Sourdough Demi-Baguettes from The Dandy Bambi, Diana Carbonell

Sourdough Demi-Baguettes from The Dandy Bambi, Diana Carbonell

Sourdough Demi Baguettes

Recipe and photos by Baker Diana Carbonell of The Dandy Bambi 

Makes 4 demi baguettes


Ingredients

  • 150g sourdough starter (100% hydration, peak rise)
  • 380g water
  • 350g high-protein bread flour
  • 130g all-purpose flour
  • 10g salt
  • All-purpose flour, to dust bench/counter when shaping
  • Rice flour, to dust bread basket or baker’s couche

Tools

  • Large bowl with lid
  • Fork or dough whisk
  • Bench knife
  • 4 demi baguette bread baskets (12” long) or a proofing couche and baguette peel
  • Lame or sharp blade
  • Fourneau Bread Oven Grande
  • 2 Fourneau baking trays
  • Cooling rack

Directions

1. Prepare your sourdough starter. Approximately six to eight hours before making the dough, mix 50g sourdough discard with 60g high-protein bread flour and 60g water. Cover (but not airtight) and let sit on your countertop to rise.

2. When your sourdough starter has doubled in volume, measure 150g into a bowl, along with 365g water. Mix with a fork or dough whisk until the water is milky and foamy. Add bread and all-purpose flours and salt. Mix until shaggy. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

3. After the dough has relaxed for 30 minutes, perform a first set of stretch-and-folds. Your dough will be very sticky at this point, so be sure to wet your hands before handling. Grab a handful of dough from one side, pull, and fold it over itself. Then turn the bowl 90 degrees and do it again. Do this for all four sides. Cover your dough and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, wet your hands and perform another set of stretch-and-folds. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. You’ll now switch to coil folds, which are a gentler way to handle your dough and better suited toward the end of dough handling. Wet your hands and lift your dough from the center and gently pull until one side comes up. Fold that side under the rest of the dough and do the same for the other side. Then turn your bowl 90 degrees and repeat for the remaining two sides. Perform two to three sets of coil folds at 30-minute intervals.

5. After your final coil fold, cover your bowl and allow your dough to rise until it's doubled in size. Depending on your kitchen’s temperature and humidity level, this may range from 4 to 10 hours.

6. Once doubled, move dough from the bowl to a floured countertop. Using a bench knife, cut dough into four equal pieces. This can be eyeballed, but weighing each portion will get you the best results. Each portion should weigh about 250g. Allow dough to relax on the countertop for 15 to 30 minutes. This is called the “bench rest” and allows each portion to spread and become more elastic, which helps with the final shaping.

7. Shape your baguettes. This is no easy task! A quick online video search will greatly help your technique. Gently flatten your dough, then fold one side into the center. Press firmly on the seam with the heel of your hand, degassing big bubbles as you go. Then fold the opposing side into the center and press the seam with your palm to seal it. Repeat this process again until you have a thin log about 11” long. Sprinkle rice flour over your bread baskets or couche. Place shaped baguettes seam-side-up into the bread baskets or seam-side-down into a couche and allow to sit for no less than one hour. For best results, cold proof your shaped baguettes. An 8-to-12-hour rest in the refrigerator will bring out the best flavor and will be easier to score.

8. One hour before you are ready to bake, place your Fourneau Bread Oven Grande into your home oven, pushed all the way to the right or left. This will allow you to have four demi baguettes in your oven at the same time. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Do not preheat your Fourneau trays.

9. After one hour, turn your oven down to 450 degrees F. Transfer two demi baguettes onto the first Fourneau tray. No parchment paper is necessary, as the silicone mat will allow your baked bread to release. Using a lame or sharp blade, cut expansion scores. This could be one slice straight down the middle or a couple of parallel slices down the length. For an ideal final shape, parallel slices should be confined to the middle-third of the width of each loaf. Slide the tray into the bread oven and cover with the hatch. Bake covered for 15 minutes.

10. After 15 minutes, prepare your final two loaves just as you did the first two. Open the oven hatch and, using the removable tray handle, place the first tray to the right or left of your Fourneau Bread Oven Grande. Place the second tray into the oven cloche and close the hatch. Now you have four loaves baking at once in your home oven! After 15 minutes, open the oven hatch. If your first loaves are sufficiently browned, remove them. Otherwise, you may want to bake them for an additional five minutes. Bake the final loaves for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. These loaves can stay in the cloche until done.

11. Upon removing your baguettes from the oven, transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Allow your loaves to fully cool before slicing into them. Baguettes can be sliced lengthwise and used as sandwich bread, or sliced top-down to achieve a coin or “crostini” shape. Enjoy within one day of baking or freeze for up to one month. 


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