Thursday, November 25, 2010
Ultimate Sourdough Baguettes
We like to eat the big French bread and the smaller baguettes. The crispy crack that you hear when you break this bread is a great sound. The crunchy taste of sourdough makes it complete. Another advantage for this recipe is that you can use a lot of your sourdough starter. We love sourdough bread, but when you feed the starter you need to discard good sourdough starter. Even living in Thailand for a couple of years doesn’t change that I, still being Dutch, don’t like to throw away good stuff.
310 gr lukewarm water
600 gr sourdough starter, about the consistency of thick pancake batter
1125 gr King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze
In a small bowl add the yeast with lukewarm water; let it rest till it starts to bubble.
In a large bowl, combine the water, starter, the yeasted water and 2/3 of the flour, with a wooden spoon mix it. Cover the dough and let rest (autolyse) for 10 – 20 minutes.
Stir in the salt, sugar, and an additional 1/3 of flour, mixing till smooth. Stir till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding only enough additional flour as necessary; a slack (sticky) dough makes a light loaf.
Let it rest for 5 minutes, and then knead for an additional 5 minutes.
Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. This takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Put the dough on the work surface and gently push some of the air out of the dough. Divide the dough into 3 big pieces when you like French bread or 6 pieces if you like baguettes. Shape the pieces into loaves. Place the loaves on parchment-lined baking sheets, make sure to put the paper is also between the loaves or they will stick together. Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 1 hour. Drape it with plastic wrap and let it proof until it is light and slowly springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 230°C. Brush the loaves with the egg yolk glaze. Bake them for about 20 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. If you have an electric oven you can “grill” the top of the loaves to give them more color.
Recipe source: inspired by King Arthur Flour