New to baking and this site.
I came across this site searching "Slap and fold doesn't work". I was following a youtube recipe, and things were going South. I took a look around and found pictures of ugly baguettes and gorgeous baguettes and everything in between, so I think that this is where I need to be if I want to really learn. I'm also big into coffee, and this site kind of reminds me of the extremely smart and passionate community at home-barista.com. Coffee is also complex, and espresso, in particular, relies on a ton of variables working together to produce something that you want to drink.
I just started baking bread this year, like millions of others. First with some yeast breads then on to mostly sourdough. I can now bake a decent sourdough with nice oven spring and good flavor. Along the way I'd attempt baguettes and have only minor success. Mostly they come out pale, tough and waxy. One time I made something that was more like a hogie roll, but it was still better than my other attempts.
I have two baguettes proofing right now, and the oven is warming up. The dough was hard to roll out, so I think I might have over-kneaded it, I am mostly winging it right now, but I hope to learn some good lessons here, and make something close to those works of art I'm seeing here
The two baguettes have finished. They are sort of dumpy, malformed and squat, but they're not the worst ones I've made.