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I've been making baguettes for years hand kneading and using this recipe:

4.5 oz. (1 cup sifted) cake flour
13.5 oz. (3 cups sifted) bread flour
1 T granulated yeast
2 t coarse sea salt
10.5 oz. (1-1/4 cup) + 1/4 cup hot tap water
Bread flour for kneading (about 2/3 cup)

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup water.
Dissolve salt in 10.5 oz. water.

mix ingredients until they just hold together.

Knead for 6 minutes

Rest covered 20 minutes

Knead 6 minutes

Rise 1 hr or until doubled.

Form 2 or 3 baguettes on cookie sheet and slit tops (depending on desired size)

Pre-heat convection oven to 475 degrees indicated with pan of water on bottom rack. Shaped baguettes will rise while oven heats.

Bake 10 minutes. Butter tops, remove water from oven and bake 6 more minutes.

I've just started using my new KA 600 Professional and have tried:

Mix with paddle until dough just holds together then knead with dough hook 6 minutes adding kneading flour during power knead. Proceed to rise and follow recipe.

These were pretty good. They didn't brown quite like usual and the gas holes were large and irregular.

After reading a few google hits I tried:

Combine all ingredients, mix and knead with dough hook 3 minutes add no kneading flour except to dust while forming baguettes. proceed to rise and follow recipe.

These got big while rising after shaping. The texture was very good, a little lighter than usual. The color was nice. They wold have been perfect except that there was not enough body for them to quite hold shape. They looked somewhat flat.

I then tried adding 2 oz of the kneading flour kneading flour in with the mix. Mixed with the dough hook just til holding together and then kneaded for 6 minutes with the dough hook.

These were unsatisfactory to me. The center, only, didn't rise enough. DW was satisfied with them though.

Do you have some suggestions to streamline my tweaking?

Some additional comments: I have an instant hot water heater that is limited to 120 deg. at the source so I can't kill the yeast. I use bulk yeast so all batches were from the same package.

I use this same recipe for pizza crust. I made a pizza with one of the third batch loaves. The center rise was most noticeable in the pizza.

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I'm intrigued by your original recipe. How did you come by it?

I can't help but feel you problem has to do with kneading.

As for using the KA, I had trouble trusting the dough hook to do both mixing and kneading, but except in special cases I now use it for both. (an Emeril tip: lightly grease the hook. It restrains the dough from climbing.)

The old rule of thumb is to knead half as long with a KA as you would by hand, but the best is to forget about times and learn to judge the dough by feel.

SB (will try your recipe. I liked the idea of disolving the salt.)
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As for the recipe: When we came back from our France trip in 2008 I got interested in baguettes so I Googled recipes. I read half a dozen or so and then jumped in. that's what I ended up with after trying a few and some tweeking myself.

Certainly the problem is the difference in kneading time and intensity as well as the art of adding the flour with hand kneading. Right now I'm in a proportional band of adjusting those for the KA. I'm hoping to narrow the band quickly so groping for help.

For now I'll keep using the hand method for show to maintain my reputation but will keep eating my experiments for day to day.

By the way, my recipe calls for bread flour and cake flour. I actually use White Lilly AP as cake and King Arthur AP as bread.

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I'd better watch the acronyms. KA can mean Kitchen Aid or King Arthur on this board.

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RE: GB: "the problem is the difference in kneading time and intensity"

There might be a clue here? I can't remember where I heard this, but supposedly kneading by machine is mechanically different enough from kneading by hand that you should never mix the two. I used to often finish my machine kneading by hand, but it turns out that can actually weaken the elasticity.

BTW: Did you ever knead by food processor? I couldn't believe how good that works. I use it for pizza dough.

SB (likes baking mysteries)
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