French Baguettes

These sourdough baguettes are some of the best that you can bake at home. They take a lot of patience, but once you hear that crunch, and taste their incredible flavor then you shouldn't have a problem with that.


EQUIPMENT:

Fermentation Station

Lame

Bench Scraper


INGREDIENTS:

  • 24g Mature liquid Starter

  • 20g Bread flour

  • 28g whole wheat flour

  • 24g water @ room temp


30% Whole Grain Bread Dough (with fresh milled flour) Ingredients:

  • 732g bread flour

  • 273g fresh milled einkorn wheat

  • 40g whole wheat

  • 20g fine sea salt

  • 778g water@ 90F +100g water in a separate bowl


Bread Dough (without fresh milled flour) Ingredients:

  • 732g bread flour

  • 313g whole wheat flour

  • 20g fine sea salt

  • 778g water@ 90F +100g water in a separate bowl


INSTRUCTIONS:

Sample Schedule:

Day1:

  • 10am - make levain

  • 1:30pm - Autolyse dough place in warm spot @80F

  • 3pm - Mix dough with levain and perform slap and fold

  • 3:05pm - cover and place back at 80F

  • 3:20 pm - slap and fold one more time

  • 3:23 pm - bulk ferment for two hours

  • 3:53 pm - Fold #1, cover and place back

  • 4:23 pm - Fold #2, cover and place back

  • 4:53 pm - Fold #2, cover and place back and let rest remainder of bulk

  • 5:23pm - Cover (make airtight)and place in fridge overnight 12-20 hours (14-18 is optimal)


Day2:

  • 10:00​am(17 hours of bulk ferment): remove dough from fridge and preshape

  • 11:10​am: shape baguettes and proof in their couche

  • 12:15​pm: preheat oven for one hour

  • 1:15​pm: bake your first set of 3, then once removed, put your steaming stuff rocks back, not including the towels and reheat for 15-20 mins at 500, and repeat the same steaming method for the second set of 3.


Method:

  1. To make your stiff levain; take your mature sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, bread flour and room temperature water and mix together. Knead that together until smooth and stiff. Roll into a ball and place into a jar with a loose fitting lid. Let your dough sit at 80 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 hours.

  2. For the bread dough, start working on it 1 ½ hours before your levain is done sitting. Start by mixing bread flour, einkorn and whole wheat together in a large bowl. Add in your water warmed to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit in the same spot as your levain for 1 ½ hours.

  3. Measure 100 grams of water in a bowl.

  4. Take your levain and tear it into little bits, placing it into your bread dough bowl. Sprinkle in fine sea salt and all of your reserved water you set aside. Use your fingertips to dimple the surface of the dough and gently mix it together.

  5. Once the dough comes together, dump it onto a work surface and perform “slap & folds.”

  6. Pick your dough up from the front and the back , rotate 90 degrees and slap the bottom back on to your surface, followed by the top. Repeat this process until it is not as sticky and comes together.

  7. Place your dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let it rest for another 15 minutes. Once done, continue with the “slap & folds” until it firms up a little more. Place and cover your bowl yet again and let it sit for 2 hours in that warm environment.

  8. During these 2 hours, perform 3 sets of dough folds every 30 minutes. To do this, take one edge of the dough and stretch it to its max and fold it over itself in the middle. Continue this all the way around the edges of the dough.

  9. Cover your dough in an airtight container and place in the fridge for 12-20 hours.

  10. To pre-shape your dough, remove it from your bowl onto an un-floured work surface. Using a wet hand and a wet bench knife,divide your dough into 6 equal pieces, each weighing about 385 grams.

  11. Use your bench scraper to shape each piece of dough into slightly taut balls. Let the balls rest for 45 minutes uncovered/unfloured.

  12. To make the final shape, lightly flour the top of one of your rounds. Use your bench scrape to pick up your dough and place it flour side down onto your work surface. Gently fold the piece of your dough closest to you up to the middle, repeating with the portion furthest from you. Use your fingers and gently press on the log, folding it in half. Take your palm and crease the fold you just created.

  13. With the fused crease facing directly down on your board, use your finger tips and run them along the entire length of the baguette; going forwards and backwards, keeping constant with the work surface. Once it’s gotten to be about 12-13 inches, lightly roll your dough with your hands and gently taper off the ends. Lightly dust with flour and carefully transfer to your couche.

  14. Make sure you’re layering them with creases in between each baguette.

  15. Repeat with remaining dough, covering all of your baguettes when complete. Let them proof for 2 hours.

  16. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, one hour after they start proofing and line a pizza peel with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly dust three of your loaves with flour and place onto the peel. Score each of your loaves 3 times diagonally along the length of your dough.

  17. Place your peel into the oven and lower the temperature to 475 degrees and let it steam for 20 minutes. Remove your steamers and lower the temperature to 435 degrees and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.

  18. Repeat the baking process with your second batch.