The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SFBI Artisan Baking I Days 2 and 3

linder's picture

SFBI Artisan Baking I Days 2 and 3

SFBI Artisan Bread Baking 1 Days 2 and 3

Baguette, baguettes and MORE baguettes.  We each made 15 a piece.  On Day 2 we experimented with baguettes using straight dough – short mix, improved mix and intensive mixes.  Of the three I liked the improved mix the best as far as flavor intensity and open crumb.  I found the intensive mix crumb to be a bit denser and not as tasty. 

In addition to baking, we also discussed topics regarding calculating mix times, the impact of baking loaves, and the role of steam in the baking process.  The relationship of mixing and fermentation times was also a topic of discussion relative to the three different bakes we did that day.

The last thing we did on Day 2 was to scale up our mixes for experimenting with different flours and autolyse.  We prepped an improved mix with bread flour, improved mix with hi protein flour and an improved mix with bread flour that will use autolyse.

Day 3 focused on wheat and flour.  The types of wheat – red/white, spring/winter, hard/soft were discussed relative to protein content and applications/impacts on bread outcome.  The batches we put together yesterday were mixed by the students, shaped and baked. While baking our loaves, we prepped mixes for tomorrow’s breads – egg bread, pan bread, whole wheat, multi grain, and rye.  Then it was lunch time(whew)!  After lunch we prepped all the pre-ferments for tomorrow’s bakes, and had critiques of the baguettes we’d baked. It was interesting to see the differences between the bread flour baguettes and the high protein flour bagettes, especially where crumb openness and taste are concerned.  My dough handling/shaping is improving (getting more open crumb) but my scoring still needs work.  Although, I’ve found the practice is helping me become more comfortable with scoring and perhaps that’s the first step to improvement – being able to relax.  

Day 4 will be a busy day with lots of different breads to bake and more prep for poolish, pre-ferment and sponge baguettes.  

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures, but I found myself working hard to keep up with the pace of producing the three batches of baguettes.  For an experienced baker this would be a ‘piece of cake’ I’m sure.  However, I’m used to being able to work at my leisurely home pace.  We really ‘hoofed’ it today and had little time to spare.  I felt sorry for Miyuki who had barely enough time to eat a 5 minute lunch. 

I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to be immersed in bread baking and learn more about the process and the impact of different mixing, ferment times,  and ingredients all have on the outcome of a good loaf of bread.


patnx2's picture

just curious what was the difference? Sounds like a great experience and good baking tomorrow. Patrick from Modesto

linder's picture


A few of the characteristics we noted were that stronger flour (high protein) creates greater product volume (higher, 'fatter' loaves), deeper crust coloration, dough absorbs more water, crust crispness is negatively affected - the crust of the high protein bread will soften more quickly than the bread flour.


Thaichef's picture

Hello Linda:

  Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your experiences at SFBI.  I know that you are very tired with the work. It is your sharing that is so very valuable to me who loves to learn about bread making but will never have the money to attend the class of SFBI.  You help a lot of us who will never have a chance to learn otherwise. Thanks again for sharing.


dabrownman's picture

delightfully difficult - even with a 10 minute lunch :-)  Thanks for posting your experiences at SBFI.  I'd say bake on but tomorrow is day 4 and I'm guessing you will be doing some more baking ! So

Happy baking Linda!

linder's picture

Thanks, Dabrownman and Thaichef. I have been having a great time and much of the ground work that has allowed me to enjoy the experience has happened due to TFLers who have shared so much of their baking expertise. And a big thank you to Floyd for launching and maintaining this site. I learned about Baker's Percentages and lots of baking terminology on this site as well as picking up hints, tips and great baking formulas.


dmsnyder's picture

Having to mix, ferment, shape, proof, score and bake all those different breads will give you a real taste of the professional's reality. 

You haven't mentioned how they use the white board to lay out the schedule of each step for all the breads for the day. I was amazed how the instructors seemed to keep it all in their heads, keep the production aspect on schedule and still squeeze in the classroom time. Time management is among the important skills of the professional baker that is seldom talked about.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda!