Baguette – Long Cold Fermentation


Happy New Year to all of you!


filled with  a lot of excitement for the future, love and smile.

And, here I am.

I am honored to be trapped in the Baguette world on the first day of the new year!

Baguette - Long Cold Fermentation

This is my 4th attempt at Baguettes with an Overnight Fermentation method.

Ever since I heard about a Long Cold Fermentation, (← in case you are not familiar with this term, please read this topic :))

I’d been eager to give it a try sometime.

So, I started to experiment with the Anis Bouabsa’s recipe which I found through the website called The Fresh Loaf
and Bread Cetra.

They both are the Anis Bouabsa’s formula but their directions seem slightly different.

 Anyway, I gave it a try at their both methods, then failed,

though I followed the exact same steps…

My bread didn’t rise in the oven properly, and it came out really dense, flat and very pale color…

Since I thought I might miss some important information because these were written in English,

I returned to my native language and did some research about Overnight Fermentation.

I found the similar recipe & method.

Sure! I gave it a try,

then FAIL again.


You know what?

EVERYTHING has a bright side.

During my research, I finally suspected something might be wrong with my bulk (first) fermentation process.

Luckily, I happened to find a photo which shows before/after the first fermentation.

After 21 hours in the fridge, the dough is supposed to be more airy!!!

(Though I am not sure “airy” is the right word to describe it…)

Anyway, my poor bread dough didn’t have any bubbles… Yes, it was deadly quiet.


Probably, the temperature in my fridge is too cold for the yeast to activate.

So, I decided to do the bulk fermentation under room temperature

( but still cooler place, in my case, it was by the window!) until the yeast just started showing activity,

then put the dough in my refrigerator.

Baguette - Long Cold Fermentation

Hello, bubbles!

I took this picture so that I remember how does it look like after the bulk fermentation.

Actually, I would let it rise further, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to mess it up.

It is very difficult to tell when the first fermentation is done!

Baguette - Long Cold Fermentation

So, here are the results of my 4th attempt.

I was not sure until baking, but it came out nicely.

Finally, I got nice oven spring.


 Thanks to the extra sugar produced during the Long Cold Fermentation,

the crust has nice color this time.

Above all, the taste is fantastic!

Baguette - Long Cold Fermentation

I wish I could have more open crumb.

I will bake it on the baking stone next time!


My bread lame (the top photo) from Weekend  

Thanks so much, Marieke & Ed! Your handmade lame is amazing!

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.



Please have a look at my Baguette Summary as of 2.10.2013


Based on Anis Bouabsa’s baguette

Makes 2 small baguettes



250 g All-purpose Flour (100%)

5 g Salt (2%) → I prefer less salty, so I would try with 1.8% next time

0.375 g Instant Yeast (0.15%)

187.5 g Water (75%)



  1. In a bowl, mix flour and water roughly, cover it with plastic and Autolyse for 30 minutes.
  2. Add yeast and mix by folding dough in the bowl.
  3. Slap & Fold for 4 minutes.
  4. Add salt and Slap & Fold for 2 minutes or until the dough becomes a ball.
  5. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  6. 1 set Stretch & Fold (1 set = right over left, left over right, bottom over top, top over bottom)
  7. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  8. 1 set Stretch & Fold
  9. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  10. 1 set Stretch & Fold
  11. At a cooler place, let it rise until the dough just starts showing the yeast activity. It took *10 hours 10°C / 50°F (The original recipe says you can put the dough in the fridge at this stage.)
  12. Put it in the fridge overnight. This time, it was 10 hours.
  13. Pull it out of the fridge and leave it out for 1 hour.
  14. Divide into 2 equal parts and preshape the dough.
  15. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  16. Shape into baguettes (This video is very informative!) and place onto a floured couche, seam-side up.
  17. Preheat the oven to 500°F
  18. Final fermentation 1 hour 35°C / 95°F
  19. Score the top of the baguettes using a lame or a sharp, serrated knife.
  20. Place the bread in the preheated oven, pour the water onto the brick blocks and shut the oven door immediately. Turn down the oven to 480°F, bake the bread around 20 minutes.
  21. Let them cool onto a rack.
  22. Ready to eat!

* It was a cold day…The time and temperature will be changed depends on the season.

4 Responses to “Baguette – Long Cold Fermentation”
  1. chip says:

    Hey Yuko,

    May I make a suggestion? Why don’t you do an experiment with several small amounts of dough with varying amounts of yeast to see what works in your kitchen. I don’t think you have to go through all the folding and slapping to form a dough with this experiment, you are not trying to develop gluten etc. You should be able to mix and hand a knead each dough. Just be sure to treat each one the same.

    I would start at .15% yeast and go up in increments .30% up to say 1.05%.
    Mix them up, put them in similar containers (I have used glass jars so you can see them really well), ferment them as your original recipe states, then check on them every few hours and document what they have done (photos, marks on the side of the jars, an excel spreadsheet). You will find that each of them raises at different speeds, then “peaks” at different times with different volumes. I would let the experiment run for 24 to 48 hours. You may find that the dough with .15% yeast just needs more time to get the bubbles you are looking for.

    You will likely learn something in the process and if nothing else you will have great content for your next blog post. lol.

    Keep baking.

    – ©

    • Hi Chip,

      Happy New Year and thank you for your suggestion!
      Yes!!! You’re truly right! It sounds more efficient and logical.
      It seems like I’ve been trying to do way too many stuff in one experiment. Since I wanted to practice kneading, scoring, baking… above all, finding a practical recipe & technique, I went through all procedure every time.
      I would experiment with the way you suggest sometime soon to see how much yeast works efficiently in my kitchen. It is going to be very informative and show me a lot of things to learn!
      A good news for you. Today, I got the nice open crumb with the good caramelized crust and scoring on my baguettes! After I got this result, I was convinced that the key is a diffidently “temperature” at the bulk fermentation. It was really nice weather past 2 days, that’s why I got the nice result, I think.
      It should be the different results during the summer time, so I will get the thermometers to tell an accurate temperature in my kitchen and living room and fridge!


  2. Yvonne says:

    I made baguettes the other day… but they did not look the same way yours do! Yours look soo nice, I’ll have to try the slap and fold method, and also the dough ferment it in the fridge overnight. Thanks for sharing that video, it was great!

    • Hi Yvonne,

      Thank you for your comment and I am so glad this post could help!
      Slower and longer fermentation produces definitely more flavor and nice crust! I hope yours will come out nice next time!


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