The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Plain ol' bread in lazy shapes (lots of pics)

tattooedtonka's picture

Plain ol' bread in lazy shapes (lots of pics)

I started my day off making french bread from some yeast pre-ferments from last night. 

After mixing, folding and so on, I figured I am not going to try anything fancy I just want rustic looking bread (ugly bread that is). 

And I am happy with the results of my ugly breads.

We had this loaf for dinner and it was quite good. 

I also made a couple loaves of country bread

Both the french bread and country bread recipes are from Hamelmans "Bread"

And they are both very good in my opinion.



dstroy's picture

wow! Those all look fabulous!

Floydm's picture

Agreed. Beautiful crumb.

weavershouse's picture

Really nice, they look delicious. The crumb looks creamy and tasty. Is that the pain rustique? Great job.                                                                                                           weavershouse

redivyfarm's picture

Great results!

tattooedtonka's picture

Weavershouse the french bread recipe was Hamelmans Bread book - "Baguettes with Poolish" from pg. 101 and the "Country Bread" was made from pg. 113. 

For the french bread I doubled the "Home" version and made the 3 ugly sticks and the one large round loaf.  The only differences I did from the recipe was not steaming the oven during the baking and not really doing any shaping. Oh yeah and the whole hand mixing part in place of the commercial mixer.  I used the stretch and fold every 45 minutes. I did this 3 times before final relaxing and firing them into the oven. 

For the sticks I cut three 1lb. pieces of dough pulled them into a tube length, layed them out to relax.  Slashed a couple shallow lines (didnt matter most blew out the sides of the loaf).  I took the remaining dough and made a round with a couple deep slashes across the top.

Here is the recipe from the book:

Home Version : 4 Baguettes


  • Bread Flour  10.6oz (2 3/8 Cups)
  • Water            10.6oz (1 3/8 Cups)
  • Yeast              (1/8 tsp., Instant Dry)

                               Total Weight 1lb., 5.2oz

Final Dough:

  • Bread Flour  1lb,5.4oz (4 7/8 Cups)
  • Water             10.6oz.   (1 3/8 Cups)
  • Salt                  .6oz         (1 T)
  • Yeast             .13oz, Instant dry (1 1/4 tsp)
  • Poolish          1lb,5.2oz (all of above)

1) Poolish: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour, and mix until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at about 70' F.

2) Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the poolish.  In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorperate the ingredients.  If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water or flour in small amounts.  Finish mixing on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.  The dough should be supple and moderately loose.  Desired dough temp: 76'F

3) Bulk Fermentation: 2 Hours

4) Folding: Fould the dough once after 1 hour.

5)Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 12- to 16-ounce pieces.  Preshape lightly into rounds and leave on a lightly floured work surface, seams up, covered with plastic.  Once the dough has relaxed sufficiently (10-30 minutes, depending on how tightly it was preshaped), shape into long, slender, and graceful baguettes.  Place them between folds of bakers linen, leaving enough space between each baguette so they can expand without tearing during final fermentation.  Cover the loaves with bakers linen and plastic to protect them from air currents and prevent the formation of a crust on the surface of the loaves.

6) Final Fermentation: 1 to 1 1/2 Hours at 76'F

7) Baking: With normal steam, 460'F for 24 to 26 minutes for baguettes, depending on dough weight.  Round and oval loaves about 30 minutes for a 1 pound loaf, with round loaves taking slightly longer than oval ones.

Thanks again folks


weavershouse's picture

Thanks for going to the trouble of writing it all out. I appreciate it. I did listen to your advice and ordered my copy of Hamelman's book but it is taking forever to get here. I should have gone with instant gratification and taken a ride up to the bookstore and bought it. :o ) Anyway, I'm going to give this a try. Thanks again.

I'm sorry but I can't you bake with sourdoughs and if you do how do you think they compare to baking with a poolish? Do you find much difference with working the dough or taste?                                                                                                                                                                                          weavershouse

tattooedtonka's picture

Its funny you should ask about sourdoughs.  I have been wrestlin with my starters for a couple weeks now.  I havent been able to get a healthy one going yet.  But Im kinda thick headed so Im not giving up. ;-)

I think these are very good recipes as is, but if you do go sourdough on this could you please let me know how it went. 

If you would like the Country Bread recipe, let me know.  I would be more than happy to type it out here for you.


ehanner's picture

TT, from the sound and tone of your writing here I would say you are about to discover the sourdough culture. I make this same basic formula all the time in SD and it's great. Is it any better than using a poolish? I couldn't say but it is different depending on which starter I use. The single step process detailed by Sourdough-Guy would be a good place to start. The long ferment times at room temps will vary with your local temps and the amount of starter you use. The hydration you used above and SDG's recipe are similar so the dough will feel good to your hands. From your pictures it looks like you might get better cosmetic results with a little better tension in forming. There are some good baguette and batard forming videos around that will help you make a loaf that won't blow out. Here is the link to SDG's basic sourdough sandwich bread. You can skip the syrup for a leaner french type bread and make a small adjustment in water. I've made this as my basic SD bread many times. You will learn to be patient and to plan for reality temps.

So TT, feed that starter at 100% twice a day for a few times and keep it warm and give it a try. You seem like a person who will appreciate the experience.


browndog's picture

I love the way you let the clear joy you take in baking just spill off the page for us all to delight in. Thanks.

tattooedtonka's picture

Eric, thank you for your input.  Yeah I know these were ugly, thats why I called them lazy shapes.  I felt lazy...I didnt want to try to make them pretty, I wanted them ugly.  And I was happy with their ugly.  I actually prefer the crunch I get from a nice blowout area of a bread.  Crazy huh?  Oh well.  Yeah Sometimes I like to make pretty, I was happy with my pretty Ciabattas, or my round loaves, but these, didnt care so much.  As for my starters Im having the dangest time keepin em alive.  I have another post detailing my troubles with them. Oh well, thanks again and have a great day.

browndog, as for my clear joy, ooohhh Im very joyous. Id even go as far as saying Im Jolly... ;-)  Im a Big Jolly Tattooed Truck... 

Have fun folks..