The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

36 hours+ sourdough baguette - everything I know in one bread

txfarmer's picture

36 hours+ sourdough baguette - everything I know in one bread


This baguette has many inspirations: the long cold autolyse from Anis, long cold bulkrise from Gosselin, SD instead of instant yeast from David's San Joaqin SD... With 12 hr autolyse, 24 hr cold rise, the process last at least 40 hours from start to finish, however, very little time is spent on real work, most of the time, I just have to wait and let time do its magic.


"Little hands-on work" does NOT equal to "easy to make", in fact, with the extra long process, there could be a lot of variations on how much to S&F, when to start and stop fermentation, etc, not to mention shaping and scoring continue to be a challenge at 75%+ hydration. With plenty of tweeking and adjusting, tthe end result is DELICIOUS: thin and crackling crust dark from all the caramalized sugar, airy and moist crumb, sweet and layered flavor - in the past 2 months, this is our weekend dinner of choice. I have made it at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.


Right now, this is my favorite bagette to eat - and to make.


36hr+ SD baguette

100% hydration starter: 150g

flour: 425g (I usually use KA AP)

ice water: 300g (sometimes a tad more when I feel extra daring)

salt: 10g

1. mix flour and water into a lump of mass, cover and put in fridge for 12 hours. (let's say Thurs morning, takes <5 min)

2. add starter and salt to the dough, use hand to mix until roughly evenly distributed. Note that the 100% starter here has two purpose: it's levaining power to raise the bread, AND it's extra water acts as the "2nd hydration" step in the original Anis formula. To make it even better, the consistency of the starter is much closer to the dough than pure water, so it's easier to mix.

3. bulk rise at room temp (70 to 75F) for 2-3 hours until it grows about 1/3 in volume, S&F every half hour until enough strength has been developed. Put in fridge. (Thurs evening, 3 hours, with 15 min of hands-on work.)

4. 24 hours later, take out dough, if it has not doubled or nearly doubled, give it more time to rise at room temp. I usually have to give it about 1 to 2 hours, depending on temperature, which means the dough can probably be stored in the fridge for even longer than 24 hours.Do make sure it has a sufficient bulk rise, so the dough is strong enough; but don't let it go too long, the dough will be so bubbly that the shaping would be difficult - this is where you need to experiment with timing a lot.

5. divide and rest for 40min.

6. shape and proof for 30 to 50min, score, bake with steam at 460F for 25min. (about 2 to 4hours on Friday night)


There is a lot of room here in term of how to arrange the bulk rise timing - more time before fridge, less during/after; OR more in the fridge; OR now that it's cooler at night, put the dough outside instead and skip fridge all together... The goal is to give the dough a long sufficient bulk rise, regardless how it's done. The key for me is to learn how the dough "feels" and "looks" when it's properly fermentated, so I know I've gotten to the finish line, using whatever fermentation schedule. Before I thought the most difficult part of making baguettes is the shaping, now I thihk it's in managing fermentation - even though I am really not doing anything in that step.


Since we love to eat it, I will conitnue to make this bread a lot, hopefully I will get better with scoring this wet dough! Right now, I am not even trying to get ears, just aim to have the cuts expand properly in the bake.



Sending this bread to Wild Yeast's YeastSpotting event.


novelconcepts's picture

I've been coming to this website for the past year as I've gone from not having baked bread since living at home to starting the no knead loaf to keeping my starter, George, on the counter because I use it every day, and I actually made an account just to tell you how beautiful those loafs are. The crumb looks amazing!

George has got some work to do for the next couple days! Thanks for the inspiration. I was going to wait until I got baguette pans to do something like that, but I think I'm just going to go for it.

breadmd's picture

You mention, "With plenty of tweeking and adjusting, the end result is DELICIOUS: thin and crackling crust dark from all the caramalized sugar, airy and moist crumb..."

Is the sugar made during fermentation? Or am I missing an ingredient? I don't see any sugar in the recipe.

By the way, your detailed, thoughtfully done instructions make me so very grateful for the internet! I realize this is an older post, and I hope you're still active no the site.


frajasago's picture

I don't know if it´s because my english is not very good but I can get the schedule.

Step 1: Day 1 in the morning. Got it.

Step 2: Should I do this inmediately after step 1? 

Step 3: I understand that I do this after step 2, S+F for for 2-3 hours until it grows about 1/3 in volume, and then put in the fridge until the next day?

Steps 4, 5 and 6 are pretty straight forward.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

Hi txfarmer - I'm joining everyone else in singing praise of the method, the air bubbles and the taste. Truly excellent - below and here's my effort.

Mad baker's picture
Mad baker

This site has inspired me for a couple of years now. I am still striving for those gorgeous hole-y crumb loaves...Every post like this depresses yet inspires me. 

THANK YOU for sharing your process. I will try to incorporate it into my next loaf in the hopes it may look something like you folks achieve. Just nom nom nommy looking!!!

alg's picture

Thanks very much for sharing your detailed recipe. Following your instructions, I was able to produce some of my best breads yet.  Not yet of the same quality as your results, but definitely a magnitude greater than what I was producing before.  

I know your originally posted in 2010, but so far, yours are the only ones that on par with Parisian baguettes (see for example:




mollyparnis's picture

Would you please tell me what these terms mean?

1. Anis

2. long cold bulkrise from Gosselin

3. 100% hydration starter

Thanks for your help

doctordough92's picture

I realize I'm late to the game but after having made successful, basic baguettes I decided to make this recipe. The problem I had, which was echoed throughout the discussion, was that since the dough is cold from the refrigerator, the yeast were never very active. What I think I'll do next time to combat this is allowing the autolysed dough to come up to room temperature before mixing the final dough (12 hours into the process). That way when I leave the dough to bulk for 1-2 hours before back in the refrigerator, the yeast are active. 

Any other thoughts to combat the poor rise during the bulk/proofing? I even added 1/4 tsp active dry yeast to help give it a boost. 

Khaosky's picture

How did this go? Did you every find a solution?

Christopher Barreto's picture
Christopher Barreto

How much would this recipe change if I tried to convert this using 100% whole grain flour?

adrianjm's picture

Late to the party on this one. 

Thank you for generosity submitting this recipe. You have another happy customer! 

I made these last weekend and the result was good. However I do have one question... On step 2 I slap and folded about 250 times like I normally do for sourdough to ensure ingredients are combined. I did this because I thought ingredients do not otherwise combine well. But I always have an issue with the dough being strong enough and never holding its shape. Are these two related? Should I stop over kneading at step 2?



drainaps's picture


I wanted to send a big THANK YOU over. I baked your recipe yesterday and it’s the best open crumb I’ve got ever. I’m a rookie baker and I’m so proud of what I did. BUT (big but) it all started with your post for the recipe and the myriad comments and feedback you’ve given to so many of us over the years. THANK YOU  and kudos to you.

Khaosky's picture

I liked this recipe because i think its reasonable to do during the week whilst I am working (out of the house for 10+ hours a day). I want to defientely explore the BR in the fridge.

My only issue is getting a grips  on how the dough is behaving (proof wise) when it is cold - is this why you wait till room temp? For me this waiting for room temp feels like a step too far as such, could we just leave it in the fridge for say 4 more hours (instead of taking it out for two to get to room temp?)?

I followed your recipe and got this:

(Please excuse the 'rustic' shaping)

Loaf came out a little flat - didn't get that nice round shape. However i feel i got a good this is my question, have I reached a good fermentation here but a bad proof??

No one will probably even read this post.