How to Make 100% Sourdough Baguettes

This 100% Sourdough Baguettes recipe produces baguettes with a crusty outside and a chewy inside with a slightly nutty taste.

Crispy and airy baguettes with sourdough are perfect for a delicious sandwich, for the tapas table, or as an accompaniment to the barbecue.

These baguettes are baked with 100% sourdough, all-purpose, type 00, and fine whole wheat flour, which gives both tasty baguettes and baguettes with a really open and delicious crumb.

And I would like also to note that my baguettes are, in fact, demi-baguettes, due to the limited width of my home oven.

It’s often the simplest things that are the most difficult to perfect. This saying really fits sourdough baguettes baking. Because shaping nice and even baguettes can be a challenge, and this is still my problem. But I will show you how I shape my dough here, or there are tons of tutorial videos on how to shape sourdough baguettes on YouTube.

Transferring baguettes to the oven can also be a challenge. But I find a solution, therefore please watch my video tutorial. Lastly, scoring is also a challenge. Use a very sharp bread lame or razor blade. This is still my issue, but I’m getting there. 😃

Even though this is a quick, simple, and beginner’s baguette method, you can still make high-quality baguettes at home.

I build my starter in the morning around 8 am then let it grow to its peak. But if you like your baguettes to be sour, you can build your levain in the evening and use it just before it reaches its peak. This ensures acidity is kept relatively okay.

The first thing you will notice is that this is a higher hydration recipe. Because I aim to have baguettes with a super open crumb, and, of course, you can use lesser water for this recipe to lower the hydration. But the result will not be the same, as lower hydration bread tends to have a less impressive crumb. But the upside is that lower hydration dough is less sticky to handle and the best start for beginners. 😊

My tools and equipment for making Sourdough Baguettes

Quick tips before baking Sourdough Baguettes:

  • It would be wise to measure the length of your oven and/or baking stone before shaping your baguettes. So, you are sure that your dough will fit in your oven. My baguettes are 35cm or 13.7 inches, so they will fit in my oven and baking stone.
  • Another piece of equipment that is extremely helpful is the baker’s couche that you will need for proofing. Being a regular home baker, I don’t have a bakers couche, so I improvised by using a flour sack from my home country, Philippines, or you can use tea towels. Then I sat my large rolling pin on one of the ends and my large bench scraper on the other end. Then dust it generously with rice flour or any gluten-free flour or a piece of parchment paper cut into long pieces.
  • A sharp bread lame or razor blade for scoring the baguettes.
  • Finally, you will need a large pizza shovel, peel, or something similar to load baguettes in the oven. I find that the easiest way to do it is to place the baguettes on each cut piece of parchment paper, score then slide on the baking stone.

This is my third attempt at baking 100% Sourdough Baguettes

The result of my sourdough baguette baking is not the same as in the artisan bakery store. But as they say, practice makes perfect. I will continue baking these baguettes until I get the shape and the score that I want. 😃

This is the best tasting baguettes I’ve ever made, so make a double portion, as they can easily be frozen and reheated after thawing.

For more information about shaping and baking Sourdough Baguettes, I recommend visiting also my SOURDOUGH BAGUETTE NOTES. I compiled all the notes that I gather from different resources (you will find the link below).

I can’t wait to hear about your sourdough baguette experience and please tell me about it in the comment section below. 😊

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For 4 servings, you will need:

For the autolyse

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams Type 00 flour
  • 50 grams fine whole wheat flour
  • 390 grams water, around 32C or 90F

For the levain

Main dough

  • all the autolyse
  • 220 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 12 grams salt
  • olive oil, for greasing bowl or plastic tub container
  • extra flour, for dusting your work surface and dough while shaping

Tools and equipment for making the Sourdough Baguette dough

  • mature and active sourdough starter
  • stand mixer with a flat beater and dough hook
  • silicone spatula
  • a bowl and plastic film or plastic tub container with lid
  • parchment paper
  • bakers’ couche or any tea towel
  • rice flour, for dusting the bakers couche or tea towel
  • digital kitchen scale
  • bench knife or plastic scraper
  • light cloth, for covering the dough while resting
  • transferring board e.g. large pizza shovel, peel, thin chopping board or paper board
  • bread lame or very sharp knife

Tools and equipment for baking the Sourdough Baguette dough

  • oven with convention function
  • a baking stone/steel or an inverted baking tray
  • a small baking pan with lava rocks or rolled towel, for steaming
  • a bottle spray with water, nice to have but this is optional. This is also for creating more steam in your oven.
  • cooling rack
  • bread knife and chopping board

Procedure:

Day 1 around 8 am: Levain

  1. Combine all the starter ingredients, mix thoroughly, and place in a warm area. Leave to ferment at around 25C (78F) until ripe, bubbly, and has doubled in volume.

Day 1 around 10 am: Prepare the autolyse using a stand mixer

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add flours and water. With a spatula, stir the mixture, scooping around the edge and bottom, then pressing the mixture onto itself. Then use your hands to pinch and squeeze and mix until the dry bits are incorporated. Check the dough to ensure there isn’t any flour on the bottom and sides.
  2. Cover and leave it on your countertop until your levain is ready to use for baking.

Day 1 around 3 pm: For the main dough using a stand mixer

  1. Starter: Add 220 grams active and bubbly sourdough starter into your autolyse and stir using a flat beater at medium speed until the dough gathers around the flat beater and strikes the bowl. It takes approx. 3 minutes.
  2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature (around 25C/77F) for 30 minutes.
  3. Salt: Sprinkle salt over the top of the dough, then using a dough hook, continue kneading the dough at medium speed until the dough releases the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl. It takes about 13 to 15 minutes. Knead until it passes the windowpane testMake sure to measure the dough temperature because we don’t want our dough to overheat. My dough temperature is around 26C to 27C. The dough is glossy and very elastic. You need to be able to pick up the dough between your fingers and stretch it without it tearing or breaking.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it into a bowl or plastic tub greased with oil (I used olive oil for extra flavor). Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area for 30 minutes. I recommend placing a rubber band around the outside of your container at the level of the dough. It will then easy to see when the dough has risen double its size.

