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    Shaping a Baguette

    This is a series showing the process of shaping baguettes. I’ve developed this technique by putting integrating Julia Child’s shaping method with my methods. The dough is 62.5% hydration with 11 ounces / 310 grams of whole wheat bread flour and 21 ounces / 600 grams of white bread flour. Here’s the dough after first rise.

    Dough divided.
    All divided, about 14 ounces / 400 grams each.

    First portion rolled.
    The first ball, rolled out and flattened.

    Dough sealed.
    The dough is then folded over and sealed. Note the seam. The seam should be sealed. This one isn’t sealed very well, but this is just the first iteration.

    The first portion after being rolled a bit.

    Doughs in sequence.
    The first one moved back, second one flattened a second time and the third one flattened for the first time.

    After folding and sealing.
    After folding over and sealing.

    Shaping continues.
    Continuing the process. The doughs are about 13 inches / 33 cm here.

    All shaped.
    All four fully shaped and ready for final rise en couche.

    First loaf in the couche.  Notice how the canvas has been shaped to have folds.  These folds support the sides of the loaves.
    The first loaf in.

    All rising.
    All four rising. This process leaves a fine film of flour all over the area.

    Finished loaves.
    Finished baking. 30 minutes at 440 F / 225 C with steam.  George Greenstein Challah in foreground.

    Finished loaves with challah.
    Another view.

    George Greenstein challah.
    Here’s the Challah after baking.

    Another view. I’m really not sorry to have the challah intrude — I’m pretty proud of it.