Sourdough Baguettes – Attempt #3 (Part 4)

This post has a video of me shaping baguettes.

As you can imagine I’m multitasking and probably not doing a good job of anything.

Again, this will show me shaping baguettes. I’m new to this. My technique is horrible. I’m trying to record as a way for me to remember what I did.

The dough feels much better than previously. It does have some lumps in it that I suspect is dough that wasn’t fully hydrated. That will be interesting to see after they’re baked.

I do have rice flour top and on the Couche. Last time I didn’t and the loaves stuck to the cloth. Hopefully this won’t happen again.

Here’s the video (raw) of me shaping my baguettes after separating, measuring, preshaping and then bench-resting for 20 minutes.

Shaping Baguettes

NOTE This video only shows me shaping the first baguette.

I shaped the loaves and got them covered in the Couche. The method says to let prove for 2-3.5 hours. Not sure I’ll let them go that long. I’ll poke them and bake maybe 90 or so minutes from now.

I’ll certainly be trying to NOT put out my oven with my steam!


Here is a gallery of photos of the loaves in the Couche and about to be baked.

Sourdough Baguettes – Attempt #3 (Part 3)

This is a short post showing me doing a coil fold. I’ve referenced them before but never attempted posting a video.

NOTE: This is ME doing it and I’m not an expert in any way! There are plenty of videos on YouTube made by bakers far more experienced than I.

Coil Folding

Before this I’d snipped off a portion of my dough to put in my Aliquot jar. You can see it to the right side of the video frame with a little black line to indicate where I want it to rise during bulk ferment.

I won’t bore you with any more videos of my coil folding….

The dough is starting to come together!

Sourdough Baguettes – Attempt #3 (Part 2)

“Flexibility is the key to AirPower” said Italian airpower theorist Gen. Giulio Douhet. It was one of the first tenets taught to me as a cadet at the US Air Force Academy.

I guess it also applies to bread making.

My Poolish was rising at a much faster rate than my Leaven.

Next time I will use differs temps for both (e.g. 75°F for the Poolish and 80°F for the leaven). I’ll also mix my leaven at a 1:1:1 ratio not the 1:10:10 ratio…need a higher percentage of active starter to grow faster.

I could only wait until 1015 and then decided I needed to mix the Poolish into my main flour. When I realized I needed to adjust my method I decided to start the autolyse immediately. I figured 30 minutes would be better than none!

Squeezing in Poolish

I hand mixed the Poolish just enough to incorporate and let it sit until Noon. This was roughly 4 hours after I’d mixed the Leaven and Poolish mixtures. My Leaven by this point had grown by about 2/3. This was the clue that next time I’d use a ratio of 1:1:1 instead of the 1:10:10.

Leaven risen by two-thirds

I squished in my leaven in a similar manner to the Poolish (video above). I then set my timer for 20 minutes to let it rest before I added the salt.

Adding Salt

I simply sprinkle the salt on and squished it in. It feels gritty and I’m looking for a general consistency in the grittiness… not some places that are more so and others that have none.

I’ll wait for about 30 mins and cut off a piece to stick in my Aliquot jar to judge the bulk ferment rise. At that time I’ll start my coil folds.

Think I’m

Back on track…

Sourdough Baguettes – Attempt #3

Well trying again…. This is already turning out interesting.

Mixed the Poolish and Levain today and decided to make the temp of the mix 80°F.

My flour was 74.5°F I thought I’d make the water temp 85°F. Both weights of flour and water were 200g … the average would be ~ 80°F.

I microwaved my water and got it too hot (96°F). I cooled down to 88°F with an ice cube. Frankly, I got impatient. Anyway, the resulting temps were 83°F. Pretty close…

I dropped them both into my proving box at 80°F

Poolish and Leaven Mixed

Here’s the wrinkle…

At 0930 (1 hour 15 minutes later) my Poolish is almost 1.5x bigger and my leaven is maybe 10% grown! Oops.

