The Fresh Loaf

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1st time Baguettes

Dave's picture

1st time Baguettes

Hey Everyone,

I would love your input on these.

This is Peter Reinhart's, Pate Fermentee recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I bought this book awhile ago and finally decided it was time to enter my baguette journey. So exciting!!!

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my first attempt.

I did not achieve the open crumb that we all strive for in baguettes. But needless to say the crumb was not dense, but was more closed than I wanted, of course.

Happy with the crust, but would have liked it darker.

Plus I got to go out and some bakers couche. It was awesome!! I picked up like a full meter of material, about  3.28'x 2',  from a great kitchen supply store here in Toronto for, get this, $20.00!! I've seen on Amazon a 24"x 36" piece go for around $118.00.



































Pate Fermentee:

5 ounces                unbleached Flour

5 ounces                bread flour

.19 ounces             salt

.055 ounces           instant yeast

7 ounces                water at room temperature

1. Stir together flours, salt, and yeast. Mix with water until it makes a course dough ball.

2. Dump out on counter and knead for 4-6 minutes.

3. Place back in bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature until 1.5 times it size.

4. Remove from bowl, lightly degas and put back in bowl to go in refrigerator overnight. I cold fermented for about 20 hours.


Dough Recipe:

16 ounces            Pate Fermentee

5 ounces              Unbleached flour

5 ounces              Bread flour

.19 ounces           Salt

,055 ounces         instant yeast

7 ounces              water @ 100° F

1. Remove Pate Fermentee from fridge, dump out on counter and divide into 10 small pieces. Bench rest for 1 hour.

2. Stir together flours, salt, yeast, Pate Fermentee, and water. Mix till a course dough ball is formed.

3. Dump out on work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until it passes window pane test.

4. Place back in bowl and bulk ferment at room temperature until doubled in size.

5. Remove from bowl and cut into 3 equal parts.

6. Shape into baguettes and proof until 1.5 original size. I proofed for about 60 minutes.

7. Pre-heat oven to 550°F.

8. Score while in couche, then place on silicone mat on top of 1/2 baking sheet.

9. Pour 1.5 cups of hot water on bottom steamer.

10. Spray sides of oven with mister.

11. Wait 30 seconds each and repeat mister twice.

12. Turn down oven to 450°F, bake for 30 minutes.


Things I question myself on:

1. I normally stretch and fold until dough feels ready. This time I kneaded with the palms of my hands. Maybe I overworked the dough?? Too much handling??

2. Under-proofed?? Over-proofed??

3. What would over bulk fermenting do?? I think I bulked fermented a little more than double it's size for the final bulk ferment.

4. Would degassing cause the closed crumb? I'm pretty sure after the final bulk fermentation that I did not degas. I dumped out on work surface and lightly padded the dough to shape. I mean very lightly!

All of your input would be greatly appreciated!!

Cheers everyone!











Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

i have yet to try making baguettes.  So I read everyone's experience. 

Would you mind telling the name of the kitchen store in Toronto?

Dave's picture

It was totally fun. Especially shaping them. The technique is so cool!!

Here is the name of the kitchen store in Toronto.

The guys are super nice, but the place is old school. Like a garage old school if you know what I mean. But they do have everything and prices are usually lower than anywhere else.


Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Thank you for that info.   I'm in MB but I have a shopper in TO for another month or two. 

dabrownman's picture

The beginning of baguettes is never as good as the end.  The problem is that the end never comes:-)  What a great first attempt.  Well done and

Happy Baking

Dave's picture

Love your baguette philosophy!

I see txfarmer has a great recipe for 36 hour sourdough baguettes. Think I'll give that a shot next.