Baguette Master Class

This is a link to the master class. The notes below are taken from the master class, but in my language with my experience, see Baguettes Masterclass with Patrick Ryan

I have tried to translate the metric measures into English. This is not hugely successful because in the United States, we tend to use volumetric measures in recipes rather than to work by weight. Working by weight in baking is far more accurate (it's very hard to obtain the same amount of flour twice using a measuring cup), but for tiny amounts (grams or ounces), it become ridiculous. I have tried therefore to convert to reasonable measurements (teaspoons).


Day 1: make pouliche (under 5 minutes)
Day 2: make the paton (under 20 minutes)
Day 3: bake the loaves (½ hours plus 1 hour rise)


6 baguettes, best length for the home oven.


450 gr bread flour
7 gr salt
245 ml water
2½ gr dried yeast
16 oz bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
¼ tsp dried yeast (generous pinch)

In a bowl, combine until comes together. Knead to incorporate ingredients well, maybe 1-2 minutes. Spritz top with PAM® or oil. Refrigerate covered for 24 hours.

Bread dough (paton)

500 gr bread flour
10 gr salt
300 ml water
5 gr dried yeast
18 oz bread flour
2 tsp salt
1¼ cups water
½ tsp dried yeast (two generous pinches)

Put ingredients into a (bigger) bowl. Remove pouliche from refrigerator and cut into 12 small pieces, adding them to the bowl with the other ingredients. If your stand mixer, with a dough hook, can handle it, this will speed the work. (You've got to have a pretty big KitchenAid® to do that.)

If working by hand, resist the temptation to add flour which will ruin the dough making it heavier, tighter and giving it less lift.

This results in a paton of about 1500 grams. (Each baguette will consume about 250 grams for 6 baguettes.)

Spritz top with PAM or oil. Refrigerate covered for 18-24 hours, but as long as 36 hours.

The longer you resist baking it, the more flavor and the better mouseholing (refers to the holes appearing in the baked loaf) it will have.


-- flour
-- couche

You're going to shape the baguettes in three stages. Any time you feel the gluten fighting you (the dough is stiff or snaps back when you try to change its shape), simply rest the dough 10-15 minutes.

Remove to surface and degass with fingers, then folding over and over, different directions until obtaining a square or rectangle. Do not tear or rip the paton.


(If you don't know how to do this, watch the video beginning at 9:30 and ending at 10:15.)

First, using a bench scraper, apportion 6 bits of 250 grams each if some are larger than others, you can weight them on a scale, cut of the extra and add it to a smaller bit. With each piece, form a round base or ball. Set aside.

Little rolls

(You probably should watch the video here next beginning at 10:15 until 11:40.)

From one ball, grab either side and pull out left to right while shaking. Fold the ends you have created over into the center, then fold the whole over vertically away from you pulling back against the dough and tucking, then pulling the top again back against the dough and tucking. Do this twice with each ball. You should end up with 6 tight rolls (instead of balls) that get you halfway to the shape of a baguette. Set each aside, with a tea towel draped over, for 15 minutes.


(You probably should watch the video here next beginning at 11:40 until 12:40.)

Because we're starting to make the final baguettes, we're introducing dusting our surface with flour here.

Take a roll, sprinkle with flour and stretch it out (left to right) slightly while shaking, put it down and roll it from bottom to top, then pressing and bottom to top, then pressing. Each time, the roll will get longer. As you're pressing, you're going to begin sealing the length of the seam you create with your fingers or even the heel of your hand. Do this three times (fold and press, fold and press).

Then begin rolling back and forth and lengthening the roll into a baguette working from the center and moving out to the ends.

Once this is done, put each baguette into a well floured couche and bunch the couche up against it to delineate each baguette. (13:30 to 14:30)

Once all baguettes are in the couche, cover them and allow to proof for 1 hour.

The bake

Preheat oven to 460°. If you have a convection oven, you may not need to rotate the half sheets part way through the bake.

Use a half sheet for three baguettes. Loosen each baguette from the couche by lifting the couche so the baguette rolls a little, then you can pick it up without harming it and transfer to the half sheet for baking.

Once on the half sheet, score making several slightly diagonal slits down the center of the baguette. (15:20 to 16:15)

It's important to humidifier the oven. You can put a cast-iron skillet on the bottom shelf, then pour a bit of boiling hot water onto just after putting the baguettes in. You should spritz inside the oven and the baguettes themselves with water from a spray bottle, etc.

Bake for 20 minutes. Rotating half sheets as necessary. Baguettes should be golden brown or darker.


Most terminology is from French.


The dough while it's autolyzing and fermenting.


—when the flour absorbes water, becomes fully hydrated and active enzymes begin to stimulate proteins starting gluten development. Autolysis is what American bread usually lacks.


The dough as a ball or in a loaf shape while it's being formed and proofed. The word in French comes from the word for dough, batter or paste, pâte.


Any mold into which the paton is placed for the finishing rise or proofing.


Instead of a banneton, baguettes are raised in this, which means "diaper" in French. Best and cheapest is to purchase a white pillowcase you dedicate to this effort.

The "window-pane" effect

As it ferments, it should become stretchy. Cut off a piece of dough. Stretch it (do not rip or tear it) and test it. It should thin where stretched almost to the point where you can see through it. Certainly, you should detect color through it like your counter top in the background, etc. This signals that the dough is progressing, even ready. (6:20 until 8:00 in the video)


If interested, you can come up with a complex scheme to make a batch this size (6 baguettes) and pull out only what you need to bake for the day so that you can bake over several days, the reward being to have fresh-baked bread every day.