Day 1 around 3 pm: For the main dough using hand-kneading

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour and water. Mix only to combine everything until it forms into a shaggy dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm until your levain is bubbly and ready to use.
  2. Add the salt using the pincher or slap and fold method. Mix until the is smooth, then put back in the same bowl, cover, and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Day 1: Warm Bulk Fermentation

  1. We will perform four sets of stretch and fold. We will do this every 30 minutes. Try to keep the dough at a room temperature of 23 to 27 degrees Celcius (74F to 80F).
  2. Stretch and fold the dough, cover the container or bowl and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretching and folding process four times. Please handle the dough very carefully in the 4th (final) stretch and fold, not to degas it. Use wet hands to prevent dough from sticking.
  3. After the final stretch and fold, perform a gluten stretch test to check if the dough is ready for long fermentation.
  4. Cover and let the dough rest, undisturbed, at room temperature for 2 hours, or until the dough volume rises to 20% to 30%.

Day 1: Cold retard

  1. Around 8:30 pm: After 2 hours, place the dough in the fridge and let it rest for a minimum of 12 hours up to 21 to 40 hours.

Day 2: Dividing and pre-shaping

  1. Divide: You can prepare your baker’s couche or tea towel dusted with rice flour.

    10 am: Take the dough out of the fridge, gently tip the cold dough onto the unfloured countertop, and shape it into a rectangular shape. The dough still feels cold and firm, so we can still work with this dough without flour on our work surface.

    Carefully cut the dough and divide it into four equal portions of about 260 grams each. I used my kitchen scale to make sure that all my baguettes have the same weight. Avoid pushing too much air out of the dough.
  2. Preshape: Working on one dough at a time, stretch it outwards and then fold the left side over to the middle and fold the dough’s right side. Roll once from the top down and then over itself from the bottom up into a tight roll like a jelly roll. Seal the seams.
  3. Place rolls seam side up on a floured couche and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Lightly flour (I used rice flour) on the dough’s top and cover them with a light cloth. Use more flour if the dough is sticky, but be careful not to add so much flour that the seams don’t stick properly.

Day 1: Final shape

  1. Lightly flour your hands, bench scraper, and working surface. Take one dough (seam side up) and gently pat/flat it into a rectangle. First, fold the top half down to the middle, push it away (to create some tension to the dough) and seal.

    Flip the dough 180 degrees and fold the new top-down to the middle again (slightly overlapping the first fold), push it away. Do this 2 to 3 times until you create tension. Then use your thumb to seal the seam and your wrist to seal the curl of the dough. Work your way from the right side of the dough to the left. Make sure your seams are relatively straight and properly sealed.

    Using your hands, roll the cylinders evenly by gently stretching them to the desired length and make points in the end. I recommend shaping your baguette roughly the same length as your oven (also measuring your baking stone and the peel or transferring board that you will use to transfer the dough into the oven).
  2. Final proof: Place the shaped baguettes on a lightly floured couche or parchment paper, seam side UP (if using floured couche) or seam side DOWN (if using parchment paper), dust the top with light flour. For easy transferring the baguette to the oven later, I’m laying parchment paper over my couche.
  3. Cover with light cloth and proof at room temperature for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the dough passed the poke test. The final proof depends on your kitchen temperature.
  4. 10 am: Preheat oven (with fan) to 260C/500F with a baking stone/steel and steam (lava rocks or baking tray with a folded tea towel or whatever works for you).
  5. Five minutes before the dough is ready to bake, boil the kettle for your steam.
  6. Prepare a large pizza shovel or large peel or thin chopping board lined with parchment paper and a transfer board (floured) for transferring each baguette from the couche to the parchment paper for baking.
  7. Scoring: Transfer and gently roll each baguette into a large peel (floured), seam side down, if not using parchment paper. Arrange the baguettes as straight as possible and dust off excess flour. Be gentle with the dough, so we do not deflate them when transferring.
  8. Once all the baguettes are on the parchment paper, using a bread lame or razor blade, make one long score or three scores on each baguette. When scoring, use a swift and firm motion to ensure nice and clean cuts. Each slash should be a little bit shallow to the dough and overlap slightly with the end of the slash before it.

Day 2: Baking

  1. Immediately slide the baguettes (with parchment paper) onto the baking stone/steel as straight as possible. Lower the heat to 245C (change from fan to convention) and add boiling water to your steam and spray more water. The more steam, the better!
  2. Bake for 15 minutes. Take the steam out, turn the baguettes, and bake for another 10 minutes at 200C. Leave for longer if you want a more deep golden color.
  3. Let the baguettes cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Baguettes go stale very quickly and should be eaten the day they are baked. Store the baked and cold baguettes in a tea towel, paper bag, or similar. The baguettes can easily be frozen, and they can be reheated in the oven at 200C with a little steam for approx. 5 minutes.
  • If you don’t have a bakers couche, you can use tea towels.
  • If you don’t have a baking stone, you can use an inverted baking tray.
  • If you don’t have a pizza shovel or baguette peel, you can transfer your baguette using a hard paper board or thin chopping board. Just try to avoid melting it on the hot baking stone if it’s plastic.

Links that I recommend to visit too before baking Sourdough Baguettes:

Photo Gallery of my Sourdough Baguettes Journey

I will post a new picture every time I try to experiment with baguettes and will try to include a short conclusion. 😊

 

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