I love baguettes. Cut up as a side for salads, to go with bbqs, with soups, or just halved lengthwise and filled with all kinds of good things to make fantabulous sandwiches.
I’ve already shown you the easy way with the tarhana twisters. Today, I’m going old school and make classical french baguettes, just way shorter because I can’t get a meter of bread into my oven. We add a tiny bit of rye for taste, otherwise the dough is pretty straightforward. And shaping the breads is actually easy if you know what to do. It’s video time, folks!
- 240g lievito madre
- 400g all purpose flour
- 100g medium rye flour (Roggen 1150 for the Germans)
- 12g salt
- 350g water
Just mix and knead until the windowpane test is successful. Easy peasy so far. Place the dough in a slightly oiled bowl and perform a round of stretches and folds after it had about 15-20 minutes time to rest.
Place the covered bowl in the fridge for about 12 hours (in my fridge: top shelf, about 8°C)
OR let it rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours until supple and puffed up.
Then divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions. Using scales helps a lot here. I made 5 small baguettes, 220g of dough each. If you make just 4, aim for 275g.
Now, we can start with the shaping. Make sure to remember in what order you worked the pieces of dough and keep to it. That way the pieces have enough time to rest in between shaping steps and will cooperate better instead of resisting and going stiff.
Step 1: all shaping always starts with a ball, we need surface tension
Step 2: pre-shaping, turn the balls into logs, keeping all the tension
Step 3: shaping the baguettes
Use your palms for rolling, pulling slightly outward. Press down with the edges of your hand to form pointy tips.
Step 4: let the baguettes rest in the couche for about an hour.
Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 220°C / 430F.
Use either your hands or a flipping board to move your bagugettes from the couche onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The dough is firm enough to just grab it, but I made the video for future reference while the equipment was up anyway.
Step 5: Score the baguettes. Make the cuts lengthwise, slightly overlapping. NEVER crosswise, or the cuts can’t open up properly. I use a small serrated kitchen knife.
Bake with steam and turn the oven down to 200°C once the breads are in. Let the steam out after 10 minutes and bake another 10-15 minutes, so total baking time is 20-25 minutes. Crust should be thin and crackly.