The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes made with straight dough

dmsnyder's picture

Baguettes made with straight dough

Exactly 3 years ago tomorrow, I blogged about a batch of straight dough baguettes I had made rather impulsively. (See: They were surprisingly good being yeasted, not sourdough, and having no pre-ferment. Several other TFL members tried my formula with pretty good success. I attributed these baguettes' very nice flavor to the flour mix I used – 90% AP and 10% white whole wheat.

Although I had intended to make these again, three years have gone by … somehow. Last week, TFL member adrade posted a reply to that 3 year old blog, having made these baguettes and finding them good enough (or maybe just fast enough) to make repeatedly. This has prompted me to make some straight dough baguettes again, this time with a somewhat different flour mix and different dough mixing method.



Wt (g)

Baker's %

KAF AP flour



Central Milling Organic T85 flour






Sea salt



Instant yeast








  1. Mix flours and water to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and let sit for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Add yeast and salt and mix at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes then at Speed 2 for 7 minutes.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Form it into a ball, and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for 2 hours at 75º F with a stretch and fold on the board at 45 and 90 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Pre-shape as rounds or logs.

  7. Cover the pieces with a towel and let the gluten relax for 10-20 minutes.

  8. Shape into baguettes.

  9. Proof on a linen couche, smooth-side down, covered, for about 45 minutes.

  10. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  11. Transfer the loaves to a peel, making sure the smooth side is now facing up, and score them.

  12. Turn the oven down to 480º F. Steam the oven and load the baguettes onto the baking stone.

  13. After 12 minutes, remove the steam source. Continue to bake for another 8-10 minutes.

  14. When the baguettes are fully baked, turn off the oven, and transfer the baguettes to a cooling rack.

  15. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


These are not the most beautiful baguettes I've ever made. The two on the left were too close to each other on the stone and stuck together. I am not sure why the cuts didn't open better. The prime suspect is under-steaming. Yet the crust was thin and very crisp. The shininess suggests adequate steam, so I'm not sure what happened.

The crumb was rather dense, as it was when I made straight dough baguettes the last time. Maybe they needed a longer fermentation. Maybe I de-gassed the dough too much in shaping. The crumb was pretty chewy but not to excess.

On the other hand, the flavor of these baguettes was totally classic – very sweet and a bit nutty. I enjoyed some with my dinner omelet and more this morning with butter and a tart plum jam. Tonight, another baguette will serve for hamburger buns. French toast Sunday is possible, if I don't make sourdough pancakes.

I think baguettes made with a straight dough are worth tweaking. It's a good tasting and versatile bread that can be whipped out in 4-5 hours. Next time, I'll increase the whole grain flour content some and extend the bulk fermentation. And get a new velvet glove.



proth5's picture

My goodness time flies by doesn't it?

Next batch try making extra and doing some herbed bread (oil in pan, sprinkle with herbs....) - I just had the neighbors sniffing around my doors for their bread - it's good...

Sometimes the bear gets you - but I'm sure they were tasty.


dmsnyder's picture

Just before he got me. Last seen, he was wandering through the woods, grumbling about how hard it is to find a nice ripe brie when you really need one.

Time flies. Yes it does. Which allows me to cite one of my favorite Marxist aphorisms:

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." .... Groucho


proth5's picture

Ok - that's an LOL...


wally's picture

Hi David,

Been awhile.  I pretty much lurk these days.  But you caught my interest.

Because we don't make baguettes where I now work, I've taken on a routine of making two each day.  It's the only way to keep in practice with shaping and  slashing, even if it's an impoverished practice.

Although I love poolish baguettes more than any other, I find it more convenient to just make up straight dough ones.  And, since I only make two, I've taken to hand mixing the dough in the afternoon, with initial slap-and-folds and then folds repeated twice at 40 minute intervals (so total fermentation is two hours).

I then retard the dough (unshaped) overnight to develop more flavor - which they do!

Next day when I get home from work in the morning I take them out of the fridge, shape them, and find that in a proofing environment they are ready for baking usually in less than 1 1/2 hours, even though they've come right out of the fridge.

I've found I get a more open crumb (though you are right, much lies in how hard you handle the dough in shaping), slightly easier slashing, and slightly more flavor than with same-day straight-day baguettes.

I'm enclosing a couple pics of a recent bake.


 Stick with it - there's more flavor than meets the eye in a straight dough baguette!



dmsnyder's picture

Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely try this.

I'm guessing you are retarding the dough for about 20 hours. Is that about right? Do you cut down on the yeast percentage because of the long fermentation? Hmmm .... Maybe if you just give me the formula you use for your baguettes.


wally's picture

Here 'tis, David:

Ingredient            Baker's Percent         Wt grams

Flour                         100.00                        330

Water                          69.70                         230

Salt                                1.82                            6

IDY                                 .90                            3

Time retarded in the refrigerator is generally around 15 hours.  I'll put it in 5-6pm and take it out the next morning around 8-9 and cut and pre-shape immediately.

The weights give me 2 baguettes (about 280 g each).




dmsnyder's picture

Your formula is almost identical to the one I used. Definitely will try retarding the dough for convenience (and curiosity).


Mebake's picture

Nice baguettes for a convenience, David! retarded larry's baguettes would be akin to those of Bouabsa's, right?

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Khalid.

The Bouabsa dough has higher hydration, and, if you follow the original procedures, has a 21 hr retardation. Bouabsa's proofing routine is also different. But "akin?" Yes. I'd say so.