These sour dough baguettes are full of flavor and incredible chew. They’re easy to make and will not disappoint!
About a week ago, a King Arthur Flour catalog arrived. Susan was looking through it and asked if I would order several items for her. I decided that since I was ordering stuff for Susan, I’d add some things to the order for me.
Making the Sour Dough Starter:
One of the items that I added was Sourdough starter. I had made bread before with biga and/or poolish starters, but had never actually used a sourdough starter. When the order arrived, I was surprised by the size of the container. I guess I had neglected to read that it was one-ounce. In addition to the starter, there were instructions on “feeding” it to get it ready for use.
For the first “feeding”, I mixed the sourdough starter with unbleached all purpose flour and water. Then, I let it sit loosely covered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. I ended up with a thick, stringy, and bubbly concoction that had expanded quite a bit.
I discarded half of this. The reason given for throwing half of the mixture away was that the acidity needed to be brought to the proper level. Then, I “fed” the other half with unbleached all purpose flour and water. I left to sit for several more hours to again become thick, stringy and bubbly. Once again, I divided the mixture in half, with half either thrown away, or used for some other purpose. Then, I “fed” the other half, and left to sit loosely covered at room temperature for several more hours. At this point, I was ready to use the sourdough starter. Alternatively, I could have refrigerated it for a later use.
Making the Sour Dough Baguettes:
I decided to use the starter using the Sourdough Baguette recipe from the King Arthur Flour site as a starting point. A tip on the site indicated that the full amount of yeast should be used if the recipe was cut in half. I was a bit leery of this, but the result was great!
Normally, I use my bread machine on the dough cycle to knead the dough. I was concerned, however, that there was too much dough for my little machine. (Mine produces one-pound loaves.) Therefore, I used the stand mixer to knead the dough.
Once I had finished the kneading was finished, I transferred the dough to a bowl that had been oiled and covered it with plastic wrap for the first rise. I always use my electric oven for the rising stage when making bread. To do this, I turn the oven on for one minute and 45 seconds to bring the temperature up just a bit, and then turn it off.