Baguette Fantastic

Sandwich Baguettes – (75% hydration)

  • 5 g instant yeast
  • 375 g water (~40 C)
  • 500 g all-purpose or bread flour
  • 10 g salt

Mix the Dough – 8:00 to 8:25 AM

  • Add the yeast to the warm water along with a spoonful of the flour. Stir until dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes until a light foam surfaces and little bubbles are visible.
    • Note: Proofing is done to test the viability of the yeast. If there is no foam surface or little bubbles the yeast is likely dead and should be discarded for new yeast.
  • Meanwhile, add the flour, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast is proofed, pour in the mixture and vigorously mix the dough with your hands until no dry flour remains in the bowl and a cohesive mass forms, about 2 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
    • Note: Resting will allow the flour to start hydrating all on its own, and make the dough a little bit easier to work with when we start stretching and folding

Bulk Ferment (1st Ferment) + Stretch & Folds – 8:25 to 9:55 AM

  • Once rested, perform a stretch and fold by grabbing a corner of the dough in the bowl, lift straight up to stretch the dough as high as it will go without tearing and fold over to the other side. Rotate the bowl and perform three more reps of stretch and folds. Once folded, turn the dough over onto itself, cover, and let rest another 25-30 minutes. This is one set of a stretch and fold, perform 3 more sets with 25-30 minutes rest in between.
  • For each stretch and fold set, the dough should feel more elastic and stretch further without tearing with some air bubbles present
    • Note: The stretch and fold method is better suited than kneading for a high hydration dough such as this because the dough is naturally sticky and this method reduces hand contact. Additionally, the stretch and fold will allow for an open crumb when baked because the air isn’t pushed out of the dough.
  • After the final set of stretch and folds, test for gluten development by stretching up the dough very thin to see if it is slightly translucent before tearing.
    • Note: The gluten window test is the key to understanding if the flour has been hydrated enough. If the dough tears before getting to a slightly translucent window, let rest another 25 minutes and perform another set of stretch and folds.

Divide dough + Shape Baguettes + Proof (2nd Ferment) – 9:55 AM to 11:10 AM

  • After the last stretch and fold, sprinkle some flour on the work surface. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 6 equal portions (roughly 145-150 grams each). Cover the dough pieces with a clean towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Once rested. Spritz baking spray (like PAM) on your hands, the work surface, and the piece of dough.
  • Using your fingertips lightly press and stretch and piece of dough into a rectangle about 6 inches wide. Fold the top edge of the dough down to the center, pressing lightly to tighten the dough and form an edge. Fold the dough in half to form a seam at the bottom of the dough. Using the heel of your hand, lightly press to seal the seam of the dough. Now you should have a log of dough, seal side down. Applying even pressure with the palm of your hands in the center of the dough begin gently rolling the log out into a cylinder, about 18-20 cm long. Now place a hand on each end of the dough with harder pressure and roll the dough in the opposite direction with each and to create a tapered baguette with a twist.
    • Note: For shaping, just take a look at the video, it’s hard to explain in words lol.
  • Shape each baguette and place on a baking sheet sized piece of parchment paper. 2 pieces of parchment paper, 3 baguettes on each. Cover with a towel and let proof until about 1.5 times in size, 45-60 minutes

Oven set up – 10:55 AM to 11:10 AM

  • With 15 minutes of proofing left, preheat the oven to 230 C on the convection setting, 245 C regular. Fill a 33×23 cm baking pan halfway with water and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a metal baking sheet on the middle rack.
    • Note: The pan of water will help create a steamy environment for a crisper crust and the baking sheet will be preheated so the baguettes can be slid on with the parchment paper and immediately start baking for faster oven spring.

Bake – 11:10 AM to 11:35 AM

  • Using a razor or really sharp knife, score the proofed baguette with one long slash at a 45-degree angle to allow for oven spring.
  • Pull the preheated baking sheet out of the oven and slide the parchment paper with the baguettes onto it. Place the baguettes on the middle rack and spritz them with a spray bottle of water.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the pan, spritz the baguettes one more time. Continue baking for another 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown, crispy, and the bread sounds hollow when thumped.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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