The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Yorkville SD Baguettes Stiff Levain

Benito's picture

Yorkville SD Baguettes Stiff Levain

I am definitely out of practice shaping baguettes.  Looking at my index I see it has been almost exactly 6 months, much too long.  Based on the three baguettes I baked you can see the improvement with the shaping from the first to the third.  Another variable is that I couldn’t find my preferred flour that I have been using for baguettes so had to use a flour I haven’t used for baguettes before.

This bake I wanted to further test the idea that with more gluten development I could final proof further.  In the past with little gluten development I found the sweet spot for proofing at time of bake was a 30% rise in total.  This allowed me to get an open crumb and decent ears.  This time I actually used my Ankarsrum Assistent for dough development and a couple of folds.  The dough went into cold retard when the aliquot jar showed a rise of only 20%.  The following morning the dough was pre-shaped, shaped and allowed to rise to 45%, so much much more than what I used to do.  Based on the third shaped baguette I’d say that my theory works.  I’ll need to try to get another bake this week of baguettes to get the rust out and confirm my findings.  The one baguette which looks like a snake that swallowed a small animal probably had a large trapped air bubble I’m guessing, anyhow suboptimal to say the least.

Overnight Levain build ferment 75°F 10-12 hours.

In the morning, to your mixing bowl add 353 g water and diastatic malt 5.8 g to dissolve, then add 527 g AP flour to combine.  Briefly mix in your stand mixer until there is no dry flour, then autolyze for 15-20 mins.  


Add the bassinage water to the stiff levain, mix to loosen.  Sprinkle salt on the dough.  Then spread levain on the dough.  Mix until the dough has at least moderate gluten development.  This was very quick in the Ankarsrum Assistent.  Release the dough to the countertop and do a few folds to smooth out the dough.


Bulk Fermentation 82*F until aliquot jar shows 20% rise.

Do folds every 20 mins doing 2 or 3 folds stopping when the dough is showing good strength.  Place in 3°C fridge overnight.



Divide and pre-shape rest for 15 mins.

Shape en couche with final proof until aliquot jar shows 45% rise then (optional) cold retard shaped baguettes en couche for at least 15 minutes for easier scoring. 


Pre-heat oven 500*F after 30 mins add Silvia towel in pan with boiling water.

Transfer baguettes from couche to peel on parchment

Score each baguette and transfer to oven, bake on steel.

Bake with steam pouring 1 cup of boiling water to cast iron skillet dropping temperature to 480*F. 


The baguettes are baked with steam for 13 mins.  The steam equipment is removed venting the oven of steam.  Transfer the baguettes from the baking steel to next rack completing baking directly on a rack to minimize the browning of the bottom crust.  The oven is dropped to 450ºF but convection is turned on and the baguettes bake for 10 mins rotating them halfway.  The baguettes are rotated again if needed and baked for another 3 mins to achieve a rich colour crust.

My index of bakes.


Isand66's picture

I’m sure even the one with the alien trying to escape must have tasted great 😆.  Nice to see you pushing the envelope with the fermentation.  I’ll have to give your new schedule a try soon.  I need a lot of practice on my shaping that’s for sure.



Benito's picture

The baguettes tasted great as usual.  I’m going to have to bake these again and do a better job at the shaping to see what’s what.


gavinc's picture

Welcome back to the world of baguettes. Interesting process with nice results. I bet they taste great.


Benito's picture

Thank you again Gavin, the baguettes were enjoyed and it was good baking them again but I definitely need more practice now.