About an hour later

This was me not carefully following method.

If I’d read more closely I would have noted I should have used 75°F for the Poolish and 80°F for the Leaven. I should also have had them NOT in the Proving Box…do them at room temp.

The result would be them growing at a closer rate.

I autolysed my main flour and I’ll mix it all together earlier. I’ll see how the bulk ferment turns out.

Autolyse Flour

Will just have to flex…

Sourdough Croutons

I mentioned making sourdough croutons first before turning them into breadcrumbs from day old bread (in this case my baguettes).

Here are some pics of the process for making the croutons

Cutting up the croutons

I cut the croutons up by slicing the baguettes (or bread) at about a finger width. I then tear the bread apart or use a knife if it a bit harder.

Coating with oil and seasoning

I put a couple Tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle a bit of sea salt and about a heaping Tablespoon of Heres De Provence. I’ve used a number of different dry spices before. Just what I’m using this time. Mix together well to coat all the bread.

Ready to bake

I had enough croutons to fill a full-size baking tray. I’ll bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes flight ping them around mid-bake to get a more even color.

Croutons baked and cooling

After they’ve baked I turn the oven off, crack the door and let them dry out a bit further.

UPDATE: Next time I’ll pull them out immediately after baking and NOT leave them in the oven. They didn’t burn but ended up darker than I prefer.

Good flavor and nice and crispy!

Sourdough Breadcrumbs

Made sourdough breadcrumbs from some day-old bread and baguettes. I mentioned that I was going to do this in my last post. Good use of older bread.

Sourdough Breadcrumbs

Process was pretty simple. First make croutons then crush them.

Cut up the bread into crouton size pieces. Add a bit of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and some sort of seasoning. I used Herb de Provenance.

Coated prior to baking

Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Baked and cooling

I found that the best way for me to turn them into crumbs was to blitz them in my food processor. I had to experiment with my settings to get what I was looking for consistency-wise.

Anyway… that’s what I did. Pretty simple.

Going to use them as panko for chicken parm tonight! Yay!

Sourdough Baguettes Alternative Part 3

Well… they looked like baguettes (sorta).

Good thing was that I didn’t put my oven out with my massive volume of steam. Secondly, they were sized about right for my scalloped rack and not overhanging.

My wife’s comment was: “Why did you change virtually every variable from last time you attempted baguettes? Doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.”

She has a point.

Baguettes Cooling

This bake didn’t have to oven bloom I expected. Probably due to my more limited steam. My steam technique needs improvement. the end result was that my baguettes were more dense and moist with a tighter crumb (smaller bubbles).

Crumb shot

The dough was more slack in the Couche. It also stuck. I haven’t been using rice flour. All the other bakers I see talk about using rice flour in their bannetons and on the Couche. I ordered some from Amazon after I couldn’t find it in my local grocer. Hopefully it will keep my dough from sticking to the cloth unlike what happens currently with AP flour.

I’ve also seen from some other bakers I follow on how to not waste bread. I’m going to cut these baguettes up and make croutons which I will then crush and bake breadcrumbs. All’s good!

I will go back to the other process with the combined leaven and poolish and focus on mastering that recipe and method.

I’m not going to let it get the best of me!

Sourdough Baguettes Alternative Part 2

Today is the day to bake baguettes! I’ve been juggling baking schedules in my head since today I’m baking not only these baguettes but sourdough loaves and croissants as well!

My morning started out with baking my bread. I’d preloaded my Dutch Ovens and set my oven to preheat this morning. All I had to do this morning was get them out of the fridge and score before popping them in to bake.

At the same time I got my croissants from the fridge and placed them into proofing bags so they could rise. Normally this is a four hour+ step meaning I’d be baking around noon.

Noon is also the time I need to get my baguettes into the Couche to proof since I’d like to begin baking them at 2pm since I’ve an event at 4pm that I need to attend.

