The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 2

dmsnyder's picture

SFBI Artisan I workshop: Day 2

SFBI Artisan I day 2


Today's emphasis was on the differences between Short, Intermediate and Intensive mixing. Each of us baked 5 baguettes with each type of mix. The formulas for each batch was slightly different - the shorter the mix, the longer the fermentation, the greater the number of folds, the higher the hydration and the less yeast.


Our lab, aerial view


Today's project


Stretching and folding the Improved Mix dough (Miyuki demonstrated, then each of us did it on our own batch.)


Our breads, cooling


Assessing the breads


Comparing crumbs (from left to right, short, improved and intensive mix)


Of course, the practice handling the dough with personal critique from Miyuki continued. I was amazed that, with 16 students, she clearly remembered what she had told each of us yesterday and compared today's production to yesterday's in incredible detail. (I chatted with one of the SFBI interns at a break. He clearly worships Miyuki as a very highly skilled baker and teacher. It's like she knows everything and does everything better than anyone - not just breads, but also pastries, cakes, venoiserie … everything. I can see it.)


Assessing each student's baguettes


My baguettes


Miyuki cutting one of my baguettes


After all the breads were baked, we assessed each one that Miyuki had made. Then, she evaluated the breads each of the students had made. I need to work on shaping and scoring consistency. She really liked the crumb of my Improved Mix baguette. Her comment after looking at it was, "You have really good dough handling." Ooooooh. That felt good!


My intermediate mix baguette crumb




ananda's picture

Hi David,

In a context such as this, you surely must have enjoyed and thrived on making just 9 loaves of the same type of bread using 3 different methods.

-Compare and contrast in detail.

Most important of all: concentrate on, and master a bundle of practical skills and techniques under the watchful eye of an excellent teacher.

Your photographs reveal it all....enjoy, and thrive!

Best wishes


LindyD's picture

The David Diaries are extremely interesting - thanks so much for writing about your experiences.

The written chart for the three mixes is pretty fascinating, too.  It figures that the class starts with the most difficult shape. 

The number of cuts on today's baguettes is not the same number as yesterday.  Looks like five scores today compared to seven yesterday.  Am curious if the number of cuts was an option or required?

Lovely baguettes.  What happens to them after they are judged?

Looking forward to your next installment!  :->

ddnsfca's picture


I have taken several couses at SFBI and WOW is what happens in your brain. I am local and would love to host you and your lovely wife to dinner while you are here. Or just your lovely wife to lunch and sight seeing while you are having TOO MUCH fun at SFBI. Baguette, baguette, baguette. I went out of there with grocery bags full of baguette and gave to my mail persons, nail salon, school, neighbors.... I have created a bread monster that still needs to be fed!



Paddyscake's picture

Looks like you have alot of talent in your class! Your crumb is amazing. After class are you invigorated or ready to put your feet up? The curriculum looks intensive.


wally's picture

Having done a similar class at KA I think I know how exciting it is to be in a small class environment with a gifted instructor who can help you make improvements in a short time that could take forever (if that) left to your own devices.

I look forward to the next installment.


SylviaH's picture

on your baguettes, David!  Miyuki, sounds like an amazing, talented teacher and baker.  Looks like you had a wonderful day of baking,...and I'm thinking about that great duck dinner you'll be having tonight, what a fine finish to your day!


giertson's picture

...and surely you know it. I do not doubt you are revelling at this moment. I have have been fascinated by what you are doing currently, so I cannot help but anxiously await your next installement. Making some sort of paid vacation to the SFBI has been a meager dream of mine for 3 years now. That, with your reporting, can convince me to follow through.




longhorn's picture

Thanks for the story, David! And the great pictures! And, way to go on the bread!

I have considered taking classes at the SFBI and will hopefully soon. It is great to get first hand, "in the field" reporting!



Farine's picture

Yes, Miyuki rocks! What an amazing crumb you got on your baguettes... 

Judon's picture

David - this is so fun - like we're 'flies on the wall.' Your baquettes are worthy of an artisanal bakeshop - just beautiful.

Thanks for posting your school days.


shansen10's picture

Bread dreams do come true, don't they?  I dream of attending SFBI, or the Institute in NY, which is geographically much closer (I live in Florida).  It is really a thrill to be able to share your experience through your great comments and photos.  Thanks so much for sharing!


proth5's picture

The comparison of the three mixing methods side by side is one of the best pieces of education I have ever had.

Nice bread.

The fun never ends...


Elagins's picture

taking a quick break from the book (due 2 weeks from today) to admire those gorgeous baguettes. your intermediate crumb is exquisite; I'm jealous!!!


wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

So, how did they compare?

Which did you think was best and why?

Very informative post, lots of interest (and jealousy) on TFL.


teketeke's picture


The pictures tell me everything. Thank you so much for all your work.

I am very interested in the board that they wrote the process on. I could read that clearly, and that is the same thing what I am making 2 kind of different baguettes in the same time to compare to the other one. 

I love your baguette. It is very lustrous!  I am looking forward to hearing more reports from you.

Thank you,


Jo_Jo_'s picture

Sigh, I dream of consistently having crumb like that, and they look so nice on the outside too!  I am still working on being gentle but firm with the dough, and sometimes I do quite well, but others I still deflate way to much and end up with sandwich bread crumb!  Happy baking David, may all of your baguette's turn out like those in the pictures....