Tag Archives: french baguette

Pain au Levain Baguettes with WW Alfanso Style

8 Oct

dsc_0043It’s been a while since my last baguette bake and I’ve always admired the beauties coming out of fellow TFL baker Alfanso’s oven.

I decided to give his formula adapted from master baker Jeffrey Hamelman a go.  I only changed up a few things by using KAF French style flour instead of bread flour and I also used fresh whole wheat I milled myself.  The other things I changed were using a bulk ferment of the dough overnight in the refrigerator and also using my mixer on low for a nice 6 minute ride around the bowl.  I then did stretch and folds at 3 intervals over a 2 hour period before putting it in the refrigerator to sleep until the next evening.  I followed my normal procedure of letting the dough rest in my proofer set at 79 degrees for 1 hour.  I then pre-shaped into rounds, let them rest for 15 minutes, finished shaping and let them rest in a couche for about an hour before baking.

My shaping didn’t come out all that bad.  Could still use a bit of practice so I guess I need to make baguettes more often :0.


The taste was fantastic with a nice sour tang and a nutty flavor from the whole wheat and small percentage of rye.  I couldn’t be more happy with the crumb on this one as it was as open as you can ask for without going overboard.

I will definitely be making this one again and probably changing up some of the flour combinations in the future as well.

Thanks Alfanso for your inspiration and advice.


TxFarmer’s 36-Hour Baguettes

3 Oct

 A couple of weeks ago I tried TxFarmer’s 36 hour sourdough version but I had some issues transferring the rested baguettes to my oven and the results were less than stellar.  After experimenting with a different formula for a couple of bakes I decided to go back to this recipe and see if I could get some better results.

I think this time I achieved something close to the crust and crumb that TxFarmer creates.  These ended up being the best one’s I’ve made to date and tasted excellent with a nice light and crisp crust and chewy crumb.  The only thing I need to improve is my shaping and transferring from the couche to the peel and baking stone.  I just purchased a new larger couche and flip board so I’m anxious to see how that turns out.

I also want to try this formula with some changes and additions and see if I can still get a nice open crumb.  I also want to try this in a batard and boule when I get a chance, but maybe with a slightly lower hydration.

For the recipe and directions please visit TxFarmer’s blog post above.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/.

Misty wants you to know she prefers mice to bread any day.


Durum Yeast Water Rustic Style Baguettes

23 Sep

Over the last few weeks I have been experimenting with making different styles and recipes for baguettes.  A couple of weeks ago I tried TxFarmer’s 36 hour sourdough version but I had some issues transferring the rested baguettes to my oven and the results were less than stellar.  This time I decided to concentrate on a recipe from Dave Snyder for his “Rustic Sourdough Baguettes after Phillipe Gosselin”.   This recipe is also similar to Peter Reinhart’s formula for Pain a l’ Ancienne from The Bread Bakers Apprentice where he uses yeast and no starter.

I wanted to give Dave’s recipe a try using Yeast Water instead of a sourdough starter and I also wanted to incorporate some Durum flour into the mix.  I created a Durum Yeast Water starter over 3 builds and also used some KAF French Style flour in the final dough which is medium protein, high ash flour which is supposed to mimic the flour used in France for their world-famous baguettes.

The only mistake I made on this recipe was the forming of the baguettes.  I knew I should have re-read the directions from TBBA but I was too lazy and paid the price.  I didn’t use nearly enough flour to control the extremely wet 75% dough and had a difficult time forming them into baguettes without man-handling them.  The final result turned out pretty good with a nice open crumb and sweet nutty flavor.  Keep in mind this dough is very wet and is not meant to form the baguettes in the normal fashion.  You basically just pat the dough out into a rough rectangle and cut 3-4 strip and carefully stretch them out to form a baguette.


Yeast Water Starter Build 1

60 grams Durum  Flour (KAF)

60 grams Yeast Water Starter

Mix the flour and Yeast Water in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 4 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed to build 2.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

100 grams Durum Flour

100 grams Yeast Water

Build 3

Add flour to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or until bubbly and either use immediately or put in the refrigerator for the next day.