That means at 11am I need to have the baguettes preshaped shortly after 11am since the method has them bench resting unfloured and uncovered for 45 minutes.

Juggling the baking schedule is normal…

Here is my preshaping of the baguettes. Basically it was simply dividing them into six (6) 330g rounds and then letting them bench rest for 45 minutes.

It’s going to get busy here shortly…. And ll take more pictures and convey more in subsequent posts. Stay tuned…

Sourdough Baguettes – Different Approach

Time to try making Sourdough Baguettes again. This time I’m going to try a different approach. I’m using Joshua Weissman’s recipe and method described here

This is a couple day process. I’m actually running it in parallel with my normal sourdough bread AND a batch of sourdough croissants!! Wow… look at all the baking going on!

As a side note I’m wearing my Swedish Chef shirt. I had a woman mention it and she said “I don’t understand what he’s saying”. I told her it was Swedish but if she tried saying it out loud she might get the gist. after a brief pause she said “Oh my!” Ha!

Swedish Chef T-shirt

Anyway… Day 1 is simply feeding my sourdough starter. I did that last night.

Day 2 initially begins by taking the 100% hydration starter and making a 50% hydration stiff Leaven.

Stiff Leaven Recipe

  • 28g Bread Flour
  • 20g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 24g Sourdough Starter (100% hydration)
  • 28g Water

To calculate that the stiff hydration level you add the gram weight of the flour plus half the gram weight of the starter: 28g+20g+12g=60g. The water weight is 28g+12g=30g. The flour gram weight is the constant or 100%. The water is half the weight of the flour so the hydration is 50%.

The stiff Leaven is put into the box to prove at 80°F for a couple hours.

About an hour before it is ready I began to autolyse my dough. Basically just mixing the water and flour together to introduce the to each other and then let sit for an hour to let the water soak into the flour.

Dough Recipe

  • 732g Bread Flour
  • 313g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 778g Water (90°F)

Once the stiff leaven has doubled break it apart and spread over the autolysed dough. Sprinkle 20g of salt over the dough, dimple and add another 100g of water to the mix. Incorporate by hand squishing it all together. It’s a sticky mess!

Once the water is mixed in dump on the counter and perform “Slap ‘n Folds” for a couple of minutes. It should only take 1-2 minutes before the dough is cohesive and not sticking to counter. Put back in bowl and let rest in box (80°F) for about 15-20 minutes to relax.

After the last Slap ‘n Fold place the dough back into the proving box for another 2 hours. Perform Stretch ‘n Folds every25-30 mins for the first 75-90 mins.

Once that is done seal the bowl airtight and place into fridge for 18-24 hours to cold bulk ferment.

We’ll see what this dough looks like tomorrow!!

No mixer used at all…

This time I made bread by hand without using my KitchenAid mixer at all

Sourdough bread cooling

I went straight to my tub and mixed the flour and water to begin the Autolyse process. using my Swedish dough hook I mixed in the water, formed a ball, spritzed with water and covered with cling wrap.

Mixed and covered with cling wrap

I’ve mentioned before about how extensible the dough becomes after a few hours. Don’t believe I’ve ever posted a video to show. Check this out:

Dough Extensibility after Autolyse

I mixed in my leaven by hand (quite gooey). As part of the first coil fold I mixed in the salt. After that I coil folded the dough every 30-40 or so (4x total). After that I left it to bulk rise judging using my Aliquot jar.

Using Aliquot Jar

Once bulk finished I split the dough, preshaped and let bench rest for 30 minutes. I then shaped into Boules (rounds) and plopped them into their bannetons to rest covered in the fridge overnight.

The dough was noticeably more pillowy during shaping.

I scored and baked in the morning. I did realize that I needed to swap out my razor blade. Slashing was more difficult than normal. I think that is the reason for less bloom on the left loaf bread n the first picture.

I’ll update with a crumb shot later after they cool. I’m very interested in the crumb structure.