My First Baguette

Rose Levy Berenbaum, The Bread Bible

Start this dough the night before, around 8pm.
Go to bed around 11pm.
Wake up around 7:30am to finish up the recipe.

Scrap Doug (WTH is this?)

1/4 c warm water (59 g)
1/8 tsp yeast (0.4 g)
1/4 c + 2.5 tbsp all purpose flour (57.7 g)
3/16 tsp salt (1.2 g)

Mix yeast + warm water.
Add 2 tbsp + 2 tsp yeast water to everything else.
Reserve the rest of the yeast water (RLB does not specify to keep it out or put it in the fridge).
Let sit at room temperature for 3 hours. Fridge overnight.

Dough Starter (Poolish)

1/2 c + 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour (75 g)
1/2 tbsp yeast  (7.5g)
1/4 c + 1.5 tbsp warm water (67.5g)

Put flour in bowl.
Add 1/2 tbsp of the reserved yeast water mix. Throw out the rest of the reserved mix.
Add room temperature water. Mix.
Poolish will be “gloppy”.
Cover and let rise 12-16 hours, until it triples in size.


1 c + 3 tbsp all purpose flour (170g)
1/8 tsp yeast (0.4g)
3 oz or 6 tbsp or 90 g warm water
poolish from above
scrap dough from above
1 tsp salt


1. Mix flour and yeast in kitchenaid mixer bowl.
2. Mix poolish. Add it to flour mixture. Stir for 3 min.
3. Let mixture rise for 20 min.
4. Add salt to the dough.
5. Knead with kitchenaid mixer for 7 min.
6. Let dough rise 2-3 hours, until it has doubled in size. FOR THE FIRST HOUR, every 20 min, turn the dough. Then just leave it the hell alone and let it rise by itself.
7. Shape the dough, let it rest. Cut it in half (you’re making two loaves, remember?).
8. Roll dough into a log shape, and tuck the ugly ends under the logs. Roll, roll. Make it look pretty.
9. Let dough sit for 30 min.
10. Shape the dough AGAIN. Let it rise AGAIN. Basically start from step 8 above AGAIN.
11. Stretch the dough into a 14 inch length. Place onto baguette pan (if you have it) or onto a cookie sheet covered with a silpat with three rolled up towels. Roll out parchment paper. Put the dough between two towels each. Cover and let rise IN FRIDGE for 5  to 14 hours.
12. About 1.5 hours before you are ready to bake, take the baguettes out of the fridge so they can warm up and rise some more.
13. An hour before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven.
14. Slash and bake the bread on the baking stone.
15. Mist the oven with water. Or, add a half a cup of ice cubes to the bottom of the oven in a pot of some kind.
16. Bake for 15 min. Take bread out, flip it around. Bake for another 15 min.
17. Turn the heat in the oven up to 475. Bake the bread for another 5 min. They should be golden brown by now.
18. Then turn off the oven heat, prop the oven door open, and let the bread sit in the oven another 5 min. This makes the crust develop.
19. Take the bread out of the oven and let cool for 10 min.

NOTE: I think I hate this recipe. It was a pain to even type up. WTH is up with RLB’s timeline? I can’t even understand it. As far as I can tell, you’re going to be pretty much chained to the kitchen all damn day for days on end to make this recipe. And seriously, you need to fridge a whole cookie sheet. Who has that kind of room in their fridge? Argh!

OMG she has a schedule in her book for baking that goes from 7:30 am to 7:15 pm. This is a very onerous recipe.

Makes me feel better about spending that $2 to buy a loaf in the local market, though..

Rye Bread

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Ingredients for sponge:

¾ cup (4 oz, 117 grams) unbleached bread flour
¾ cup (3.3 oz, 95 grams) rye flour
½ tsp. (1.6 grams) instant yeast
1 ½ TB (0.6 oz, 18.7 grams) sugar
½ TB (10.5 grams) barley malt syrup or honey
1 ½ cups (12.5 oz, 354 grams) water at room temperature
Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir until very smooth, about 2 minutes. This will incorporate air into the mix which will help to feed the yeast. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set aside while you prepare the next step.

