The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Day 4 Whole wheat baguettes

  • Pin It
varda's picture
varda

Day 4 Whole wheat baguettes

I wasn't planning to make baguettes in my seven day bread making challenge to myself, but this morning I realized that my refrigerator was being taken over by bread byproducts.   In addition to my whole wheat sour dough starter and rye sour, I had the leftover levain from the pain de compagne I made the other day, as well as the bread equivalent of a chain letter - a white flour starter for Amish Friendship Bread that a friend dropped off the other day.   I had no intention of making the friendship bread.   It has most likely never been cooked in an Amish kitchen, since it calls for a box of instant vanilla pudding in the batter.    But the starter looked fine and healthy and I've been feeding it for a couple of days.   So I decided to mix the levain and the "Amish" starter together, add some salt and make a couple of baguettes.   The thing that has been holding me back from making baguettes is I don't have a couche or a baguette pan, and I am hesitant to run out and buy them until I get a better sense of what type of bread I want to make on a regular basis.   So I just set these baguettes out on a board, and let them flatten out as they would while rising.    So these don't look like much, and I'm sure whole wheat baguettes would be considered an abomination by some, but they are actually quite flavorful, and I'm hoping that I will be able to figure out how to make these (or something like them) again.



 



Now I'd better take a break for a day or two to give my family a chance to catch up on all the bread!

Comments

Kingudaroad's picture
Kingudaroad

i guess i'm jealous because I have been too busy to make any bread for a couple of weeks.


 


Your baguettes look great! I bet they got eaten up!


 


I made a couche from a $3 peice of white linen from the hobby store, laid on top of an old thick cloth placemat for support. I think a kitchen towel will even work if it is very well floured.


varda's picture
varda

Hi.   Thanks for your comments.   I have two questions - how do you support the sides with your setup?   Is the placemat you are using stiff enough on its own?   It looks like you have one side against the wall, but I'm not sure about the other.  Also, How do you get the risen loaf out of the couche without mis-shaping it?   I was thinking a baguette pan would be the best because then you don't have to move it.   But I hate having special purpose equipment around unless I am planning to use it a lot, and a piece of linen hardly takes up space.  

Kingudaroad's picture
Kingudaroad

Yes, one side is against the wall. You can support the sides with a cutting board or bag of flour. Just need enough support to keep the dough growing upward. When I am ready to bake, I use the linen to flip/roll the bread onto a floured flat baking pan, then immediatly flip it back onto my parchment/peel. It has worked real well for me.


 


 

varda's picture
varda

I'll try it.   Thanks a lot.

thehsmomof3's picture
thehsmomof3

Would you mind sharing your recipe for the whole wheat baguettes?  I would REALLY appreciate it. :)
Thanks,
Sherri

varda's picture
varda

I made this out of parts lying around the refrigerator.   One of them I can tell you how to make, the other I have to guess.   The whole wheat part is a levain that I made for another bread, but saved half.  So you could make it as follows -


Mix up 3/4 cup AP flour, 1/2 pkg dry yeast, 1/3 cup warm water, 1/2 tsp vinegar, 1/6 cup buttermilk.   Cover tightly and leave it on the counter for 12 hours.   Stir in 1/2 cup room temp water, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1/2 cup bread flour.   Knead until its a solid mass.   Cover and leave at room temp for 6 hours.  


I made twice this amount, then used half and refrigerated the other half for 2 days in a closed plastic container that was twice as big as the dough.   It rose in the refrigerator and got very bubbly although relatively dry.  


As for the white part, it was a starter made by someone else, then fed and split up and passed on for some number of generations by the time it got to me - around a cups worth.   The instructions that came with it said to feed with 1 cup of AP flour, 1 cup of milk, and one cup of sugar.   I did that once and left it out on the counter.   Then a couple of days later it started looking sad and hungry, so I just fed it a lot of AP flour and some water until it was drier and bubbled after a few hours, and then I refrigerated it for a couple days.   It was very liquidy when I got it but I used enough flour on the second feeding to make it almost doughlike.   It also was quite bubbly and growing in the refrigerator.    So to make this yourself, I am guessing that you would have to start with the equal volume flour, sugar, water mix and leave it out and let it get bubbly and feed it some more, and then tighten it up with flour to make it more doughy before using, and then I refrigerate it for a couple days. 


Then I took the whole wheat part and mixed it with an equal size ball of the white.   I kneaded these together.   When they were partly kneaded together I made a dent in the dough and poured in 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp warm water and kneaded some more.   It was too wet so I slowly added bread flour by sprinkling a little at a time, kneading, and then sprinkling some more - probably a half cup total.   Then I patted into a ball, covered and let rise until double.   Then I cut in half, let rest for 10 minutes, shaped into baguettes, and let rise until finger tip test.   Then baked at 475 with steam for 23 minutes.   It got very dark, but didn't taste burned. 


These were extremely tasty and tasted just as good the second day as the first.   But there must be a simpler way to get from A to Z.   I'm not sure anyone would do all this on purpose, as opposed to just having these two pieces of dough sitting around.