The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

T65 Baguettes, a first for me

alfanso's picture

T65 Baguettes, a first for me

My trip to Paris in June yielded these two useful results:  I was able to meet M. Bouabsa at his bakery for a few minutes and I came home with four 1K bags of T65 flour.  I’m certain that the flour isn’t the best quality as it was the house brand bought at the local Carrefour on my last full afternoon.  Held in abeyance until this weekend.

Styled on my version of Mr. Hamelman’s Vermont SD these are created using a 125% hydration KA AP flour levain which accounted for the 15% of the pre-fermented flour.  I picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo and fava bean flour, as suggested by dabrownman and kendalm, and added 2% to the mix.  Therefore the quick formula is:

  • 83% T65 flour
  • 2% garbanzo bean flour
  • 15% KA AP flour
  • 65% hydration
  • 1.9% salt

Standard French Folds, 2 hour bulk rise, 2 Letter Folds, and retard overnight.  Baked at 460dF.  I usually get a darker bake than this, even with a pure white flour mix, but this is a new game for me.  And after the bake I looked at the ingredients and noticed that this was an unmalted flour, something unusual for me and which I didn’t take into consideration.  And I wonder if that is the reason that the baguettes came out paler than usual.  Or is this an expected coloration for this type of flour? 

3x330g baguettes

Update Oct. 01.  crumb shot added.  I had made an assumption that this bread di not have much of an open crumb.  And although it certainly is not very open it does display some characteristics of a standard baguette inside.  

I've already reworked the formula to include a pinch of diastatic malt powder, switch from an AP levain to an all rye levain and to increase the hydration to 68% for the next batch.

I hadn’t baked a rye in a while.  125% hydration rye levain comprising the 15% pre-fermented flour.  75% AP flour, 5% WW and 20% Rye @73.5% overall hydration.

 2X325g baguettes, 2x425g baguettes


Floydm's picture

Nice bakes.

Danni3ll3's picture

 I don’t think they look pale but that could be the lighting. Thanks for my baguette picture fix. I was desperately in need of one! 😉

alfanso's picture

thanks, alan

kendalm's picture

Hey there Alan, so excited for your first full on French baguettes - they look great as usual. From experience the store bought supermarche stuff is not really the same as thr stuff used in boulangeries and as you pointed out, no malt / amylases.  I used francine t55 (a common supermarket brand) and made a few batches - they all performed well in terms of mixing and shaping etc but the bake was really pale especially the interior. Additionally the flavor profile was very bland. These flour I believe are more commonly used for crepes and the like (per many conversations with French students i encounter at the local market here when they are looking all confused in thr bakery isle). Despite that I hope it gave you a good idea how the dough feels - if it's anything like francine brand i would say that it mixes and shapes just like Moulin does - I find the dough to be really slack / delicate and a joy to work with - super quick on mix / knead ...maybe you should hit up - they are on the east coast so shipping should be cheaper (tell phillippe that Geremy referred you)

alfanso's picture

definitely aligned with my one-time so far personal experience.  The flavor indeed left a lot to be desired, although it is still superior to most of what can be had in the majority of bakeries and markets.  The next time I'll try to coax some more flavor and open crumb via three changes: move the hydration from 65 - 68, swap the AP levain for a rye levain, and add some of that malt powder in my pantry to the mix to see if I can get some better crust coloration and give the yeast a little more to feast on.

Thanks for the insight and your personal knowledge of this flour.


dabrownman's picture

in the dough and autolyse it for a bit longer than normal and that should take care of the paleness too.  The 2nd bake was way nicer looking the first one for sure and I take it for granted that the taste was bland.  Very nice baggies from the Don of Baggs as usual.

alfanso's picture

was just something extra that I posted, a caraway rye.  But the T65 flour is still awaiting its next bake.

Thanks, alan

hreik's picture

I have a source for you.... in the US, in NYC.  I used to use the organic T65 I got from this source, but switched to a domestic higher protein flour which I am currently using. 

you can message me or just reply here if you want more of this.


alfanso's picture

It was only through that moment in time's proximity to the T65 at the local store that I bought any at all.  I noticed that M. Bouabsa's bags of flour were all T65, and I figured that if it was good enough for him, who was I to parry that idea?  I'll get a total of 24 baguettes out of these 4 bags, using up about 500g per mix and that will be fine.

More for the experimentation of baking with a French Flour than for the sheer desire to do so.  But kendalm also mentioned the place in Brooklyn where he gets his flours from, L'Epicerie. So at least I have that one source if the mood ever strikes.  Typically I'm satisfied baking with the standard over-the-counter national brands here.

Thanks, alan

isand66's picture

Always exciting to try a new flour and looks like your second take with the rye and malt turned out more to your liking.

So what's the deal with the garbanzo flour?  I used it once many years ago but maybe I should make some fresh stuff with my mill.  I would have to dehydrate the beans first I would think if I used canned beans or I guess if I used dry beans I could just mill it.

I made some WW baguettes with fresh milled flour and added some potatoes.  I have to post it when I get a chance.

Happy Baking.


alfanso's picture

According to Abel Sierra:

  • Fava bean was used in french bread, specially some decades ago, up to 2% content on the amount of flour.
  • Fava bean flour, and also soy bean flour can improve the fermentation of the dough, providing sugars and nitrogen.It also acts on gluten, favoring the retention of gas. Fava bean and soy bean contains an an enzyme that acts on the oxidation of fats (lipoxygenase). As a result, you get better volume and whiter crumb. That's the main reason why some industrial bread contains these ingredients.

The Bob's Red Mill package is a combination of the two.

Actually the second bake was a caraway seed rye that i just happened to post a few pictures of as well.  the next T65 bake is still somewhere on the horizon.

Looking forward to having another baguettes join the slender ranks here.

Thanks, alan