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Boules, Baguettes and Batards, Oh My


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In contrary, I am very humble for the advice that has been given. I took note on the prior response regarding different temps and humidity levels in my house can make a huge impact on the flour measurements. I just have not had the chance to respond that I've acknowledged that great piece of advice. So yes, I do plan on getting a scale to at least weigh out my flour... As far as commercial ambitions goes.... Maybe one day, maybe.... For now I'll stick to my 2 baguettes a night Recipie, just really disappointed that last night I had 4 to make and I simply doubled all my quantities and it did not work out.

Again, as I did mention earlier, I think........ I think..... After putting some thought into it, I might have been short 2 cups of flour. Supposed to be 8 instead of 4, and I remember only counting to 6...... I think...

Added comment... Is getting a mixer worth it? Or stick to hand mixing?

Edited by KingofBaguette (log)
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...I took note on the prior response regarding different temps and humidity levels in my house can make a huge impact on the flour measurements.


no, the effect is seriously less than you may think.  the % water in flour varies about 15% between no humidity and lots of humidity.

your home/kitchen does not experience that range of relative humidity. 

worst case probably south USA in the low countries where you might see near 100% summer and perhaps 40% winter -


if you keep the flour in any kind of "closed container" your low-to-high variation will likely not exceed 10% difference, and quite possibly a lot less. 


from low-to-high variation using 8 cups, that would be roughly a half-cup - which bakers will put in the "bench flour" realm.


looks like this:

source: http://www.medlabs.com/file.aspx?FileID=91%C2'> (the data is now behind a pay wall)
%RH   - - %H2O
00.0  - - 00.53
11.1  - - 05.90
22.9  - - 07.65
32.9  - - 07.65
32.9  - - 08.95
43.9  - - 10.11
53.5  - - 10.90
64.8  - - 12.21
75.5  - - 15.68
86.5  - - 18.80


whether you need a mixer depends on how much you enjoy the hand kneading.

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A 'cup' of flour can range in weight from 3.9 oz to 5.6 oz or so. (115-160g give or take) If your original recipe's author gets about 5oz per cup and you get 4.2, by the time you measure out 8 cups you are off by 6.4 oz which is a huge variation. There's an excellent chance that you actually did not make any mistake counting your 'cups' your error is probably inherent in your formula.


Get a scale. Any baking recipe that doesn't measure dry ingredients by weight is not reliable and definitely not professional. This is a basic taught in the first hour of P&B in culinary school.


Also, the US is the only developed country in the world which publishes recipes using volumetric measurements for dry ingredients. Get a cookbook from India, Mexico, China, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, Europe, etc. and they will all have weight-based measurement. So, get a real formula for the product and follow it.


It would also do you well to study bread making a bit, and perfect making the classic standard before adding a 'twist' to it. IMO, you need to know the standards, follow the rubric, and be able to make the classic before stepping in to crown yourself a culinary iconoclast. (wet hands are another basic technique, along with dry handwashing which will serve you well)

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You are getting some amazing (and critically important) advice from some real experts here. I am not one of them however I do know a bit and I also empathize with you because I have a similar story from my past. Some things can take on a life of their own.


Many, many years ago, I started making bread for use at home. One day, I made a loaf into cinnamon bread. The next day my husband asked if he could take a loaf to work. Apparently, it was a hit. Next thing I knew I was getting up at 3 am every day to make more and more loaves of cinnamon bread - all by hand, all by feel, without much experience. We didn't charge for it but I swear we fed the whole town every day after a while. I think at the end I was making upwards of 20 loaves a morning and getting virtually no sleep. Eventually (after about 6 months of running my very expensive amateur mini-bakery 5 days a week) I was pretty darned good at it but I was exhausted and I had to put a stop to it. My 2 young sons were actually pleased when that happened .. they got their mommy back.


It was all great for my confidence when it came to baking, and I definitely learned a lot along the way - just as you are doing - but there can be a price.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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Yup, this is exactly how it is for me at the moment. Yes I am charging for it, but people are literally throwing their money at me lol. I do love it, I do enjoy it, and yes it's my twisted recipe which probably no one approves, but it works and people are LOVING it...

I've always loved the kitchen. Just wish I had more of an inspiring kitchen, lol.

I appreciate everything that everyone has given me regarding advice, I hope no one thinks I'm brushing it all off. I'm just trying to understand it all and make it work for the way I've created this bread baguette

I'm not going to get into huge details here, but I'll share a little dream that is inside of me.....


35 years old... Live in N.A. and I have been saving and planing to leave this country for the last 8 years so that one day in the next 10 years I could start a new life.

I plan on living somewhere in Latin America... My vision, I simply wanna run my own little bake shop... Bread only, nothing else... No pastry no cakes nothing, but bread. That's how much I love it, and I'll get there.

As I am typing this all now on my phone I'm on my laptop looking at some culinary schools.

Like I've said before I'm humble and I listen, but tonight, and tomorrow, I just wanna continue making my "special bread" without anymore mistakes. I don't wanna cross my fingers each time hoping I got it right lol. Ok, so far only 2 failed nights, but what bothers me is I don't know why I failed.

Edited by KingofBaguette (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree. Start taking detailed notes and write your ingredients down or you'll never approach anything near consistency. 


I think it is critical to weigh what needs to be weighed and measure exactly that which needs measuring; and to do this every time you make dough. Bread baking needs a certain amount of discipline and results correlate directly to this.

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IMO, each of the 12 steps of bread production have measurable effects on the final product; doing each of them correctly can mean the difference between good bread and mediocre.


Just last week, I made 4 large boules at home -50% whole wheat. I was in a rush and did not spend as much time 'rounding', final shaping, one loaf. All of the loaves were from the same dough, the dough for each loaf weighed the same down to the tenth of a gram, they were benched and proofed identically. I just didn't spend as much time on the final shape on one loaf. That one loaf came out much flatter than the rest -a little more than half the height. It wasn't bad, the people who ate it enjoyed it. It was just a bit more dense than it should have been.

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KoB - if you want to be a good baker you should learn about sourdough.

That might drive him over the edge.


I think it's a great idea.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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"-----baguette's usual length is about 65 centimetres (26 in), although a baguette can be up to a metre (39 in) long----"


So I decided to make a long one.


28" is the longest that I can make in my oven. Diagonal length.









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