Ingredients for flour mixture:

2 ¼ cups (12 oz, 351 grams) unbleached bread flour
½ plus 1/8 tsp. (2 grams) instant yeast
1 TB (0.25 oz, 7 grams) caraway seeds fine ground in a coffee mill
1 TB (0.25 oz, 7 grams) caraway seeds whole (optional)
½ TB (0.3 oz, 10.5 grams) salt
½ TB (0.25 oz, 6.7 grams) vegetable oil
Extra rye flour for dusting

Combine all the ingredients except for the oil and sprinkle over the top of the sponge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and all it to sit at room temperature for 1-4 hours at room temperature. I always let it sit for 2 hours. When you let it sit for a longer period of time you get a stronger acidic back note to your finished loaf. I also like to measure out the oil and place it right next to the bowl, so I don’t forget to add it later.
After the sponge has been left to ferment for the desired amount of time I add the oil and mix the dough into a rough mass. Cover again with plastic wrap and let it rest or autolyze for 20 minutes so that it will be easier to knead later.
Knead the dough by hand, stand mixer or food processor. Food processor is my method of choice for this dough because it is so quick and efficient, but you can choose which ever method you prefer. To knead by hand, turn your dough out onto a very lightly floured counter. Knead by hand for 8-10 minutes until your dough becomes very smooth and elastic. To knead by stand mixer, you will need to use the dough hook. Knead the dough on medium-low speed for 6-9 minutes. I find that kneading by stand mixer does not save much time, just energy. Or you could knead your dough by food processor. I place my dough into the processor with the metal blade in and turn it on for 1 minute. Remove the dough and knead on a countertop by hand to redistribute the heat. It will be sticky when you remove it, but it will smooth out very quickly, so don’t add any flour. Then place it back in the processor for another 30 seconds. Remove and knead by hand for a minute or so. With all three methods it is important to see if you dough has passed the windowpane test. This will tell you that your dough is well kneaded.
Place your dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for 1 ½-2 hours. It will double in size. The warmer it is in your house the quicker this dough will rise. The ideal temperature is around 70-75 degrees.
Shape your dough into a torpedo shaped loaf. Place your shaped loaf, seam side up, in a floured dough rising basket or a linen-lined colander that has been heavily floured. Allow to rise at room temperature for about an hour or until it has swelled considerably. If you were to gently poke it with your finger the indentation would remain. If it springs back quickly allow the loaf to continue to rise for another 15 minutes and then recheck.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees an hour before baking. I use a cloche or a covered baker, which I preheat with the oven to bake this bread. If you do not have one you can place a baking stone in the middle of the oven with a small cast iron skillet set on the lower rack.
Carefully turn your loaf out into the center of the cloche and score the loaf with two diagonal slashes across the top. Place the top on and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the loaf is a beautiful chestnut brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It you are using a baking stone, first turn your loaf out onto a lightly floured bakers peel and quickly score the top. Slide the loaf directly onto the baking stone and place a ½ cup of water into the skillet. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes.
Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Hearth Bread

Rose Levy Beranbaum, Gold Medal Flour bag

3 1⁄3 cups bread flour
1⁄4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1⁄4 teaspoons yeast
1 1⁄3 cups water
1 teaspoon honey


In a medium bowl, stir together flours, salt and yeast. Stir in water and honey. Knead dough until smooth and springy, but still slightly sticky. Add a little flour or water as necessary.
Lightly brush oil inside of large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to oil all sides. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or lightly sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Shape dough into a round ball. Place on cookie sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes.
Place baking stone on lowest oven rack and heat oven to 475°F Carefully cut an X-shaped slash on top of dough; spray with cool water. Place cookie sheet in oven on baking stone; place one cup water in a shallow pan on the other rack.
Bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 425°F Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
NOTE: Stir-ins can include: 1/4 cup of 1 or 2 of the following–Kalamata olives, roasted garlic cloves, cut-up sun-dried tomatoes, slice chives, shelled sunflower seeds, 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

