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Sourdough Baguette Recipe

  • 10 min read

A fresh-baked baguette with butter on top is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

It’s crunchy outside and soft inside, making this classic French loaf an ideal snack for lunch or dinner.

But did you know that you can also use sourdough starter to bake your own sourdough baguettes?

What Is A Sourdough Baguette?

Baguettes are traditionally French breads baked in long loaves with crusty exterior and tender interior.

The word “baguette” comes from the French verb bâgé meaning “to be weary” or “to grow old.”

This refers to their shape, which resembles a small torch (hence the name).

In France, they are typically sold by weight rather than volume — just like our American breads.

The traditional method of baking baguettes involves using yeast.

However, since yeasts require warm water to activate, it’s not possible to make them at home.

Sourdough baguettes, however, do not contain any leavening agents such as yeast.

Instead, they rely on natural acids produced during fermentation, allowing the dough to rise naturally while retaining its elasticity.

A sourdough baguette has more flavor because of these qualities, but it doesn’t have the same shelf-life as yeasted products.

Because of this, sourdough baguettes are best consumed within three days after being baked.

If stored longer, their texture will start to deteriorate.

If you want to try out some delicious homemade baguettes, keep reading!

Sourdough Baguette Recipe

How Is A Sourdough Baguette Made?

As a matter of fact, it’s really simple.

  • You need to get yourself some flour and water (or milk)
  • Mix them together until they form a dough
  • Let it sit for around 12 hours at room temperature
  • Knead the dough again before letting it rise for about 3 days
  • Shape into loaves and let proof for another hour
  • Bake at 450℉ for 15 minutes

The first step might seem daunting because there’s no way you can mix up enough flour and water without getting everything stuck together.

But don’t worry, it’ll come together after a few tries!

What Are The Ingredients In A Sourdough Baguette?

The main ingredient in a sourdough baguette is flour.

Sourdough starters contain living bacteria which ferment the flour into a tangy liquid called leavening agent (also known as yeast).

The starter feeds off sugars found naturally in the flour and produces carbon dioxide bubbles during fermentation, creating air pockets within the bread itself.

You will need to add water to create a paste out of the flour and sugar, before mixing it all together with the starter.

Once mixed, the resulting dough needs to be allowed time to rise – ideally around 90 minutes – before being shaped into loaves.

Baguettes are often baked at high temperatures, but if using a sourdough baguette recipe, they should only be heated up to 180 degrees Celsius.

If baking without the starter, then 150 degrees Celsius is recommended.

This method of baking allows the crust to develop its characteristic dark color while remaining tender and light.

To form the finished loaf, simply cut the baguette lengthwise down the middle, scoop out most of the inside filling, and spread some more butter onto the insides.

Then put both halves back together again so the two sides match up perfectly.

If you have leftover starter, you can save it for later by freezing it in ice cube trays until solid.

You can thaw them out when needed, discarding any moldy bits first!

How Does The Dough For A Sourdough Baguette Differ From Regular Bread Dough?

When it comes to baking, there are two types of dough: yeast dough and sourdough dough.

Sourdough dough has been around for centuries.

But how exactly do they work?

Sourdough dough begins with flour, water, salt, and a small amount of sugar (or honey).

The mixture of these three main elements is then fermented by adding natural bacteria called “wild yeasts” from the air into the wet dough.

The wild yeasts give off carbon dioxide bubbles as they feed on sugars found naturally within the flour.

These gases create pockets of gas which help leaven the dough when baked.

In addition to creating pockets of gas, the wild yeasts release enzymes that break down starches in the wheat flour, giving rise to its unique flavor profile.

While some people prefer using commercial yeast, sourdough starters provide a more authentic taste than anything else out there.

They’re easy to make at home too! All you need is flour, water, and a bit of sugar to kickstart the process.

Sourdough Baguette Recipe2

What Is The Fermentation Process For A Sourdough Baguette?

Fermentation is what makes bread rise and gives it its pleasant tanginess.

Sourdough starter (also called wild yeast) is used in many types of bread recipes, including sourdough baguettes.

The starter contains live bacteria that feed off sugars found in flour during the baking process.

Sourdough starters are made by mixing equal parts water and flour into a paste, then letting it sit at room temperature until it ferments.

Once it has fermented enough, you add more water and let it ferment again before using it as the main ingredient when creating your homemade sourdough bread.

The second fermentation process is where all the magic happens!

As the starter sits waiting for another round of sugar consumption, it gets fatter and produces carbon dioxide bubbles.

These bubbles cause leavening — which creates air pockets within the dough and causes it to puff up.

When baked, these air pockets expand even further, giving the bread its characteristic texture and lightness.

Once the first two stages of the fermentation process have been completed, you put the starter back in the fridge so it doesn’t spoil.

You keep adding water and flour to the starter every few days to ensure it continues to produce enough gas.

