My dead oven sprang to life last week and I couldn't wait for the weekend so I could put it to work again. I had the perfect job for it too: baking up a Whole-Wheat Sourdough Baguette. Or two.
Baguettes can be tremendously healthy eats, especially when made my way. These crusty hunks of French goodness contain no fat, are largely whole-grain, and the sourdough brings down their glycemic index, which makes them perfect for the diet-conscious, diabetics, and just about anyone who likes to eat consciously while eating well.
My sourdough starter, which has been going for a few months now, has matured beautifully and it adds tremendous flavor to anything I add it to. It was just amazing in these baguettes because it contributed a discernible yet mellow tang.
This recipe makes two loaves: one for eating, the other for sharing. Or for eating more, if you'd rather. This is a great bread for sandwiches or for dunking into soups. Or for just slathering some vegan butter over.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, all!
More sourdough bread recipes
- Soft Sourdough Rolls
- Crusty Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Sourdough English Muffins
- Vegan Sourdough Biscuits
- Sourdough Pretzels
Whole-Wheat Sourdough Baguettes
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 3 cups white whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup vital wheat gluten (if you decide to skip this replace 1 cup of the whole-wheat flour with bread flour)
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix the yeast and the warm water and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is all bubbly and happy.
- Add the sourdough starter, mix it well with the yeast, then add the whole-wheat flour and the vital wheat gluten.
- In a stand mixer set to low speed or by hand, mix everything. Then slowly, a little at a time, add the bread flour until you have a dough that's not sticky. I needed just about ¾th of a cup. You might need less or more.
- Continue kneading by hand or in the stand mixer for 10 minutes. You should have a very beautiful, resilient, elastic dough.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball. Spray oil to coat a large bowl, place the dough, top side down, in it, and turn over once so the top is coated in oil.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for about two hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Once it has doubled, punch down the dough to get all the gases out. Then divide into two, shape into balls, and let them rest on the countertop, covered, another 10 minutes.
- Punch out each ball into a circle and then continue to use your fist or hands to shape it into a six-inch circle. Roll the circle into a tight cylinder and press the seams together, then roll the cylinder into a baguette shape tapering at the ends.
- Place the baguettes on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, at least three inches apart and seam side down. Dust them with some flour, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let them rise in a warm place for another hour.
- Start preheating your oven to 425 degrees about half an hour before baking your bread. Place a pan in the bottom rack of the oven.
- When you are ready to put the loaves into the oven, take a sharp knife or blade and score each loaf three times. The cuts should be diagonal and should be parallel to each other.
- Just before you put the loaves in the oven, pour a cup of water in the pan you placed in the bottom rack. Then place the baking sheet in the oven and bake 30-35 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove the loaves to a baking rack to cool.
Success! Except that you neglect to add the salt to the instructions which means that there is no salt in my baguettes. Please amend the instructions to include the 1 tsp of salt.
I'm just getting interested in sourdough and want to try several of your beautiful recipes. But is there a missing link in Step 8?
Hi Drew. I had the same question. I found a great method for shaping baguettes at http://www.thekitchn.com.
BTW, I actually found this recipe made 3 baguettes. When I made 2 loaves, they were really fat - more of a batard shape than a baguette. But that's a good thing, right?
Lovely turnout, they look excellent! Although, I'd like to point out that a baguette is technically longer than 80cm. If you like a bit of a story, look up why.. At one point (and possibly still today)French law governed what constituted a baguette. That's why these shorter loafs are called Batards. It's the bastardized baguette.
Hi Vaishali 🙂
making the starter was a lot of fun and was very easy to do; I made the all-flour version of your recipe and the baguettes turned out awesome!!! Thank you for all of these recipes! you are an amazing chef!
Anon, thanks for your kind words, and good job!
I just started baking with sourdough, but inexperienced as I am, I made two lovely, delicious loaves with your recipe. Thank you!
Hi Vaishali, Happy New Year to you and desi and the babies. Have been off from blogging or reading blogs for a long time now, but stopped by to say that these baguettes look amazing. I am inspired to try them out.
Hi Evolvingtastes, a very happy new year to you!
I am confused, the bread is on a baking sheet and there is another pan in the oven? Does it stay in while the bread is baking? Do you take it out?
Robyn, you need to add a cup of water to the pan in the bottom rack before placing the baking sheet with the loaves in the oven. I'd left that out by mistake-- thanks for pointing out, and I've added it to the recipe.
What a coincidence, I baked bread after a long time yesterday - some lovely herbed dinner rolls which my daughter was thrilled to knead and shape and then scarf down for dinner!. Your baugettes look dreamily beautiful!
that is a gorgeous sourdough loaf.. and whole wheat! i should just pick up some starter from a nearby bakery( they have lots of vegan breads! seattle is getting funner with all the new vegan eateries around), and make a beautiful bagette!
Hey Richa, I'm going to be in Seattle next month-- do pass along any tips for great vegan eateries. I'll be accompanied by two omnivores, but maybe they'll be tempted by the right place? 🙂
i love the flavour of sourdough bread... these look gorgeous.
Baguettes look perfect. My starter is quite ripe partly due to my forgetfulness and a busy last 4 months of the year. Will try your recipe soon -- pics are too tempting. Thanks for sharing.
Zengirl @ Heart and Mind
Happy 2012! How are you?
I am somehow not good at baking or making baguettes but you always inspire me to try and cook new food, so one of these day like eggplant, I may be baking in no time. 🙂
wow!!super baked baguettes
looks awesome and perfect...
HappyCook, it's the other way round in our home--- I love sourdough but Desi, not so much. But he loves the sourdough recipes I've been making recently because I try not to let the sour flavor dominate. It's just enough to add depth without overpowering the bread.
Ambika, it's a gift that keeps giving. 🙂
Harini, Vanamala, Poornima, Mihl, Thanks!
This looks beautiful!
The baguettes look awesome!!
Fabulous crumbs and beautiful cut on the top!
Perfect baguettes! Have been wanting to make the starter forever now, but somehow it never happens!
Happy Cook / Finla
The baguettes looks so perfect. I am not a huge fan of soudough, but hubby and daughter is.
Prefectly baked baguettes!