The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Further Baguette experiments

evening's picture

Further Baguette experiments

I tried my hand at baguettes again following (more or less) a traditional recipe.


500g AP FLour
500g Bread Flour
680g water
3.5g yeast
11g salt

Mixed w/ 4 folds and retarded overnight. The next day I left it out for 3 hours @ room temp then shaped and proofed in couche ~75 min. I then transferred the loaves and put the form into preheated 500F covered steam tray w/ 6 oz water I rotated the tray at 10 minutes, uncovering the loaves 5 minutes later, and baked 'em for another 20. I guess I used too much water for a covered tray. The cuts didn't open up like I expected and the loaves developed a pretzel-like crust. I thought all was lost until I cut them open. My best crumb yet!


A day or so later I tried again in my home oven which is too small for a hotel pan. I used the "old dough" technique with a 25%WWF, 25%APF, 50% BreadFlour and 70% hydration recipe (same salt and yeast ratios as above). This time I shaped the loves after a 4 hour bulk rise and let them proof in the fridge overnight. Sadly they loaves looked awful and deflated the next morning. Sleepily I forged ahead and placed them directly on a 500F stone, splashing a 1/2 C. water on the oven floor. After checking on them 10 minutes later I realized that forgot to cut the loaves! I was forgiven by the bread gods - the crust was thick and nutty, the crumb very open. I gave two to my co-workers. People get all sortsa happy when you hand them a "still warm from the oven" loaf....






linder's picture


I am no expert on baguettes by any means, but your baguette crumb looks nice and open - good job.  Also, I'll bet the nice warm bread is very tasty! 

There are some tutorials on scoring that David Snyder has posted regarding various loaves and baguettes.  Do a search on 'baguette scoring' to find them.  More steam early on in the bake will help open the scoring as I understand it.  To do that will require using a different steaming method.  Check out SFBI's (San Francisco Baking Institute) steaming methods, it seems to always create nice open scoring and great 'ears'(grigne) on his loaves. 

Happy Baking


evening's picture

Thanks for the suggestions.

lumos's picture

You've got lovely crumb there, especially the second batch inspite of no-scoring.

Can explain me a bit about covered steam tray? Do you put hot water in the bottom tray?

evening's picture

It's just a regular old buffet-style tray with a metal handled cover. Since I use a baguette mold that keeps the loaves off the bottom of the tray, I can pour the water directly into the bottom  and then cover it.  The tray takes the place of a dutch oven so I might not even need water at all, but I guess a little helps. I definitely used too much because when I uncovered them the loaves looked like bagels just out of boiling water.  I'll try again this weekend and see if I can refine the technique a bit.

dabrownman's picture

If I put more than 1/8 C of  water in my turkey roaster I get he same problem.  But it sure puts the crust on anything doesn't it ?  Amazing really.  Your crumb looks good.   If you take the David Snyder scoring tutorial and cut the water way back, you will have some great baguettes!

Happy baking!