French Baguettes with Whole Wheat

Susan Feliciano

By
@frenchtutor

I got one of those baguette bread pans, and thought I'd try some. A recipe came with the pan, but it used all white flour. So I have substituted whole wheat for about half the flour, and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly.
You will need to start this the day before. You make a sponge with some yeast, flour, and water and let it sit at room temperature about 24 hours. It gives it that nice French bread taste. There is also more than 5 hours rising time altogether. This may not be for the novice bread baker, but it's really very simple to mix up. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook.


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Comments:

Serves:

3 loaves

Prep:

5 Hr

Cook:

25 Min

Method:

Bake

Ingredients

STARTER "SPONGE"

1 c
cool water
1 c
unbleached bread flour
1/4 tsp
rapid rise or bread machine yeast

DOUGH

all of the starter
2 c
whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 c
unbleached bread flour, divided
1 c
lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp
salt
1/4 tsp
rapid rise or bread machine yeast

Directions Step-By-Step

1
The day before: Mix the starter ingredients till smooth. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight. Be sure to use a non-reactive bowl, such as glass or ceramic, and not plastic.
2
The next day, mix the starter with the remaining ingredients, leaving out 1/2 cup of the bread flour. Mix with a dough hook or by hand until dough is nice and springy, but not totally smooth. Add in the remaining half cup of flour if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. There is not a lot of kneading required for this bread.
3
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, gently punching it down and turning it over after 1 hour and again after 2 hours. I set my bowl over a dish pan of hot tap water to get a good rising temperature.
4
At the end of 3 hours, punch dough down again and divide it into thirds. On an oiled surface, roll each piece into a long, thin rope.
5
At this point, I greased my baguette pan and sprinkled it with cornmeal. If you don't have a baguette pan, you can grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place the ropes of dough on the pan, about 2" apart, and cover with a clean, lint-free cloth. Let rise at room temperature until not quite doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
6
About 15 minutes before end of rising time, preheat oven to 425°F. With a sharp knife or razor blade, make diagonal slashes across the loaves to let the steam escape. Spray the loaves heavily with hot water.
7
Bake the loaves for 22 to 28 minutes, until golden brown (mine was perfect at 25 minutes). Turn oven off, then remove loaves from pan and place them directly on oven rack. Leaving door open about two inches, allow loaves to cool completely in the oven.
8
The crust on these loaves turned out great - it tastes just like a real French baguette!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Savory Breads, Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: French
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tag: Healthy
Hashtags: #yeast, #wholewheat