). Place in couches or on parchment paper.

9. Proof at room temp until 1 1/2 original size. Meanwhile preheat oven to 500.

10. Score baguettes, presteam oven, and transfer bread to oven. Steam again.

11. Drop oven temp to 450 and bake 10 minutes.

12. Rotate bread 180 degrees and bake another 8-10 minutes or until bread reaches 205 degrees.

13. Remove from oven and let cool at least 40 minutes.

I hope this helps you, my poolish baguettes tturn out perfect when following this recipe!

pmccool's picture

Hi Baking Mama,

How much water/flour/yeast do you use in the poolish?


Baking Mama's picture
Baking Mama

Paul here is a recipe that yields 189g 200% bakers % so just use your conversions to up it 200g.


95g bread flour

95g water(70 degrees)

1g instant yeast

1. Mix all ingredients with a paddle, approx 2mins.

2. Remove and chafe and place in oiled bowl.

3. Lightly dust with flour and cover with plastic wrap.

4. Ferment until fully doubled, approx 4-6 hours.

5. Store in frig overnight.

6. Remove about 2 hours before using so that poolish is at room temp(70 degrees).

Good Luck!

lazybaker's picture

Next time make more folds. I was experimenting. After the first rise, I used wet fingers and spray the entire surface of the dough with water. It was to prevent my fingers from sticking to the dough since I didn't want to add flour. I stretched out four flaps from the dough and folded them over. Then I covered them with plastic wrap to let it rise again for about an hour. After that, I lightly dust with flour and divide the dough to start the pre-shape. Then lightly dust flour on the pre-shapes and cover and let them rest for half an hour before shaping.

I ended up with air pockets in the bread. So maybe next time make more folds to make the bread more airy.


Sylviambt's picture

Thanks to all for advise about my next batch of baguettes.  i do like the suggestion to fold the dough more than once.  Again, the recipe I used is from Bread, by Jeffrey Hamelman.

LindyD's picture

You mentioned your kitchen is cold.  Are your using Mr. Hamelman's method of determining the dough temperature (first paragraph on page five and again at pp 382-385)?

I've found that having the appropriate water temperature for the mix is very helpful for the remainder of the process.