Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baguette Full of Paris Memories

I miss Paris. I miss the lazy mornings with my sister - Dessi. We were lounging till 9 or even 10 o'clock in the morning just talking and laughing. Then while Dessi was making the tea I was going to buy the bread. Behind the corner there was one of my favourite boulangeries Le Moulin de la Vierge. Five minutes later I was back home with a crunchy baguette in my hand. Spreading some cheese on it was like being in the seventh heaven. Just unutterable!

But yesterday Ivan surprised me with some baguettes that reminded me of these feelings. It was like I was sitting again in Dessi's kitchen and we were having our petite déjeuner.

Baguettes Recipe:

For the sponge:
  • 100 gr all purpose flour;
  • 80 ml lukewarm purified water;
  • 1 cup of sourdough starter – here Eric from Breadtopia explains very clearly how to make your own sourdough starter.

Actually we did it the laziest way – we mixed equal parts of water and flour and added a pinch of store bought dehydrated levain to enhance the process of wild yeast spores and bacteria producing. Then we fed it a couple of times with more flour and water and 3 days later we had a healthy sourdough starter.

So, for the sponge - in a big plastic bowl with a lid mix all the ingredients together till you receive a watery dough. If you need add more water. Cover the bowl and leave the sponge to rest overnight at room temperature. In the morning it should be doubled or even tripled its size and there should be a sour aroma.

For the dough:
  • 400 gr sifted all purpose flour;
  • 1 tsp salt;
  • 1 Tbsp sugar;
  • 1 Tbsp powdered milk;
  • 60 ml buttermilk /could be replaced with water/;
  • 150 ml purified water;
  • 2 pinches of yeast;
  • the sponge

Mix all the ingredients till you receive a soft dough. If you need add more water. The water content varies and depends on the flour. The ability of the flour to absorb water vary according to the producer, the wheat quality and the grinding mode.

Leave the dough to rest for 3 hours at room temperature and during this time knead it a couple of times /in our home it's somewhere between 18 and 20ºC, so if it's warmer in your home the dough will be ready faster/. Afterwards divide the dough into 3 equal loaves and form them as baguettes. Leave them to proof at least 30 minutes. In this stage I was really really hungry.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC with the empty baking dish in it /if you don't have a baking stone use a black enamelled baking dish/. Slip off the loaves in the baking dish and just before placing in the oven make cuts with a very sharp knife. Bake till the colour of the crust becomes lightly golden – this takes 25-30 minutes. Then diminish the temperature to 120ºC and bake for additional 10 – 15 minutes, so the baguettes could be baked from the inside.

Fortunately we made 3 loaves, meaning we have eaten one of them straight away and there were still another two for photos :)


  1. I'm obsessed with bread and make my own often but have never tried sourdough. Thanks for an interesting post - I'm tempted to give sourdough a try. Your way seems less intimidating :)

  2. Denise, at first I was really scared of the sourdough but it turned out it is very easy to manage with it. You just need to feed the starter. Once it's ready I leave mine in the fridge and feed it only once a week.
    Let me know if you try it :)

  3. There's nothing more satisfying than baking your own bread, isn't it ? The smell, the crust...yum !



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