I started growing wild yeast for quite some time now, but the classic Sourdough takes too much time to bake. Thankfully, I found the baguette which takes a fraction of the time to bake. I grow my starter like a pet, feeding it every week and with every feed, I find immense satisfaction watching it double in size and looking bubbly and alive. The baguette recipe is easy and most of the time needed is waiting and baking time.
(Yields three 35 cm long baguettes)
- 270g white starter
- 340g plain flour
- 2.5g instant yeast
- 140ml luke warm water
- 6g of salt
Method (Note: I use electrix mixer to mix the dough)
- Hydrate the instant yeast in about 20ml of the luke warm water.
- Put starter, flour, hydrated yeast, remaining water and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Mix on low speed with a dough hook attachment for about 4 minutes and scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Increase the speed to high and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. A quick test is to take some of the dough and stretch it to see if it can be stretched thin enough to read a newspaper through the dough without tearing easily. If this can be done, the dough is ready.
- Using a blunt knife, divide the dough into 3 portions, shape them into balls and allow them to rest on a lightly floured tray and cover with tea towel for about 20 minutes.
- Working with a ball at a time, flatten out the dough with the palm of your hands into a rough rectangle, then fold them into thirds.
- Turn the dough so that the folded seam is facing you, start crimping the dough on the side that is furthest away from you, folding them into each other 3 more times until your get a rough cylinder. Use the palm of your hands to press along the dough seam and you will hear popping sounds, indicating that the seam is totally sealed.
- Using the palm of your hands, push down lightly on the dough and roll it out to elongate them into lengths of about 35 cm, making an effort to distribute your strength evenly so your dough is elongated as evenly as possible. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Allow the shaped baguettes to prove, seam side up, on a generously floured tea towel, covered loosely with a plastic bag, for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at the highest temperature, mine is 240 degrees.
- The baguettes are ready to be baked when the dough bounce back quite quickly after being pressed lightly with a finger.
- Gently roll the proved baguettes onto baking trays lined with baking paper, resting them with the seam side down this time.
- Gently score the baguettes, pinching the dough gently and make diagonal incisions with a sharp knife in the middle of the baguettes. You can be creative with this. I made mine classic.
- Before baking the baguettes in the preheated oven, spray the oven with water. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn the tray around, reduce oven temperature to about 220 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes. Check the baguettes regularly to ensure that the ends are not too brown.
- Allow to cool complete and enjoy!
I love this recipe because it is easy to bake, there is minimal cleaning, I get fresh bread every week and most of all, I don’t feel bloated even after eating half a loaf. Now, I bake them and store them in the fridge and when we need a quick dinner, we spread homemade pesto, sprinkle with some cheese and eat with parma ham, sheer bliss.
P/S: I did not make my own starter, but I think it is easy enough, will find time to write a post on making your own starter soon.