The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First baguettes by husband! They even sang

trailrunner's picture

First baguettes by husband! They even sang







Husband always bakes the cookies in the family and I’m the bread baker. But he has begged for baggies forever! So I looked up some saved formulas and we picked an easy one. Well easy I so far as baguettes can be easy! 

These are hybrid . Use a tiny amount of starter to make a preferment and then only a 1/4 tsp ADY the next day. I directed and he manipulated the dough. We opted for “ rustic” shaping since I noted that other TFLers had done so . One baggie was retarded a couple hours and baked same day. Two were bulk retarded and baked today. I don’t like bulk retard because you lose all that lovely expansion in the shaping and there is only so much ooomph in the yeasts. 

The shaping and baking were easy.  One hour 500 preheat with baking steel and transfer dough  on parchment with a sheet pan . Steam was easy just boiling water poured into a hot pan beneath the steel left for 10 min. 

These loaves sang their little hearts out when they came out of the oven. The crust is shatteringly crisp. The holes are respectable for a first ever baggie baker😊. 

Since we grew up in New Orleans making a ham and cheese po boy was mandatory. Delicious! Wish we had had some fried Gulf shrimp! These are way better than anything we’ve had in recent memory in New Orleans and not anywhere as wondrous as some we had in tiny village boulangerie in France a few years ago. 

There are three more loaves shaped and retarding for a bake tomorrow. Will see how that goes. Husband is happy so I’m happy.


Danni3ll3's picture

Those look great! I know your hubby had a great teacher! 😉

trailrunner's picture

I gave him a bunch of links to TFL folks and the Alfonso video and he did the rest. We'll see how this next batch comes out. I had him add fresh milled semolina and also some malt powder as the Arrowhead mills flour isn't malted. Hopefully my desire to change things up won't affect " his bread" . He is very territorial :) 

Hope you are having a great summer and belated Happy Canada Day !  c

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and those look amazing ..what a great team you are!!! My husband teases me and makes beautiful white loaves with his bread machine.....Kat

trailrunner's picture

my Mom had one of those and I taught her to use a Cuisinart to make Challah using it to mix and finish by hand. She was the age I am now... late 60’s and loved making bread. 

No wonder you have the crumb you have!! Feeding it at room temp appears to be the way to go. But with just two of us I only bake about every two weeks or so and I’m not going to tend my starter that often. I think I may go back to several feeds though and get it more active and see what happens. 

Thank you again 

dabrownman's picture

noodles once in a while.  I've still got some of Lucy's killer gumbo in the fridge that is dying for a baggie like this to go with it.  All of our baggies turn out to to be the rustic style too but we don't make them very often! 

Well done and happy baking Trail

trailrunner's picture

he hasn’t made pasta in awhile! Thanks for reminding me I’ll get on him about that. We love gumbo having grown up in NOLA. I bet your smoked meat makes it outstanding.Happy Baking to you too

isand66's picture

For his first attempt these are beautiful.  I still have issues with baguettes myself.  In my family, my wife is the dessert baker and I'm the bread baker.  If I start making desserts I'll end up gaining 50 pounds!


trailrunner's picture

I’ll tell him you said so. He has the “ critical baker” gene so finds fault with his product. It’s too this or it’s not enough that lol! I’m glad he basically sticks to biscottis as I don’t do desserts anymore since the children are grown and our grandson’s mom doesn’t let him have sweets so no reason to bake sweets. 

Your breads are outstanding!

dmsnyder's picture

Self-criticism if used for problem solving is the best way to learn.


trailrunner's picture

He has an entirely different outlook on baking. He is really rule bound...that scientist thing :) I on the other hand could write for the " Journal of irreproducable results" !  We clash and blend in the kitchen. His crumb and flavor are amazing in person. So I will grant him oven rights for now. 

Hope you are having a great Summer !  c