Here it is my french baguette recipe! Summertime is ideal for baguettes. Have it with a fresh salad or make light crostini with chopped tomatoes and olive oil. This version has a pre-fermentation step, called poolish, that will make it light and with a perfect crust. Enjoy!
For the poolish:
- 50 g liquid natural yeast (ready = fed and doubled in volume)
- 100 g bread flour
- 100 g water
For the dough:
- 200 g poolish (40%)
- 450 g bread flour (90%)
- 50 g whole wheat (10%)
- 300 g water (60%)
- 12 g salt (2.4%)
- 6 g diastatic malt (powder) (1.2%)
Preparing the poolish
Mix the ingredients for the poolish in a bowl without kneading. Cover and let it rest overnight (~10-12 hours).
In a bowl, combine poolish, flours, and diastatic malt. Start kneading by slowly adding the water. If using a standing mixer, start first with the K attachment and after all the water is incorporated move to the hook attachment. Lastly, add the salt. When gluten is developed, the dough should look smooth and not sticky.
Let the dough rest at room temperature in a lightly oiled bowl for about 30 minutes. This dough doesn’t really need folds, if you feel like it just give a round of folds in the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight.
Shaping and second fermentation
Transfer to a floured counter and try to degas as little as possible. Divide the dough in 4 balls and let them rest about 30 minutes. Take one of the balls and degas a little with your whole hand in order to make an oval disc. Fold one side toward the center of the disc as a letter and seal with your thumb. Repeat itl on the other side. You should obtain a sort of thick cigar. Roll it from the center towards the edges trying to taper the edges out. Place all the baguettes with the seal upward on a floured cloth. Cover and let it rise for a couple of hours at room temperature.
Scoring & Baking
Preheat a stone in your oven at 250 ºC (500 ºF) and place a oven-proof container with some water for vapor. One at the time, transfer the baguette on a peel, seal down. Score with a blade 4/5 times with a 45 degree angle or in the length direction. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes spraying often water in the first 5-10 minute. Keep an eye on them, it may need 15 minutes. I do it 4 times every 30 seconds and then 4 more times every minute. The baguette should be golden brown. Once ready, take it out from the oven and let it cool standing on the kitchen counter.
- The diastatic malt helps with the brown color, leave it out if don’t have it.
- Shaping baguettes is really hard and I am still learning. Try your best! The flavor remains amazing even if you don’t get a perfect baguette.
- I find the stone pretty essential for making baguette.