SB 002| How to Make a Basic Baguette

This video will teach you how to make a basic baguette in your home oven. If you're new to bread baking, this video will introduce you to some invaluable concepts including the 12 steps of bread and steam injection for proper crust formation.

How to Make a French Baguette Loaf of Bread - Video

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There are 37 Comments

jstachef's picture

LOL..now I know why artisan baguettes cost so muchsmiley That a lot of work

jacob burton's picture

It seems like a lot of work when presented in a detailed video like this, but each step really only takes a few minutes. You spend most of your time standing around, waiting for bread to ferment and proof. Fun project on a cold winter day.

Jorge Arribasplata's picture

This is the best tutorial on French baguette I have found in the web so far, congratulations.
My question is are:
1. Are you baking on a normal oven or are you using a convection oven?
2. What would be the difference/benefits between baking on a normal oven versus a convection oven? _ Thank you.

Jorge

jacob burton's picture

Hi Jorge, welcome to Stella Culinary! To answer you questions:

1) In the video I'm baking in a conventional oven (no fan).

2) Convection ovens are great for baking because they have a fan (usually located at the back) that circulate hot air throughout the oven. Even ovens that have high quality seals on their doors will still be hotter at the back then they are at the front because some heat will always escape through the door even when closed. A convection fan circulates hot air, so the hot spots in your oven aren't as noticeable.

In this video you'll notice that I rotate the pans 180 degrees and top to bottom. This is to counteract the fact that my oven, like most conventional or "normal ovens," have natural hot spots. The rotating of the pans allows for even baking.

So in short, if you're using a convection fan, you may or may not have to rotate your baking pans (depends on how efficient your fan is) although I would still recommend it if you notice that the bread is browning unevenly. What's more important though, is that the heat delivery with a convection oven is much more efficient, so even though you might still need to rotate your pans, you'll probably either (a), find that you need to bake at a slightly lower temperature (standard rule of thumb is 25ºF less) or for slightly less time (usually by about 5-10 minutes) depending on your oven. If I had to choose one, I would say drop your oven temp by 25ºF and still rotate your pans as demonstrated in the video.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Jacob

jacob burton's picture

A baking stone would help with oven spring and crust formation. Place the baguettes right on top of the stone, spritz with a little water and then cover with an inverted pan for the first 15 minutes of baking to generate steam.

 

This method is actually better then the one I demonstrate in the video but a little more finicky.

jacob burton's picture

Yes, it is different and they are interchangeable. You can use the same hotel pan in the video and invert that over the baguettes to capture the steam. The whole idea is since you're using a baking stone, you'll want the baguettes to be in direct contact with the stone, so you will not need molds.

 

When ready to bake, score the baguettes and slide onto your baking stone. You can either invert the hotel pan on top, or try steaming the oven with a hot cast iron pan and a boiling cup of water placed on the bottom of the oven.

jacob burton's picture

The reason why I let the dough rest in the middle of kneading is because the gluten strands were starting to become very tight, making the dough difficult to work. If you let the dough rest for a few minutes when this happens, the gluten strands will relax and allow you to continue kneading.

 

In contrast to this, the "no-knead" method requires a higher hydration and a little more time, where as the kneading process shown in this video forms the gluten structure before the initial bulk fermentation. In the no knead method, you need to stretch and fold the dough over the course of 1.5-3 hours and then bulk ferment. It's just a matter of how much time you want to spend on this project and how "open" you want your crumb to be (the "no-knead" method usually yields a more airy crumb).

 

I do plan on eventually shooting a video that demonstrates a no-knead baguette.

Milan's picture

Best French Baguette tutorial.  

 

Question: Can I use the "french kneading" method for kneading the dough about 4-6 times and then resting for 20 minutes?  

 

video on "french kneading": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0

 

 

Another question: Any lessons provided in the SF Bay Area?

 

Last question:  Do you notice a difference in flavor compared to the no kneading method?  

 

Looks like i have one more question: If I did allow the dough to rest overnight (as described in the no kneading method) and yet I do knead it, will it mess up the end product?  I want to experiment with it.

 

Cheers

milan

 

 

jacob burton's picture

  1. Any kneading method that develops gluten will work, so yes, the French Kneading method will work fine.
  2. I don't provide any lessons in SF but I do in Truckee, which is a 4 hour drive up i-80. We have a five day boot camp planned for November, one day of which will cover bread basics.
  3. The flavor of no-knead is sometimes more complex because if the dough is over kneaded, you can incorporate too much air which in turn oxidizes the flour, causing some flavor loss. However, assuming that the dough is kneaded properly, the biggest difference in no knead bread is the more open crumb (which sometimes you want, other times you don't).
  4. If you let the dough sit overnight, there is no reason to knead it the following day since the gluten structure will already be developed from such a long rest. At that point, all you need to do is degas, form, proof and bake.

Let me know if you have any more questions and welcome to Stella Culinary.

jacob burton's picture

PS: I use the French Kneading method in both the sourdough boule video and the European style brown bread video (it is my proffered kneading method). If you're into making bread, I would highly recommend out Stella Bread Playlist, found here: http://www.stellaculinary.com/sb.

Marco099's picture

Hi Chef,

I'm wondering what is the proper way to transfer the formed, proofed loaf from a banneton or a metal mold on to my baking stone without damaging or collapsing the loaves in any way? 

Thanks.

jacob burton's picture

We use a "couche" which is a thik piece of canvas that we dust with flour. We pinch the canvas to form pleats, and then proof the baguettes in these pleats. When it comes time to bake, we use a transfer board to move the loafs from the couche to the baking peel.

jacob burton's picture

Yes. So here's the basic recipe with commercial yeast:

800 g Flour, AP (See notes for more info)
520 g Water (About 90F/31C)
7 g Yeast (Active Dry)
16 g Salt

Here would be the sourdough version:

  • 500g Poolish Sourdough Starter (100% hydration)
  • 550g AP or Bread Flour
  • 270g Water
  • 16g Salt

Good Luck!

jacob burton's picture

When using the baguette molds, the undersized doesn't always brown as nicely as the top side, so yes, placing the mold directly on a stone will help.

See if you can find anything large enough to fit over the baguette molds, just like you do when making your boules and placing a bowl over the top. I've unfortunately never had much luck with a hot pan in the oven for steam generation.

Sounds like you're planning a pretty epic meal. Good luck.

jacob burton's picture

Just watch the short rib video and follow all the steps and you'll be golden. Very easy technique if you just pay attention to the finer points ...

And don't forget to skim and glaze!

jacob burton's picture

Yes, the carcasses will be enough stock for this braise.

If you have any more questions on the other techniques, feel free to create a new forum topic, that way we don't derail this thread on baguettes.

jacob burton's picture

@ Wartface,

Yes. Eliminate the kneading and do just stretch and folds. You can also raise the hydration by about 5%, which will give you a more open crumb.

Let me know how it turns out.

jacob burton's picture

@ iamscharles,

Cold or room temperature. If the water is too hot, the pre-ferment will be ferment too quickly, defeating the purpose.

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