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unconventional, low hydration, baguette formula

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

unconventional, low hydration, baguette formula

I already let the dough talk to me. After 5 minutes at Bosch speed # 1, and a 5 minute rest, I decided not to develop the gluten any farther up front. I changed up the bulk timing to folds at 45 and possibly 90 minutes. 

 At, 45 minutes in, I am quite tickled by the appearance of the low hydration dough. 

The formula

Traditional Baguettes

l'ancienne)Bosch specific method

By: Will Falzon (The Brooklyn Maltese)




1000 Grams



  650 Grams

Barley Malt Syrup


    10 Grams


    2 %

    20 Grams


    1 %

    10 Grams



1680 Grams           


Bosch specific Method

Ø In the bowl of the Bosch mixer Combine the water & malt syrup

Ø Add in the dry ingredients and mix at speed #1 (5 minutes)

Ø Cover the bowl, and rest the dough (5 Minutes)

Ø Continue mixing until the dough just begins to ball up and clear the bowl. (5 – 7 minutes)

Ø Remove the shiny elastic (still slightly sticky) dough to a fermenting container

Ø Rest at warm (72F) room temperature for 2 hours. Preform stretch and folds at the four sides and flip the dough at 60 minutes.

Ø At 2 hours, the dough will have expanded (doubled) and have a puffy brain like appearance.

Ø On a lightly floured surface, scale and divide the dough into four 420-gram pieces. Rest covered on the bench for 5 minutes.

Ø Pre-shape the four portions into blunts, using just enough dusting flour to keep them from sticking. Rest the pre-shaped blunts covered for 20 Minutes.

Ø Using the palm of your hand, degas and flatten the blunt into an approximately 3” by 2” rectangle.

Ø Pull the top long side of the dough into the center of the rectangle and seal with your palm or fingers.

Ø Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat the last step on the other side.

Ø Turn the dough 180 degrees again and pull the top of the dough tight into the center. Seal the seam.

Ø Turn the dough one more time, this time pull & roll  the top of the dough tightly on to itself, all the way down to meet the bottom of the dough. Seal the seam well with the palm of your hand, rest seam side up for 10-15 minutes.

Ø On the lightly floured bench, with lightly floured hands, roll the now tight skinned blunt, starting from the center with both hands, into a 17” slightly tapered snake.

Ø Move to a floured bakers couche seam side down.

Ø For the above shaping steps use enough dusting flour to keep the dough from sticking and damaging the product. However, do not overdo it.

Ø Pre-heat your oven to 500F (as high as it goes) with a steam tray

Ø Rest the baguettes covered at room temperature or 45 minutes to 1 hour. Until they reach ¾ proof. They should look very puffy and a poke test will fill in fairly quickly.  

Ø Move to the baking pan or peel, slash in the appropriate baguette pattern, finishing with an odd number of slashes.

Ø Place the baguettes in the oven and add 1 cup of water to the tray.

Ø Bake at high temperature for 12 minutes.

Ø Open the oven, vent, and remove steam source.

Ø Turn the baguettes 180 degrees. Lower the oven temperature to 460F

Ø Bake for 3 minutes

Ø Turn 180 degrees Bake for three minutes

Ø Continue to check the doneness and turn the baguettes every three minutes, bake at 440 degrees, until the desired color is achieved.

Ø Once you are satisfied, turn off the flame, and crack the oven door. Allow the baguettes to cool in the oven for 15 minutes to set the crust.

Ø Remove to a wire cooling rack for at least 1 hour before cutting.



The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Ambient room temperature: 74 degrees F.

Dough temperature: 80 degrees F.  

At the 90 minute mark, I opted not to preform the second stretch and fold. The dough will continue untouched for 30 minutes. At that time I will assess the level of gluten development.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

After a conversation at the baguette club, I decided there was no way I could continue baking without a flax couche. Fast-forward: my cotton couche is so well seasoned, I can't bring myself to use the new flax linen job.  

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Pre-shaped, now for a relaxing 20 minute rest. 


The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Back to rest before the final shaping. (20 minutes)

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Not grand or extraordinary. The crumb shot will be the tell. (Pass/fail)

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

The bread has a thin crisp crackly crust and a fairly open crumb. (about what one would expect from 66% hydration.) The taste is really nice, not for a same day bake, but in general. No nasty yeast after taste, just a clean taste that pleases the taste buds. While at the the same time the scent is like a whiff of heaven! That's all for his week, please join me next week, for more of mediocre home baker show! Smile....



Benito's picture

Will baguette #3 from the left is the most successful for scoring.  If you draw a line connecting all the beginning points of each score, that line is parallel to the side of the baguette.  Then the same for the ends of score, if you draw a line connecting the ends of the score that line would be parallel to the side of the baguette.  That is exactly what you need to do.  Good overlap, just try to make sure you don’t have three scores overlapping.  That one is much much better scoring!

Benito's picture

I know we purchased our newest couches at the same time, mine was advertised as being a flax linen couche, but in fact I believe they sent me a thick cotton couche.  I’m a bit mad about that, however, it does seem to be working as it should so long as I’ve floured it sufficiently.

DanAyo's picture

Benny, the cloth on the right is flax.

Benito's picture

Yes I figured as much.  You know I bought it from Amazon and it was flax linen in the photo and description, but then I received it, it was the colour of the one on the left, it was thicker than my pastry cloth but otherwise it seemed very similar.  The thing is, it’s working just fine for what it needs to be doing and I’ve used it many times so it is a bit late to be returning it LOL.

idaveindy's picture

What flour are these loaves made from?

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Nothing remarkable about todays flour, Gold metal I think.