This week I have mostly been imagining I am cycling through the country lanes of Southern France with a wicker basket brimming full of baguettes, sun on my face and a the lingering smell of baking bread wafting up my nose as I hurtle down tree lined avenues…
Sadly though, as delicious as those baguettes would be, they would be made with white refined, bleached flours and may even have olive oil worked into the doughs.
So, rather than sailing off to Southern France for a quick bread run, I have been toiling in my hot kitchen to create this wfpbno compliant version. (ok, full disclosure, I have eaten a lot of them too)
Now, those of you that have made any of my recipes before may have read my thoughts on baking with 100% whole food flours but I’m quickly going to brush over them again.
Its a lot harder! That’s why typically whole flours are mixed with refined white flours, to create lighter breads. Whole food bread flours can be heavy but there’s a trick…. water! More water.
When you make these recipes, you will find they are typically wetter doughs, and that’s ok, embrace it, be ok with it! Just have a little bit more patience. You should always aim to work your doughs for around 10 minutes anyway, be it by hand or in a mixer… give it time, the doughs will come together in time and if necessary you can always add a little flour to help it come together.
This recipe uses a pre-ferment…. its not scary or complicated…. you just mix up the dough and leave it in a bowl overnight to rest, then first thing in the morning you are good to go with the rest of the recipe. Pre-ferments are a beautiful thing and will totally revolutionize your baking, they add a depth of flavour, an extra lightness and give you a better crust.
So here’s the recipe below and I hope that you enjoy eating it as much as I do!
For all you lovely cup users, I haven’t converted this recipe as I do feel scales with bread making is the way to go! But there is a link to a set of scales in the I recommend section.
- 250 grams Rye flour
- 175 grams warm water romm temperature, not hot
- 3 grams dry active yeast mix into the warm water
- 50 grams Rye Flour
- 500 grams Spelt Flour
- 400 mls warm water room temperature, not hot
- 12 grams smoked sea salt
- ALL of the Pre-ferment
- 5 grams dry active yeast
- To make the pre-ferment:Add your dry active yeast to your warm (not hot) water, mix into the flour thoroughly, leave to rest overnight covered with a damp cloth. I usually do this around 8pm and then start making the dough straight after breakfast the next morning. For this recipe you will use all of the rye flour pre-ferment the next day.Baguette Dough:Weigh out your flours, add the dry active yeast to your warm (not hot) water. Add all of the pre-ferment to the flours and mix in the water. The dough will be sticky and wet, tip out onto a clean surface and work the dough. I use the flip and fold method, scroll down for pictures. You will find this dough too wet to kneed straight away which is why flipping and folding is better.Once you have worked your dough for ten minutes, and it is coming together nicely you can sprinkle over your smoked sea salt (you can sub for normal sea salt but the smoked adds a lovely flavour and I think enhances the Rye/Spelt flavours), work this for another minute while the salt incorporates into the dough.If at this stage your dough is still sticky dust the bench with some flour to help it to come together. When you leave your dough to rest it shouldn't be sticky or it will be hard to shape into baguettes later.Put the dough in a clean floured bowl and cover with a damp tea towel, leave to rest for an hour to an hour and a half or until doubled in size.At this stage turn out the dough and fold into three book turns, put back into a clean floured bowl for another hour and cover with a damp tea towel.At this point pop a roasting tin full of boiling water in the bottom of your hot oven to help to create a little steam.Turn out the dough and divide into six equal portions, shape your dough on a floured surface into baguette shapes and leave on a parchment lined oven tray to prove until they are doubled in size, this could take anywhere between half an hour and an hour. Before they go in the oven score the dough right down the length of the baguette with a sharp knife or your lame. Pop into a hot (220 degree celcius) oven and bake for 35 minutes or until baked. cool on a cooling rack.