How Long Does It Take To Make A Sourdough Baguette?

Baguettes are traditionally made using a sourdough starter, which takes around 10 days to fully ferment.

The longer it ferments, the more complex flavors will develop in the bread.

This means that if you want to get started baking sourdough baguettes sooner rather than later, then there are some things you need to consider first.

For example, if you don’t have time to wait for 10 days, you may be able to speed up the process by adding yeast instead of sourdough starter.

If you do decide to go down this route, however, bear in mind that you won’t achieve the same depth of flavor as when using real sourdough starter.

So while you might not find yourself waiting around forever, you still might end up disappointed!

With these factors in mind, we’ve put together our guide on how long it takes to make a sourdough baguette so you can start enjoying delicious homemade baguettes sooner rather than later.

Sourdough Baguette Recipe3

1. How much flour should I add per baguette?

The amount of flour needed depends largely on the size of your pan (or oven).

If you only plan to make one baguette at a time, you shouldn’t need any more than 1 cup / 240g of flour.

But if you want to increase the number of baguettes you bake, you could easily double the ingredients list below.

To calculate how many baguettes you’ll need, simply divide the total weight of the dough by the volume of each individual baguette.

You can check out our handy guide here to learn more about calculating different quantities of food recipes.

2. What type of flour should I use?

You can either buy plain white flour, wholemeal flour, or even spelt flour depending on what you prefer – but keep in mind that all flours contain gluten.

Gluten is responsible for giving bread its structure and chewiness.

While this isn’t usually problematic, people who suffer from celiac disease must avoid foods containing gluten because they cannot absorb it properly.

However, if you aren’t affected by this condition, you can choose whichever flour you like best without worrying about the effects it has on your body.

3. Is it okay to substitute my favorite flour for another brand?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, substituting other types of flour for wheat flour is quite common among bakers.

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to switch over to a healthier alternative, such as allergy issues or wanting to reduce the gluten content.

If you opt to use non-wheat flour, just note that the nutritional information for each product should always appear on the packaging.

These details include the protein percentage, fat percentage, carbohydrate percentage, calorie count and sugar percentage.

4. Can I freeze my sourdough baguettes?

Freezing sourdough baguettes before they’re baked is perfectly fine, provided you follow a few simple steps beforehand.

First, remove any dried bits from the surface of the loaves and wipe them clean.

Then wrap each piece individually in plastic film and place them into a freezer bag.

When frozen, transfer the loaves back into their original container and pop them straight into the fridge until ready to eat.

What Is The Difference Between A Sourdough Baguette And A Regular Baguette?

Baguettes are typically made from a yeast dough, which means they have a soft crumb in the interior (thanks to leavening) but a crisp crust on the exterior.

For example, baguettes sold at bakery stores tend to be softer than those baked by home bakers.

Sourdough bread, however, uses naturally fermented flour as its primary ingredient.

Unlike yeasted breads, which rely on chemical leaveners like yeast to create bubbles within their loaves, sourdough bread relies on natural fermentation to achieve the same results.

Because of this, sourdough baguettes tend to rise more slowly than typical baguettes.

They may not even fully double in size during baking.

As such, sourdough baguettes will usually need longer to cook through than other types of breads.

How Do You Know When A Sourdough Baguette Is Done Baking?

Baguettes are known for their crisp crust and tender crumb (or “structure”).

To achieve this, bakers often add lots of yeast into the dough during its first rise before shaping it into loaves.

The result is bread that’s light yet dense—and easy to break apart between the teeth.

But if you want to make a more delicate product like a baguette, you need something else besides yeast for fermentation.

That’s where sourdough comes in.

Sourdough starter contains both live bacteria and enzymes that provide the necessary acidity to give your baguette structure without adding too much weight.

Sourdough Baguette Recipe2

Sourdough Baguettes

Baguettes are traditionally French breads baked in long loaves with crusty exterior and tender interior.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sourdough Baguettes
Servings: 2
Calories: 234kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 282 g water
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 15 g salt
  • 2 cup  teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 instant yeast

Instructions

  • Mix the water, starter, and 3 cups (360 g) of the flour in a large basin until well-combined.
  • Add another (180–240g) of flour once the salt, sugar, yeast, and gluten have been thoroughly combined. 
    A slack (sticky) dough produces a light loaf; 
    stir until the dough comes away from the bowl's sides, adding only enough extra flour as needed.
  • Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes by hand on a work surface that has been lightly oiled, 
    or for approximately 7 minutes in a stand mixer. 
    This dough may also be worked by running it through the dough cycle on your breadmaker; 
    once it has done, transfer it to a bowl so it can rise as instructed below.
  • The dough should be placed in an oiled basin, covered, and allowed to rise for about 90 minutes or 
    until it has doubled in size.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Fat: 189g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Fiber: 123g | Sugar: 12g
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