Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Light Wheat Baguettes with Levain

At the risk of repeating myself, I still maintain that the baguette is everyone's most favourite shape of bread.

And why not shape your wheat bread as a baguette too? Certainly it will make it more inviting to those who resist whole grains on principle. You can lure them in with your shaping, and keep them healthy with the half whole wheat flour.

Compromise. Everyone is happy.

You'll be happy you made these baguettes too. They are awesome for sammies and also sliced and toasted for crostini. Perhaps with a little savoury onion marmalade and a bottle of viognier. Just a suggestion.

Light Wheat Baguettes with Levain
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelan's Bread
for the Mellow Bakers
This bread has a levain and a preferment, for a nice tangy sourdough taste. It also hedges your bets with a spoonful of instant yeast. Again, compromise. 

Day One
Levain Build-Up
4.8 oz whole wheat flour
4.8 oz water (that has been left out, open, overnight)
1 oz mature liquid sourdough culture

Mix culture with water, stir in flour and combine thoroughly. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight - 12-16 hours.

Day Two
Final Dough

11.2 oz whole wheat flour
1 lb bread flour
1 lb, 1.3 oz water (that has been left out, open, overnight)
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp instant dry active yeast
All of levain from last night (you can keep back 2 Tbsp if you wish)

Mix everything together in your stand mixer on low for 3 minutes, then on medium for 3 minutes. Correct hydration if necessary. Finish kneading on a lightly floured board until you have a nice, smooth dough.
Let rest, covered, for 50 minutes. Fold dough. Let rest, covered, for 50 minutes. Fold dough again. Let rest, covered, for the last 50 minutes.
Divide dough into 4 even pieces and shape into boules. Let rest 10 minutes, covered with tea towels.
Shape into baguettes and let rise until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 460°F.
Slash and lightly mist baguettes. 
Bake baguettes for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned and baked through.
Let cool on wire racks.

This bread has been Yeastspotted!