If you love baguettes you’ll adore the sourdough baguette. Beautiful pointed bread. With the most mesmerizing crunch you’ve ever heard, the crispy crust is simply to die for. If you’re wondering how to make this incredible sourdough baguette, then stay for an easy step by step guide.
Table of Contents
- What is a Baguette?
- How to Make Sourdough Baguette
- Baker’s Timeline
- Shaping Containers for Sourdough Baguettes
- Baking Sourdough Baguettes Without a Covered Pan
- Troubleshooting Sourdough Baguette Recipe
- What to Serve with Sourdough Baguettes?
- More Sourdough Recipes
- Yummy Sourdough Baguette Recipes!
What is a Baguette?
The word baguette refers to a “baton” or “stick” because of its very obvious shape. It’s a long round shaped loaf of bread that originated in France during the early 19th century.
This delicious, crusty bread is incredibly versatile, and especially delicious when topped with your favorite accompaniments, such as cheese, meats and more!
Are all Baguettes Sourdough?
Traditionally, French baguettes aren’t made with a sourdough starter. Instead they’re made using fresh yeast. The process is much quicker compared to a sourdough baguette.
This recipe creates a sourdough baguette overnight, ensuring that the fermentation process take longer, producing a tasteful bread, with incredible texture
How to Make Sourdough Baguette
Making sourdough baguettes may seem intimidating but they’re quite the opposite. As long as you remember that they don’t have to be perfect to taste fantastic, you’ll do great! If you happen to have any leftover or stale baguettes, you can make some amazing sourdough garlic bread.
- Starter – Use an active sourdough starter
- Flour – Choose from purpose flour, rye, spelt, white flour
You can make sourdough baguettes without fancy equipment, but there are a few things required to ensure success:
- Digital scales
- Glass mixing bowl – allows you to monitor your dough
- Heavy linen dish towel – an easy way to make sure that your baguettes don’t lose their shape while they proof.
- Bread pan – Baking breads in an enclosed cast iron pot or Dutch oven ensures the best results. Of course you can bake using a baguette pan instead.
Making the Dough
- Autolyze – Begin by weighing out your sourdough starter and water into a large glass bowl. Combine water and starter together, then add your flour and salt, then mix together so that it forms a shaggy dough.
- Cover your dough with cling film or a damp tea towel, and let it rest for about an hour.
- Forming the Dough – After autolyze, you need to gather the dough into a ball shape. Work your way around the bowl, grabbing the dough from the outside, stretching it up and over itself into the center, until a smooth ball is formed. You should perform a series of stretch and folds (20 to 25) and you’ll notice that the dough is fully hydrated once its soaked up all the water.
- Once the dough has formed into a smooth shiny ball, place the clingfilm on the bowl and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
- Stretch and Fold – Now you’ll need to create some structure for your dough, by performing a series of stretches and folds. Aim to do around 4 to 6 sets of stretches and folds, stretching the dough up and over itself 4 times. Leave a 15 minute gap between each set.
- Bulk Fermentation – Once you’ve finished stretching and folding, place a plastic wrap, or damp towel over your dough, and let it rest and ferment. You’re looking to achieve a dough that has doubled in size.
Shaping Sourdough Baguette
- Once your dough has completed bulk ferment, its time to shape the sourdough baguettes. Use a dough scraper to tip the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into portions of 200g of dough so you can create the baguettes.
- Shaping Baguettes – Form each dough into a round shape and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, while you grab a heavy linen dish towel. You’ll need to rub this with rice flour, so that your baguettes don’t stick
- Take a portion of dough and stretch it into a flat rectangle
- Gentle take hold of the top edge of the dough and fold it into the center of the dough pressing down gently using your fingertips, or the heel of your hand.
- Pull the lower edge of the dough up and over, and then use the kitchen counter for tension, forcing the dough into a baguette shape.
- Gently pull the ends into a point
- Lift the baguette and place it into a shaping container, or cloth and shape the next baguette
Proofing and Baking
- Proofing – Allow the baguettes to sit at room temperature for 2 hours
- Cold Ferment – Cover the baguettes and place them into the fridge for 36 hours, or 12 to 18 hours.
- Once you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F
- Place your cast iron bread pan or Dutch oven into the oven, so that it heats up
- Bake Time – Once your oven has achieved the correct temperature, remove the baguettes from the fridge, and place them on a piece of baking sheet. Ensure that the baking sheet is large enough to use the edges as a handle to lower the shaped baguettes into your cast iron bread pan
- Gently score your baguettes with a sharp knife, lame, clean razor blade, or knife. Make short, sharp vertical slashes.
- Remove your Dutch oven out of the oven. Place the baguettes into the pan using a parchment paper. You can opt to add a few ice cubes or spray the dough with water if you wish
- Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on at 450 degrees, and an additional 15 minutes with the lid off at 410 degrees.
- Once your sourdough baguettes are ready, remove them from the oven, and place them on a wire rack to cool.
Do You Need a Levain for this Sourdough Baguette Recipe?
Often sourdough recipes require a preferment or levain, but you don’t have to, if you wish to keep things super simple!
However, you must ensure that your sourdough starter is active and bubbling, to activate maximum leavening power. You should aim to feed your starter a few times prior to making this recipe, so that it is happy and bubbling.
