Shaping a baguette
Hello, I'm quite new to bread baking. I have made a few good whole wheat loaves with nuts and whole grains added and they all were bricks (but tasted good). I realized I wasn't kneading well and therefore was not getting very good gluten formation so the texture was horrible. Anyways, while I like whole grain bread for the health aspect, I've somewhat come to the realization after some research that I won't get that incredible chewiness and holey texture of french bread with 100% whole wheat.
So in my first couple attempts using Red's Mill unbleached bread flour with just a little whole wheat to make baguettes, they turned out great in texture and taste, but it was impossible to shape them into baguettes. They turned out to be more like deformed batards. The crust was nice and the crumb was chewy but I didn't have very many holes. The first time I think I over kneaded the dough and it was WAY too elastic so it was hard to form the baguettes. The next time I tried to make a wetter dough as well as limit kneading and doing a lot longer rise but while the dough was a lot softer and easier to shape, I still couldn't get long thin baguettes.
I won't lie, I've been somewhat improvising the recipes (for a given amount of water, add flour utill the dough cleans the sides of my kitchenaid) so that may be it, but it is the shaping step that has been giving me the most trouble.
Any help is greaty appreciated.