A fresh baguette is just pure happiness. A thin and super crusty and crispy crust. A light and fluffy interior begging for lots of wonderful produce, meats and cheeses. When you ferment the dough for a long time the taste of the baguette becomes an absolutely wonderful experience. This is my recipe for sourdough baguettes.
Baguettes are the perfect companion for almost any kind of dish. They are great with cheeses, vegetables and any kind of meats.
My personal favorite is a Vietnamese sandwich called Bánh Mì. It’s a French baguette with various fillings. Usually a protein like marinated pork, grilled chicken, tofu or meatballs. Afterwards it’s topped with pickled daikon and carrots, fresh chilies and lots of coriander or cilantro leaves.
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The history of baguettes
Creating a recipe requires a lot of research. I research many different things. Methods for mixing, shaping and baking. What ingredients are common, which are uncommon, and how did the item come to be? Did it take decades or even centuries to develop it from a different version or did someone come up with it in a bakery or hotel kitchen?
I often find that historians disagree on how something came to be. In the end all that’s left are a bunch of theories.
Baguettes are no different.
Napoleon, metro workers or the French revolution?
One such story goes that Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the breads given to soldiers were to be long and thin to fit in the soldiers pockets.
Another story goes that when they started building the metro in Paris in 1898 workers were brought in from all over France to work on the project. Because of a violent outbreak between two groups of workers, they asked bakers to bake bread that could be torn instead of cut, so that knives could be outlawed.
Yet another story goes that baguettes were part of inciting the French revolution. It’s been said that it infuriated the French peasants to see the nobility eating crusty white bread while they were starving.
What about the modern baguette?
The origins of the modern baguette is not well known either, but it’s been said that the baker who is known for inventing the croissant, Austrian born August Zang, facilitated the baguette because he brought the steam oven to France. Steam is needed to make the super crusty exterior of the baguette.
No matter how they came to be, baguettes are wonderful and delicious.
The dough in this sourdough baguettes recipe
|Total weight||1290 grams|
|Yield||3 medium baguettes|
The dough for a classic french baguette is only white flour, but if you want a bit more grit and taste you can add up to 20% whole grain flour without a problem.
The hydration is 70%, but I recommend that you start at 65% just to make sure your flour can take that amount of water. The shaping will be close to impossible if the dough is too wet.
The 2.2% which brings out the taste of the wheat.
The inoculation is 22.2% which is in the normal range of 20% which gives you a total fermentation time of around 5 hours at 21ºC/70ºF. If your kitchen is colder, you should use a higher inoculation, if it’s vastly warmer, you should use a lower inoculation.
|150g||starter (100% hydration)||22.2%|
As always, if you want to change quantity, hydration, inoculation or play around with the formula, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.
Tools for this sourdough baguette recipe
The complete list of tools needed to make sourdough baguettes:
- A baguette pan
- A bowl
- A bench scraper
- A lame
- Razor blades
- A small roasting pan
- A stand mixer
- A plastic bag big enough for the baguette pan
- A wire rack
The conclusion of this sourdough baguettes recipe
This recipe delivers in all the ways I think is important for a wonderful baguette?
- A thin and crispy crust
- A wonderfully soft and fluffy interior
- A well-developed taste
- Wonderful oven spring with defined scores in the final baguette
In all those respects these sourdough baguettes deliver. A joy to eat and look at. What more do you want? They are absolutely scrumptious.
Please share this recipe for sourdough baguettes on social media
This is my recipe for crispy sourdough baguettes. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded bread lovers on social media.
If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.
Easy Sourdough Baguettes
- small roasting pan
- big plastic bag
- 675 g bread flour
- 450 g water divided
- 15 g salt
- 150 g starter fed and grown to its peak
Mix the dough
- To the bowl of your stand mixer add: 675g bread flour and 15g salt
- Mix with the paddle attachment on 1, until it’s been incorporated.
- Then add: 450g water and 150g sourdough starter.
- Mix with the paddle on 1 until everything has been incorporated.
- Then switch to the dough hook and mix for 5 minutes on 3. While the dough is mixing add as much water needed to make the dough tacky, but not sticky.
- Check for a windowpane by pulling a little piece of dough out and see if it’s strong enough to pull the dough so thin that you can see light through it. If it fails, mix in increments of 2 minutes until it passes.
- Instead of using a stand mixer you can also knead the dough by hand until you get a windowpane. It will probably take 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the windowpane passes, move the dough to a see-through bulking container.
- Wet your hands and level the dough. The mark the top of the dough with a whiteboard marker.
- Then let the dough grow by 25 to 50%.
Shape the dough
- Then divide the dough into 3 equally sized pieces and dust the top with flour.
- Flip the dough over and roll it up into a tight log and do the same for the other two.
- Let them rest on the counter for 20 minutes and then proceed to the final shaping.
- Grab a log and stretch it out to double the size you want the final baguette to be.
- Fold the right side into the middle and then fold the left side into the middle.
- Then going all the way down the length of the baguette, fold the back towards the front, about to the middle.
- Then flip it around and then go all the way down the baguette again, folding the back towards the front, all the way over.
- Then work the baguette across the table, pushing it forwards or backwards at the bottom of the dough, to work the baguette to the exact length that you want it.
- Then flour the pan with rice flour and add the baguette to the pan or you can also use a piece of parchment paper on the pan if you feel like the dough is a bit too wet.
- Continue with the other two the exact same way.
- Then sprinkle rice flour on top of all the baguettes and add them to a bag big enough to hold the pan.
- Put the dough in the fridge for at least 8 hours, but up to 48 hours.
Bake the baguettes
- When you want to bake, heat your oven to 230°Celsius/450°Fahrenheit/Gasmark 8. I didn’t use fan assist or convection, but you can.
- Add a pan to the bottom of the oven that will be used for steaming.
- I have a baking steel in my oven, which means I heat it for an hour. If you don’t use one, you can just bake when the oven says it’s hot enough.
- When the oven is hot, boil a kettle of water.
- Then grab the baguette pan from the fridge and sprinkle the top of the baguettes with rice flour.
- Score the baguettes with 3 long, slightly overlapping scores and grab the pan and add it to the hot oven.
- Pour the kettle of boiling water into the pan at the bottom and quickly close the oven.
- Bake for 8 minutes and then oven the oven and remove the steaming pan.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes more until the baguette is golden brown and super crisp.
- Remove the pan from the oven and put the baguettes on a wire rack and let them cool down or if you can just serve them immediately.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.