White Bread

Rose Levy Beranbaum

YIELD: Makes: two 8-by-4-by-4 1/2-inch-high loaves (1 1/4 pounds/581 grams)


Dough Starter (Sponge)
unbleached all-purpose flour (use only Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury): 2 1/4 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons (12 ounces or 341 grams)
water, at room temperature (70° to 90°F) : scant 1 3/4 liquid cups (14.3 ounces or 405 grams)
honey: 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (1.5 ounces or 45 grams)
instant yeast: 3/4 teaspoon (2.4 grams)
two 8 1/2-in-4 1/2-inch loaf pans, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil
a baking stone OR baking sheet
Flour Mixture and Dough
unbleached all-purpose flour (use only Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury): 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (about 11 ounces or 311 grams)
dry milk, preferably nonfat: 1/4 cup (1.5 or 40 grams)
instant yeast: 3/4 teaspoon (2.4 grams)
unsalted butter, softened: 9 tablespoons (4.5 ounces or 128 grams)
salt: 2 1/4 teaspoons (15 grams)
Optional: melted butter: 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces or 14 grams)

1. Make the sponge. In a mixer bowl or other large bowl, combine the flour, water, honey, and instant yeast. Whisk until very smooth, to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. The sponge will be the consistency of a thick batter, Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.

2. Make the flour mixture and add to the sponge. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour (reserve 1/4 cup if mixing by hand), dry milk, and instant yeast. Sprinkle this on top of the sponge and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow it to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature. (During this time, the sponge will bubble through the flour blanket in places: this is fine.)

3. Mix the dough.

Mixer Method
Add the butter to the bowl and mix with the dough hook on low speed (#2 if using a KitchenAid) for 1 minute or until the flour is moistened enough to form a rough dough. Scrape down any bits of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough on medium speed (#4 KitchenAid) for 7 to 10 minutes. It will not come away from the bowl until the last minute or so of kneading; it will be smooth and shiny and stick to your fingers. With an oiled spatula, scrape down any dough clinging to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is not stiff, knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky, spray it with a little water and knead it in. (The dough will weigh about 44.25 ounces/1258 grams.)

Hand Method
Add the salt and butter to the bowl and, with a wooden spoon or your hand, stir until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, enough to develop the gluten structure a little, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. At this point, it will be very sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. (This resting time will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with.)

Knead the dough for another 5 minutes or until it is very smooth and elastic. It should still be tacky (sticky) enough to cling slightly to your fingers a little. If the dough is still very sticky, however, add some of the remaining reserved flour, or a little extra. (The dough will weigh about 44.25 ounces/1258 grams.)

Both Methods
4. Let the dough rise. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 4-quart dough-rising container or bowl, lightly oiled with cooking spray or oil. Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the surface. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75°to 80°F) until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough onto a floured counter and press down on it gently to form a rectangle. It will be full of air and resilient. Try to maintain as many of the air bubbles as possible. Pull out and fold the dough over from all four sides into a tight package, or give it 2 business letter turns and set it back in the container. Again oil the surface, cover, and mark where double the height would now be. (It will fill the container fuller than before because it is puffier with air.) Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until it reaches the mark.

