Monthly Archive for December, 2007

Sourdough Baguettes for the Holidays

holiday-baguettes3.jpgholiday-baguettes1.jpgholiday-baguettes2.jpg

Hi everyone,

 Here’s a recipe that I put together for baguettes using sourdough starter. I couldn’t find any simple recipes for sourdough baguettes when I did a web search, so I combined a couple of recipes, took a chance and voila… it succeeded! I took these over to my friend’s house to share at the delicious Christmas feast that was prepared yesterday.

Sourdough Baguettes

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups bread flour

2 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 cups active sourdough starter

1 cup cool water

corn meal for dusting sheet pan

Procedure:

1) In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, starter and water

2)  Remove mixture from bowl and knead for 8 minutes on a floured surface

3) Put dough back into the bowl, cover w/ plastic wrap and bulk ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes

4) Weigh dough into 3 equal portions then shape into tight balls, cover w/ plastic wrap and let bench rest for 1 hour

5) Shape into 14 inch baguettes by rolling from the center out using the palms of your hands

6) Lightly dust baguettes w/ some flour and place them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan that is generously dusted w/ corn meal

7) Cover w/ plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight

8) Let stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours prior to baking (since it is winter here and my kitchen is cool, I placed the baguettes in the unheated oven w/ the light on to give them some warmth)

9) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

10) Dust baguettes w/ flour and dock w/ a serrated knife  – hold knife at a 30 degree angle and make 4 or 5 diagonal cuts

11) Place a container of hot water at the bottom of the oven

12) Place baguettes in oven on middle rack and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown  – – quickly pour 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom sides of the oven right after placing baguettes in

13) After 1 minute quickly pour in another 1/2 cup of water – repeat once again 2 minutes later (the steam helps promote the “oven spring” and crust gloss)

14) Remove baguettes from oven and let cool

15) Share the bread w/ your friends!

**  yields 3 baguettes

 I hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday season! If you’re feeling stressed, I recommend breaking away from the holiday hustle-bustle, slowing down to relax, bake this bread, break out a nice bottle of wine and some cheese and sit down w/ some of your favorite friends to enjoy a peaceful moment together. That’s what I did and I feel so much better!!

Happy holidays to all… see you in 2008!!

 Bruno