The Fresh Loaf

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A try at baguettes, a la Bouabsa and SteveB

breadsong's picture

A try at baguettes, a la Bouabsa and SteveB


SteveB ( has made some beautiful baguettes, which I saw recently on his post:

His baguettes are gorgeous...I wanted to see if I could replicate his result using the same flour he was using,
La Milanaise Organic Unbleached AP.

This was my schedule:

Room Flour Water   Time
Temp Temp Temp   Complete
70F 70F 85F Hand mix dough 10:30 AM
      Dough temperature 77.2
      Autolyse 10:50 AM
      Hand work dough 11:00 AM
      Hand mix +50g water 11:15 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 11:35 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 11:55 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 12:15 PM
      Retard in fridge 21hrs 9:15 AM
      Back up 1hr for Daylight Svgs Time 8:15 AM
76F     Warm at room temp 1hr 9:15 AM
      Divide & preshape 9:30 AM
      Rest 10:00 AM
      Shape 10:15 AM
76F     Proof 11:00 AM

Here are some pics:
A stretchy dough, after hand working (R. Bertinet's method), then after remaining 50g water mixed in (ultimately a 75% hydration dough)

After shaping, proofing, scoring  (I did what I thought was a tighter pre-shape, and tried an extra roll when shaping, as the dough was soft.
I don't think I got the surface tension I needed and I had a hard time scoring the baguettes):

The bake (I messed up when loading the oven & the baguette at left only made it halfway onto the stone!
It slid off the stone down onto the steam pan below, so I left it there; there are some score marks evident on top...I guess it did a complete 360, then was a little hard on the landing!:    :^)

Just tasting the baguette now...I'm enjoying it and am happy with the crumb.
Regards, breadsong

Mebake's picture

Those are couple of nice looking baguettes, Breadsong! The crust color also indicate timely fermentation and sugar caramilization. Crumb looks fabulous!

Nice work!

breadsong's picture

Thanks so much! All was going well until I tried to get them in the oven!
The one on the left is a good candidate for the "Ugly Thread" that was just created on TFL!   :^)    Thanks from breadsong

LindyD's picture

I meant to compliment you on your bake of SteveB's Bouabsa baguettes (gee, what alliteration!) but  your posting zoomed by too fast and am playing catch-up now.

No candidates for the "ugly" thread that I can see.  One might be rustic, but it isn't ugly.  A wonderful bake, for certain.

I had tried the formula around the same time but in my enthusiasm for the Bertinent slap and fold, I broke my bread board.  Shaping on a slippery counter was a challenge, to say the least.  I wound up freezing them, so never checked the crumb or the taste till last night.  Thawed one and was amazed to see a lovely crumb.    I love Steve's double hydration technique and plan a do-over this weekend, but this time using David Snyder's sourdough Bouabsa formula.  On my nice, new bread board.

breadsong's picture

Thank you so much! I am glad you had success with these baguettes. You are generous to
describe my mistreated baguette as rustic!
Sorry to hear about your bread board. I've managed to 'break' dough using Bertinet's slap and fold (by this I mean overworking the dough to the point where the gluten breaks down, the dough releases water, then puddles and becomes awfully sticky). I did this twice, with two successive batches of dough, before I figured out I should be stopping periodically to check the gluten window. I like to learn the hard way.
I hope you have fun with your sourdough baguettes!
Thanks again from breadsong


hanseata's picture

Breadsong, and I admire your patience in slapping the dough the Bertinet way - I had to stop it because my husband got suspicious, accusing me of coming out of the closet with S & M tendencies...


breadsong's picture

My husband made a special trip into the kitchen to see what I was up to the first time I tried this mixing method! 
I think I actually prefer mixing by hand in the bowl though.
Thanks from breadsong