You can add a little bit of whole grain flour to your baguette dough without sacrificing a tender, open crumb. I know there’s 100% whole wheat baguettes out there, but I’m not ready to tackle them just yet. They can be tricky to shape, but I found a great video from Noah Weston, and he’s making alot of them, so there’s opportunity to watch his process over and over again. New to me is the use of a “bread board” to help lift teh baguettes onto the baking sheet. I made one out of a flap of a cardboard box, covered in clear tap so the dough doesn’t stick.
This takes about 7 hours, so if you start at 10:00 AM, they’ll be ready to bake at around 5:30.
Step 1: Make poolish (4~16 hr rest)
- 150g flour
- 150g warm water (about 90 degrees)
- 1/8 tsp yeast (about .5g)
Let this ripen at room temperature for at least 4 hours. You can also make it before going to bed, and then letting it rest on the counter overnight for up to 16 hours.
Step 2: Make dough (30 minute rest)
- 280g water (90 degrees)
- 2g yeast (3/4 tsp)
- Put the yeast in a medium bowl, add water and stir to combine
- Empty the poolish into the yeast and water mixture.
- 350g flour
- 50g whole wheat flour (sifted, to remove the sharp germ)
- 10g salt
- 5g sugar
- Add the flours, salt and sugar and mix well with the handle of a wooden spoon until it’s incorporated, and there’s no dry bits on the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Then start mixing with your hand, squeezing dough with one hand, and turning the bowl with the other. Do this for about 2 minutes to fully incorporate everything, lifting sides up and over as it starts to become elastic.
- Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Stregthen dough (30 min + 1 hr rest)
- Wet fingertips and do about 8~10 stretch and folds in the bowl
- Scoop and fold about 8 times. pick up, let one side drip down and fold under to lay dough on top
- Rest 30 minutes
- Repeat stretch adn fold and scoop and fold
- Rest one hour (total rest time: 2 hours)
Step 4: Shape Dough (15 min + 15 min + 45 min rests)
- Turn dough out onto a well floured surface
- Cut into two halves
- Watch video below for shaping and scoring. I am not as rough as he is!
- Pre-Shape: Loose tri-fold and 15 minute rest
- Shape and let rest 15 minutes: Fold top third down and press, then botton third up and press, then fold in half and press
- Final shape: roll to full length
- Place on couche seem side down, and rest 40 minutes
- While dough is resting, preheat oven to 525. Boil water and fill two loaf pans (or one pan…whatever you have) and place on opposite sides of the bottom rack
Step : Bake
- Score bread as instructed in the video. With wet dough like this, the blade can drag. You might find it easier to oil or wet it.
- Use a potholder when you transfer the dough to the oven. A lot of steam will come out when you open the door.
- Put in oven gently, shut door quickly
- Turn down oven to 500
- Bake 20~30 minutes. Check it often, so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from tray and let cool before slicing. If it’s humid in your kitchen, cool bread in the turned off oven with the door ajar