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I am trying to make baguettes. I didn't really follow any measurements, but my ingredients are: 1:1 all purpose and wheat flour, salt, water, instant yeast. I don't have a machine. I eyeballed the dough until its the sticky yet intact consistency during the folding phase.

Whenever I fold the dough, after leaving it to rise, the first fold is fairly loose, compliant, and sticky. But when I try to fold it again, the dough somehow becomes stiff. It becomes malleable again after leaving it but is still again by the second fold. Why does this happen? I think there is something wrong with my technique rather than the recipe.

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Baker percentage should help you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_percentage For baguettes the baker percentage is between 73% and 80%. If you knead your dough too much or let the yeast proliferate too long then the gluten breaks down. Find a recipe that suits you.

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