Sourdough Mini Baguette is one recipe I have been contemplating for a while now. When I did my sourdough beginner class, many students asked for an advanced class. But I am not confident enough to do an advanced class, but I am sure my experiments will help a lot. I am now obsessed with sourdough and my insta feed is filled with sourdough breads. The way they handle the dough is such an amazing thing to watch. I would love to bake sourdough daily, but I really don’t have enough people to consume everything I bake. So I am doing it once a week for now. If you are interested to learn about sourdough baking, right from developing your own starter to baking some amazing breads, do contact me for a beginner class at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sourdough starter is the important ingredient you need to make any sourdough bread. If your starter is active, healthy, it will definitely give you amazing results, but with not so active starter, your bread won’t turn out as expected. So take a look at my starter post to know more about doing it yourself. To make starter for this recipe, i took it out of fridge early in the morning, brought it to room temperature, took 50 gm of starter and added 50 gm of flour and 50 gm of water and let it become bubbly. Once it is very active you can use the whole batch in the recipe. You need to maintain an active starter if you are planning on baking breads regularly.
Every sourdough recipe asks for bread flour, which is a high protein flour. But as here we don’t easily get bread flour, and it is also quite expensive, I try to bake breads with the regular maida and I should say that they are really good. But the open crumb they talk about in sourdough breads is really missing. The breads made with maida are soft and has a very even crumb. So this time I added 20 gm of vital wheat gluten to maida to make it a bit stronger and I did see a difference in crumb. A slightly open crumb was there. But I am still experimenting on the amount of gluten to be added.
Baking with steam is an important aspect in sourdough bread baking. When you want the crisp crust, you need to bake with steam. It is really easy to bake with steam. And there are many ways to achieve it. One of the simplest methods is to keep a deep tray at the bottom rack and filling it with hot water while baking the bread. That creates steam inside the oven and results in an amazingly crisp crust and chewy crumb. I will write a separate post on it soon explaining it in detail. I divided the dough into two and made mini baguettes with one batch and sandwich rolls with the other batch. You can also halve the recipe and make any one bread.
Makes 8 Mini Baguette or 4 Sandwich Rolls
All Purpose Flour / Maida – 500 gm
Vital Wheat Gluten – 20 gm
Active Sourdough Starter – 150 gm
Water – 325 – 400 ml
Salt – 2 tsp
Oil – 15 gm
Mix together flour, gluten, salt.
Add starter and 3/4th water and oil.
Mix to form a shaggy dough. Add water if needed to bring together all dry ingredients.
Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
Stretch and fold the dough every 15 minutes for 2 hours.
At the end of two hours, do the final stretch and fold and cover the dough with cling film and set it aside until double in volume.
It may take anywhere from three to five hours depending on the climate.
Now take it onto counter, lightly dust it and divide it into two equal portions.
If making baguettes, divide each portion into four equal portions.
Otherwise, if making sandwich rolls, divide each into two.
Shape them into baguette or sandwich rolls as shown in video.
Arrange on lined baking tray, cover and set aside until they are 1.5 times the volume.
It may take one hour to two hours depending on the climate.
Preheat your oven to 250°C. Place an empty tray on the lower rack while preheating.
Score the loaves. Place them on the middle rack. Pull out the bottom tray and pour hot water into it.
Be careful because it would splash. Try lining your glass door with a towel to avoid the hot water touching the hot glass.
Close the oven door immediately and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the water tray and bake for further ten minutes or until the bread is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and tap to see whether they sound hollow.
Let them cool on wire rack.