The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Second Attempt at Making French Baguette

minani's picture

My Second Attempt at Making French Baguette

Hey guys, 

I am pretty new to this forum but oh my does it have a great amount of information! I have a pretty good professional cooking background (even though I am an engineer lol) but I recently became interested in bread making. I tried making a baguette for the first time and the result was ok... it had a nice outer look and a nice oven spring but the crumb was a little off. I read a lot about what makes a good open crumb and, despite what I read, I came to the conclusion that the main reasons for an open crumb result are: a couple of very gentle stretch and folds, long cold fermentation, and very little kneading  (I'm sure a lot of you bread professionals know that). Once, I even shaped my loaves aggressively just to see if it affects the final result (because I read that you are supposed to shape the dough very loosely to obtain an open crumb) but it had no affect on whether I achieved an open crumb or not!

oh I also wanted to mention how I steamed my oven. Well, I kind've made a little steamed oven inside my oven. I used a big turkey roasting pan, preheated it with the lid on at 500F, and placed a small turkish coffee pot (google it) filled with boiling water at the corner of the inside of the roasting pan. Then I put my loaf on nonstick aluminum foil and placed it inside the roasting pan, put the lid on, and reduced the heat to 460F. After baking/steaming it for 10 mins, then I took the roasting pan lid off and removed the turkish coffee pot before baking the loaf for another 13 more minutes or so. 

See pictures of my results! Questions and comments are welcomed :D





isand66's picture

Wow...looks like you've been baking for a long time.  That's a great looking crumb, nice and open and your crust looks perfectly baked with great ears.  Looks like your steaming method worked out well for you.  I'm too lazy to use such a complicated set-up but it obviously worked great.

Thanks for sharing and welcome aboard the bread express train!


minani's picture

Thanks buddy, I actually like to study very well and feel comfortable with myself and kinda visualize myself doing the whole process so when I start doing it I feel like I got this ( if that makes sense lol)

Mussdog70's picture

Can I ask what formula you used?

minani's picture


so I used the ice cold water all the way through,

Ingredients: ( i used very little amounts just because it was a test but you can double or triple the amount)

fist I used a cold retarded poolish: 

- 50 g flour 

- 30 g cold water 

- a pinch of yeast 

I let that set at room temp until it started bubbling a little ~ (2 hrs). then I put it in the fridge to use the next day ( i'd say from 12 to 24 hrs ( depending on your schedule. 

main dough:

- 100 g bread flour

- 75g ice cold water 

- 3g salt

- pinch of yeast ( if you use higher amounts of flour say 400 g I wouldn't use more than 1/2 tsp)

mix until incorporated and Autolyse in fridge  for 12-24 hrs.

take both poolish and Autolysed dough and mix with stand mixer with 3g salt and a pinch of yeast for about 4 mins or until dough comes together. let it rest for about 15 min and then do a stretch and fold 4 times at 25min intervals. Put it back in fridge to cold retard for 12-24 hrs. when you are ready to bake, take it out of the fridge, pre-shape and let it rest for an hour. After one hour, shape it and let it proof for another hour (or use the finger test because proofing times may vary based on your room temp). score and put it in your Preheated 500F oven and reduce heat to 460F once you put bread in. Bake with steam for the first 10 min and then another 10-12 min or until desired brownness is achieved. 

Enjoy :)

dabrownman's picture

Now you can move on to more difficult breads :-)  Well done anjd happy baking!

minani's picture

Thank you,

and pleeease let me know what is a more difficult bread recipe. I need another challenge. 

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, minani.

Welcome to TFL!

Your baguette looks great! I think my friend, dabrownman, is teasing. Baguettes have few ingredients and, generally, a simpler procedure than the one you used, but they are a proverbially difficult bread to shape, score and bake to perfection. 

I can think of a number of different "challenges," but bread is ultimately for eating, so I'd ask, "What kind of bread do you want to eat?"


minani's picture


I have come across some of your posts and comments around this site and I want to say that I admire you great work and knowledge, I have learned a lot from your posts. See I love food and I love it even more when I feel like I finally nailed a technique that produced a wonderful result. I guess in this recipe I did not want it to fail so I made it complicated :S. What simpler recipe would you recommend that would produce a great taste and crumb?

As far as what breads I prefer, I'd say I love baguettes but i also love breads that are somewhat on the softer side but with good texture and great taste, something like a really good Naan or so, any recommendations? 

dmsnyder's picture

Thanks for the kind words.

The way I see it, the greatest challenge is to make something amazingly delicious from the most minimal ingredients - like flour, water, salt and levain. Almost all the breads I make are sourdough. And, increasingly, I prefer breads with 30 to 40+ percent whole grain flours.

I really like naan too, but I've never made it.

I suppose my advice would be to get Jeff Hamelman's "Bread." Study the basic bread science chapters and page through the recipes until you find ones you want to make next.


minani's picture

You are absolutely right and that same concept applies to cooking food "the complexity of the dish comes from its simplicity and the use of good quality ingredients". I will defiantly check out Jeff Hamelman and hopefully learn a lot of new things. 

I actually just posted a blog about the Naan I made the other day. Check it out and let me know what you think.