The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Time to finally post a bake...

Gill63's picture

Time to finally post a bake...

I've been looking for some time now, and posted the odd comment, but no bakes till now. I bake sourdough more often than not, but have been wanting to have another go at baguettes since doing Richard Bertinet's fab 5 day bread course back in March. But, didn't have any baguette peels/flipping board, and wasn't prepared to pay 20 quid each for the, be they very beautiful, ones I've seen advertised on line. B&Q, Wickes etc only seemed to have boards of at least 1.4cm thick for the width I wanted, and after asking at a local independent builders merchants I found myself at a nearby timber yard explaining to the office staff what I wanted. Next morning they had cut and planed down 7 boards to 12x50x0.5cm for the princely sum of £7.83. Result!  15 mins to sand down the ends and another 10 mins to oil with some butchers block oil, and I was ready to go.

I used Bertinet's autolyse recipe from Crust, and made 3 part-baked and 1 fully baked baguettes, plus 2 medium sized loafs.  Fairly happy with my first attempt. No crumb shot as lunch was the baked baguette! Part baked ones will be turned into garlic bread and frozen.

Lessons learnt

1 I need to remember the depth of my oven/baking stone whilst shaping baguettes - the fully baked one had to go in alone and crosswise!

2 A couple more minutes on the bake would have been better

3 Need to improve my lame technique - I presume the slashes on the fully baked one should have been longer/overlapping or more of them to avoid it becoming so irregularly shaped??

the hadster's picture
the hadster

Sometimes equipment is so expensive!  I use a home made lame because I refuse to pay the super high price for a ready made.

Interesting idea to partially bake a loaf of bread.  Try to remember to let us know how the final baking goes!


ps - I'm still trying to figure out slashing my bread. There are video links on this site you can view, and on the King Arthur Flour website as well.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

My peels (like flipping boards only I don't use them for flipping) are long narrow pieces of 1/4" plywood with the ends filed down. Much more 'rustic' than yours; yours is beautiful!

There are a few people on this site who are dedicated baguette bakers and have spent countless hours perfecting the art. I'm sure you could learn a few things from following their posts. :) Meanwhile, keep posting!

kendalm's picture

You've just entered the world of never ending perfection and with a good start realizing that the stuff they seek online and in stores is kind of a rip - example I have two huge basalt Slabs for baking full length baguettes - tota cost 32 dollars - keep up the good work and remember this loaf is much harder than most realize but the rewards of diligence are worth it !

MonkeyDaddy's picture

because he is a master at finding bargains for his bakeware.  He uses baskets from Goodwill as bannetons that he only paid a pittance for.  Also, he got dutch ovens at Goodwill for cheap on Dollar Tuesdays.

But his masterstroke is his oven:  He has 1" granite slabs on the top and bottom shelves of his oven that he got as fragments from a granite countertop seller and he only paid a few bucks for them.  If I remember right, I think he even said they cut them to size for him.  He bakes directly on the lower one and the upper one helps to maintain the thermal mass of the oven - and he just leaves them in there all the time.

Cool, huh?