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sourdough baguette recipe


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Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2


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Step 1

Please note - this recipe makes 2 x 175g baguettes with a little dough left over. If you want 4 baguettes, you can easily double, or even triple the recipe using the buttons on the top left of this recipe card.Autolyse - Premixing The DoughWeigh out your sourdough starter and water into a large ceramic or glass bowl. Glass is always good as you can see what's happening underneath your dough. This recipe is based on you having an active starter that you have fed a few hours before starting your bake.Mix the water and starter together briefly. Then add your flour and salt and mix whole lot together to form a shaggy dough. The dough will be fairly shaggy and only just brought together.

Step 2

Cover your bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel and let it sit for around 1 hour. It's ok if it's a little bit longer, it's not going to matter too much.This process is called the "autolyse" and allows your flour to soak in all the water and become hydrated. You can see how the dough has changed in this photo.

Step 3

Forming Up The DoughAfter the dough has been through autolyse you need to bring it together into a ball. Work your way around the bowl, grabbing the dough from the outside, stretching it up and over itself, into the centre, until a smooth ball is formed. You shouldn't need more than about 20-25 stretches to form the ball.You'll notice that the dough is fully hydrated after soaking all the water up. It will be fairly sticky but as you bring it into a ball, it will become smoother and shinier. It will feel slightly less wet than making regular sourdough bread.

Step 4

Once the dough has formed into a smooth ball, pop the cling film back on and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Step 5

Stretch & Fold - Creating StructureOver the next few hours you need to create some structure for your dough by "stretching and folding". Aim to do around 4-6 sets of stretches and folds. For each set, stretch the dough up and over itself 4 times. Leave around 15 minutes in between each set. Again you do not have to be exact with time, but you need to do at least 4 sets over 2 hours.

Step 6

Bulk FermentOnce you've finished your stretch and folds, place the cling film or damp tea towel back over your dough and let it rest and ferment (a plastic cover is a better option for this stage).You are looking for the dough to rise around just under double. For baguettes, it is easier to shape them if you don't let the dough double completely.See notes below for more info on this step.

Step 7

Shaping BaguettesOnce your dough has finished its first ferment, it's time to shape your baguettes. I've included step by step instructions here and you'll find visual instructions in the post above.Use a dough scraper to tip the dough onto the counter. You'll need to divide the dough into portions so you can make the baguettes. I like to use 175 to 200g of dough. This is a nice manageable size. You can make them bigger as your shaping skills get better.Preshape each portion of dough into a round and allow to rest for 30 minutes while you organise the couche or heavy linen dish towel. You'll need to rub whatever you're using liberally with rice flour so the baguettes don't stick (remember there are different options for shaping containers in the post above).

Step 8

Take a portion of dough and stretch it out so that it's a flat rectangle.

Step 9

Take the top edge of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough, pressing gently with your fingertips or heel of your hand.

Step 10

Now pull the lower edge of the dough up and over and then use the counter to tension the dough into the baguette shape.

Step 11

Gently pull the ends into a point using your fingertips.

Step 12

Gently lift the baguette and place it into your shaping container or cloth and then shape the next baguette.

Step 13

ProofingAllow the baguettes to sit at room temp for around two hours (but as always, this will depend on the temperature of your home). This allows them to rest while the sourdough yeast is still active.

Step 14

Cold FermentCover the baguettes (I put mine on a tray and into a plastic bag) and place them into the fridge for up to 36 hours. I tend to do a shorter cold ferment for baguettes - around 12 to 18 hours is perfect.

Step 15

Preparing To BakeOnce you're ready to bake your baguettes, you'll need to preheat your oven to 230C/450F. Place your Cast Iron Bread Pan into the oven when you turn it on so it gets hot. Try to preheat for around 1 hour to ensure your oven is super hot - but you know your oven so just adjust this time if you need to.Remember there are alternatives to baking in a cast iron bread pan in the notes of the main post.

Step 16

Bake Time!Now it's time to bake!When your oven is at temperature, take your baguettes out of the fridge. Gently place them onto a piece of baking paper. Make sure that you make the baking paper big enough to use the edges as a handle to lower the baguettes into your cast iron bread pan.Gently score your baguettes with a lame, clean razor blade or knife. You want to make short, sharp slashes that are almost vertical to the baguettes.Carefully take your dutch oven out of the oven. Place the baguettes into the pan using the baking paper as a handle (you can add a few cubes of ice or spray the dough with water if you like). Put the lid on and place into the hot oven. BAKE TIME:15 Minutes with the lid on at 230C/450F plus10-15 Minutes with the lid off at 210C/410F

Step 17

Finishing The BakeWhen you remove your baguettes from the oven, carefully remove them from the bread pan as soon as possible and place on a wire rack to cool.