Sourdough Baguettes Recipe

Sourdough Baguettes

Makes 3 – 4 baguettes

Sourdough Starter for Baguettes:
These are directions for making baguette starter; if you want to also make starter for Sourdough White Bread ,  or to keep some on hand in your refrigerator, see the 7 Days Starter Recipe .  

The starter may be made with regular whole wheat flour, bread flour, or all-purpose flour. The starter may be used for baguettes as soon as it develops a light sourdough flavor, which takes two or three days.


Sourdough Baguettes

White whole wheat flour

Day 1 morning: Mix 2/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup water in a glass or ceramic bowl (not plastic or stainless steel). Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature.

Day 1 evening: Add 2/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup water to the starter, and stir just until the ingredients are combined. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature.

Day 2 through Baking Day, morning and evening: Divide starter into 2 halves,  leave one half for later,  use the second half as a starter for baguettes.  Add to it 2/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup water, and stir just until the ingredients are combined. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature.

As soon as the second half of the starter is ready, you can use all of it in the Sourdough Baguette recipe.

NOTES: If you want to keep some starter to store for the future and to make Sourdough White Bread later,  use the first half to establish a second starter.  Mix it in a bowl with 2/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup water,  and cover it with a plate (this will become your basic starter to keep for later). You will now have two identical starters: Starter 1 and Starter 2. The next morning, instead of discarding half of Starter 2, add it to Starter 1 which you keep for later,  and begin making the Sourdough Baguette with Starter 2.

To store sourdough starter for the future, put the starter you want to save in a jar and refrigerate it. It will keep indefinitely, so long as you feed it with flour and water every other week or so. To make starter for Sourdough Bread, continue feeding and watering Starter 1 in the morning and evening.

Sourdough Baguettes:
The preferred way to bake the bread is to use a baking stone as it helps the oven maintain an even temperature and gives the baguettes a crisper crust. I also have an old baking sheet with edges that I preheat and throw water on to create a steamy environment for the bread. Don’t throw water directly on the oven floor or it will warp. A good baking sheet will also warp, which is why I have an old baking sheet, rusty and warped, that I use only for baking bread.

Starter for Sourdough Baguettes (see above)
2 cups warm water
2 tsp. yeast (optional)
1 Tbsp. coarse salt
5 – 6 cups bread flour, or all-purpose flour

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand), mix the starter, water, and yeast. Add the salt and 4 cups of flour, and mix until thoroughly combined. Start mixing in the remaining flour. When the dough starts clumping together, switch to the dough hook (or to kneading by hand), and keep adding flour until you have a moist, but not quite sticky, dough. Knead for 4 minutes with the dough hook (or 10 minutes by hand).

Leave the dough to rest in the bowl, with the dough hook, for 80 minutes. Every 20 minutes (4 times total), turn on the machine and knead the dough with the dough hook (or by hand) for 20 seconds. The purpose of doing this “is to stir and compress the dough, to give it more body.”

Flour a large smooth piece of cotton towel and put it on a thin metal baking sheet. Place the dough onto the well-floured cloth and divide it into three or four 1 to 1 1/4 pound pieces (the weight of the dough will differ depending on the type of flour you use). Let rest for five minutes.

Sourdough Baguettes rising

Sourdough Baguettes rising

Preheat a rimmed baking sheet and baking stone, if using, for at least 30 minutes at 500°F. The rimmed baking sheet goes on the oven’s lowest shelf, and the baking stone goes on the shelf just above it.

Pull, stretch, and roll the dough pieces into 16” baguettes, being careful not to tear the dough. Return the baguettes to the floured cloth, adding more flour as necessary, and pushing folds of cloth up between the baguettes. Lightly flour the tops of the baguettes, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

 Carefully lift the edges of the floured cloth and roll the baguettes directly onto the thin metal baking sheet.  Slash each baguette 5 times diagonally with a razor blade.

Put the bread and baking sheet in the oven, directly on the baking stone, if using.  Just before closing the oven, dump a cup of water onto the rimmed baking sheet (which is on the shelf just below the bread), quickly shut the door, and turn the heat down to 450°F.  Bake for 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 325°F and bake for 15 minutes.

Cool for 1-2 hours, cut, and serve.

Note:  When the other starter is ready after 7 days,  you can bake the Sourdough White Bread (see recipe).


1 Comment »

  1. […] the  Recipes  for more ideas,  you can make other types of bread as well as sourdough baguettes,  sourdough […]

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