The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour Baguette

AlamedaSteve's picture

Sour Baguette

Pretty convinced that a decent sour baguette was beyond reach, I decided to give it a try anyway;.........and, I think I got lucky right out of the chute.

I know a lot of bakers have been quite frustrated, so I will attempt to describe the process I used, in the hopes it may help others in their quest.

Okay, I wanted a shiny, crispy/crunchy crust with not a lot of bread volume, so I knew I was going to need a pretty wet, somewhat difficult-to-handle mix.  Here's what I used:

1100g Sir Lancelot

500g wet starter

100g cracked wheat

750g water

40g salt

Rough mix all but the salt, autolyze 30mins, rough mix in salt.  3 s&f's at 45min intervals, then proof for 90mins.  Carefully divide into nine 10oz pieces (fits my stone and oven), let rest 15mins, shape, couche on linen lined cookie sheet, slip into garbage bag, then into fridge for 10 to 15hrs.

Next day - bring oven to 500deg.  Remove cookie sheet from fridge and carefully flip one loaf onto semolina'ed piece of hvy foil, score, SEAL FOIL completely around loaf, leaving room for spring, then into oven, reduce to 450deg.

Bake for 7.5mins, remove packet from oven using peel, cut open the packet to allow all the steam to escape, and return to oven.  After another 7.5 mins, remove from oven, peel foil away from loaf, return to oven, turn up oven to 500deg, turn on convection fan if you have one - this last step is to brown crust to desired finish.  It takes about 10mins more, turning after 5mins for even doneness.

Loaves come out 14" x 2" x 1".

I think what most people have the most difficulty with is the crust.  Using any of the spritzing, boiling water pans, etc I don't think my oven is capable of achieving what I want, but by packaging the loaf, there is more than enough moisture in the mix to do the job - in fact, if you leave the package sealed for longer than 7.5mins, you will have a hard time cracking through the crust.

I hope this is of some help to those who are embarking on the search themselves.

Here are photos that I hope will show the process I used to help makes things a little clearer.


The baguette second from the left, I forgot to score before packaging, so I slit after steaming. 

Good luck.




dabrownman's picture

foil steaming method.  Just what white, thin and long bread that has to crunchy needs.

Well done.

AlamedaSteve's picture

Yeah, I really think that is the best way for the home baker to achieve a good crunch without over cooking the bread.  I must say that I got the idea here from a "Susan" (forgot the rest of her handle), who turned me on to inverting a steel bowl over boules on my stone as an easy way to provide all the moisture needed for a nice crust - no spritzing, boiling water, etc necessary.

These baguettes are very crunchy with a nice soft chewy crumb.

Thanks for responding.