5. Shape the dough and let it rise. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and cut it in half. Shape each piece into a loaf: begin by gently pressing the dough (or lightly rolling it with a rolling pin) into a wide rectangle; the exact size is not important at this point. (A long side of the dough should be facing toward you.) Dimple the dough with your fingertips to deflate any large bubbles. Fold over the right side of the dough to a little past the center. Fold over the left side of the dough to overlap it slightly. Press the center overlap section with the side of your hand to seal the dough. (If you have a lot of experience shaping, you may prefer at this point to rotate the dough 90 degrees-a quarter turn.) Starting at the top edge of the dough, roll it over three or four times, until it reaches the bottom edge of the dough: with each roll, press with your thumbs to seal it and at the same time push it away from you slightly to tighten the outer skin. As you roll and press, the dough will become wider. If it is not as long as the pan, place both hands close together on top of the dough and, rolling back and forth, gradually work your way toward the ends, gently stretching the dough. For the most even shape, it is important to keep a tight skin on the surface of the dough and not to tear it. If you want the edges of the loaf to be smooth, tuck the sides under.

Place the loaves in the prepared loaf pans; the dough will be about 1/2 inch from the top of the pans. Cover them with a large container, or cover them loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise until the center is about 1 inch above the sides of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When the dough is pressed with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill in.

6. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F 45 minutes before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it, and a cast-iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven, before preheating.

7. Bake the bread. Quickly but gently set the pans on the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet. Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately shut the door. Bake for 50 minutes or until medium golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 210°F). Halfway through baking, turn the pans around for even baking.

8. Glaze and cool the bread. Remove the bread from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Brush the top of the bread with the optional melted butter. Unmold and cool top side up on a wire rack until barely warm, about 1 hour.

For the best flavor development, in Step 2, allow the sponge to ferment for 1 hour at room temperature and then refrigerate it for 8 to 24 hours. If using the hand mixing method, remove it from the refrigerator about 1 hour before mixing the dough.

• If not using the dry milk, you can replace 1 cup of the water with 1 cup milk, preferably nonfat, scalded (brought to the boiling point) and cooled to lukewarm.

A greater amount of sponge dough starter (pre-ferment) offers a fuller flavor in this “plain” bread, so almost 50 percent of total amount of flour is used in the sponge, compared to the usual 30 percent of hearth breads.

If using liquid milk, it is scalded to deactivate the enzyme in it that could make the dough sticky.

Baking the bread at too high a temperature, would result in too thin a crust, which would cause keyholing, or caving in at the sides of the loaf. Therefore, this bread is baked at 350°F. It is also important for the bread to be thoroughly baked so that the crust is firm enough to prevent it from compressing. The loaves should not be cut until completely cool for the same reason.

Flour: 100%
Water: 66.3% (includes the water in the butter and honey)
Yeast: 0.74%
Salt: 2.3%
Butterfat: 15.9%

Reprinted from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. Copyright (c) 2003 by Rose Levy Beranbaum. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Cast Iron Corn Fingers

Rose Levy Beranbaum Recipe, published in LA Times

CORN FINGERS (Adapted from Campton Place)

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup milk

1 large egg, separated

1 cup cooked corn kernels, cut off cob


About 5 to 10 minutes before batter is ready, preheat at 425 degrees 2 cast-iron corn finger molds, sprayed with non-stick spray or lightly greased.

Stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and crushed hot pepper in medium bowl. Lightly whisk together butter, cream, milk, egg yolk and corn kernels in separate bowl.

Beat egg white in small bowl until soft peaks form when beater is lifted slowly. Stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture just until moistened. Lumps should still remain. Fold in egg white just until incorporated.

Spoon or pipe batter into molds until almost full. Use small metal spatula or back of teaspoon to smooth, if necessary. Bake at 425 degrees 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Invert onto rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corn fingers freeze well for several weeks. Wrap each airtight in plastic wrap and place in heavy-duty freezer bags. To reheat from frozen, bake at 400 degrees 7 minutes. Makes 12 to 13 corn fingers.

NOTES (4/28/15): Delicious. Moist. Not too sweet. Amazing.  Baked in a 6 cup muffin pan (not nonstick) but each cup only half filled. Turned out well.

Next time: Maybe add some more sweetness, like maple syrup. And jalapenos instead of crushed red pepper.