60 grams Durum Flour

60 grams Yeast Water

(Note: I made extra starter since I wanted to use this for another bake.  You can cut the amounts down to make the 200 grams needed in the recipe)

Main Dough Ingredients

100 grams Durum Flour

300 grams French Style Flour (You can use AP flour to substitute)

200 grams  Yeast Water Durum Levain from above

275  grams Ice Water

8.75 grams Sea Salt or Table Salt


Build your Yeast Water levain the day before you are ready to bake or start in the morning the day before you want to bake the actual baguettes.

The evening before you want to bake, mix the mature levain with the flours and 225 grams of the ice water.  (I measured the water and added a few ice cubes for a minute and then removed the cubes and measured again).  Immediately put the flour mixture in the refrigerator in a covered greased bowl.  (Note: you can follow Dave’s original recipe and substitute your 100% hydration sourdough starter for the Yeast Water starter).

The next morning, (Due to my schedule as we took a ride out east to buy some pumpkins and taste some wine I didn’t prepare the dough until about 8 PM),  add the salt and 50 grams of ice water to the dough and mix using your hands until all the water is absorbed into the flour.  You will have to squish the dough and the water together for a few minutes until all the water is absorbed.  I did this in the same bowl the dough was resting in the refrigerator in, but you can transfer to a clean oiled bowl if desired.

Cover the bowl with the dough and ferment at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume which should take around 3 hours.  Every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours do a stretch and fold in the bowl.

About one hour before ready to bake, set your oven for 500 degrees F.and make sure you prepare it for steam.  I have a baking stone on the top shelf and the bottom and use a heavy-duty rimmed baking pan that I pour 1 cup of boiling water into right as I put the loaves into the oven.

After 3 hours or when the dough has doubled, transfer the dough to your well floured work surface (use about 1/2 cup of flour).  Sprinkle more flour onto the top of the  dough if necessary and using a wet dough scraper and wet hands pat the dough out into an oblong .  Be careful not to degas the dough or you will lose all of the nice big open holes you are looking for.  Cut the dough using your metal dough scraper into 4 strips and transfer them with floured hands to a piece of parchment paper on the back of a baking sheet.  Gently coax the dough until it is about 12-14 inches long.  You may need to let it rest for 5 minutes to relax before doing this step.  Score the dough as best as you can.  You may have to dip the blade in ice water between each cut.

When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 460 degrees.  It should take around 20 minutes to bake  until the baguettes  are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 – 205 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 20 minutes or so before eating as desired.

The results were pretty good with a nice open crumb and light but crispy crust.  I will certainly try this one again and hopefully follow my own directions about shaping this time!

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/.


French Style Baguettes with Quinoa Flour

11 Apr

I was in the mood for something simple and relatively uncomplicated to bake so I decided to make some baguettes based on the Peter Reinhart method from ABED which uses a long overnight ferment of the bulk dough.  Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to add something different to make it more interesting.  I just picked up some quinoa flour from the supermarket which imparts a nice nutty flavor to the dough.  I also added some low protein Italian style 00 flour from KAF along with some organic whole wheat and bread flour.

The end result was a nice crispy, light and nutty flavored baguette.  I still need some practice with my shaping and figuring out how long to make them so they fit on my oven stone.  I could have handled the dough a little lighter to preserve some bigger holes, but overall the crumb was not bad and the crust was nice and crisp.


300 grams KAF Bread Flour (BakersPercentage, 44%)

200 grams Italian Style Flour 00, KAF (BakersPercentage, 29%)

100 grams Organic Whole Wheat Flour, KAF (BakersPercentage, 15%)

80 grams Quinoa Flour, Bob’s Red Mill (BakersPercentage, 12%)

454 grams water, 70 degrees Fahrenheit (BakersPercentage, 67%)

14 grams Sea Salt  (BakersPercentage, 2%)

7 grams Instant Yeast (BakersPercentage, .01%)


Using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the water with the flours for 2 minutes on low.

Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and mix for 2 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.

Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form into a ball.

Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and put into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

Put in your refrigerator immediately for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread, shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don’t de-gas it.

Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 – 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Shut the oven off and crack the door with the bread still present.  Let it sit for 10 minutes to continue to dry out and develope the perfect crust.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/.