For any sourdough bake you can make slight adjustments to the timeline to suit your own personal needs. Consider the strength of your sourdough starter, and the temperature of your home:
|Time of Day||Instructions|
|Day 1 – 7pm||Feed sourdough starter 1:3:3|
|Day 2 – 7am||Autolyse dough, perform stretch and folds over next few hours|
|10am||Bulk ferment (kitchen temperature)|
|4pm||Pre-shape, and place into a shaping container|
|5pm||Leave to proof for a few hours on the counter|
|Day 3 – 7am||Time to bake!|
Shaping Containers for Sourdough Baguettes
There are many things to use for shaping and proofing your baguette dough in. Some of these include:
- Heavy Linen Dish Towel
- Baguette Proofing Basket
- Perforated Baguette Tray
Heavy Linen Dish Towel
Lay the baguette on the towel, and form a pleat to make a separation for the next baguette. You can place the towel on a flat cookie sheet so that they can easily be placed in the fridge.
Baguette Proofing Basket
These can be purchased in a variety of sizes depending on how long you want to make your baguettes. Ensure that you have a tray or pan long enough to bake these sourdough baguettes.
Perforated Baguette Tray
Cover this with a cotton dish towel, and rub the dish towel with rice flour before placing the baguettes on top of it.
Baking Sourdough Baguettes Without a Covered Pan
If you bake your baguette dough in a cast iron bread pan, or Dutch oven, you’ll achieve a brilliant crunchy crust in sourdough baking.
This is perfect for beginners, because you won’t have to deal with a steam oven.
If you’re in possession of a smaller sized loaf pan, or simply wish to bake this sourdough baguette recipe uncovered in an oven, you’ll need to do the following:
- Use a flat baking tray .
- Use a piece of baking paper or parchment paper to ensure that baguettes don’t stick to the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and allow it to reach the desired temperature.
- Before placing your baguettes into the hot oven, place an oven safe container with some ice cubes on the lowest rack of your oven.
- Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes at 450°F with the ice.
- Remove the container of ice, after 15 minutes and turn the oven down to 410°F and proceed to bake for a further 10 minutes, until the baguettes are a wonderful golden brown.
Troubleshooting Sourdough Baguette Recipe
While some may have more success than others, there are a few things that can make turn this process out of shape. Here are some of the common issues outlined for you:
- Dense/Heavy Baguettes – Sourdough baguettes can become dense when they haven’t been given enough time to proof or ferment. Once they are shaped, they need some time to become puffy. If they happen to feel heavy when placing them into the oven, you may find that they don’t spring as much.
- Misshapen/Burst Seams – If your sourdough baguettes burst at the seams in the oven, this could be caused by poor shaping or under fermentation.
- Crust is Not Crispy – If the crust of your baguette is not crispy, you may need to increase the amount of steam in your oven. You’ll achieve better results when using a covered pan.
- Scoring not Opening – If the scores or slashes in your baguette do not open the way you want them to, this can be due to the angle of the slash, as well as fermentation. If the dough has over fermented the cuts will not open in the oven.
What to Serve with Sourdough Baguettes?
Like most flavorful sourdough bread, a simple slop of butter is enough to do the trick. But sometimes you may wish to go the extra mile and cook something wonderful, that compliments the tart flavors beautifully.
Here are some ideas to choose from:
- Sandwiches – Make a simple cheese and ham sandwich for a delicious snack. Since your baguette has a crisp crust and chewy interior, it’s best paired with dry ingredients as opposed to soft ingredients.
- Soup – Toast your baguette or simply dip it into your favorite soup. Like mushroom soup, or potato and leek soup.
- Croutons – How about croutons for salad. Drizzle some olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then pop it into the oven till it emerges with a nice and crisp exterior.
- Dips – Dip into a baked eggplant, or some olive oil for a flavorful snack.
For ideas what to serve with just sourdough bread, check out the post!
More Sourdough Recipes
If you love to bake or create wonderful desserts, then these sourdough recipes have your name written all over them!
- Sourdough Pancakes
- Sourdough Biscuits
- Sourdough Buns
- Sourdough Scones
How would you like to make a wonderful batch of pancakes using sourdough starter or discard? The results are positively remarkable.
A quick and simple recipe that can be made using any type of flour, such as bread flour, whole wheat, einkorn, spelt or a combination.
Sourdough Pancake Ingredients
- ⅔ cup sourdough starter (or discard)
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 10g olive oil or melted butter
- 10g maple syrup
- 3g vanilla
- 120g flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ baking soda
- 4g salt
- Whisk all the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Slowly add flour to the wet mixture, whisking till thoroughly combined.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium low heat until very hot. Add oil or both oil and butter to the skillet. Add ½ cup of batter. Flip when they’ve achieved a nice golden exterior, with bubbles appearing at the surface. Cook until the middle puffs .
- Keep them in a warm oven or cover with foil.
A great way to use up your discarded starter is through this quick and easy sourdough biscuit recipe. Buttery, flaky and brimming with flavors, you’ll definitely experience some happy baking!
- 180g all purpose flour, or bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped scallions or chives
- 170g sourdough discard
- ½ cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add cold butter into the flour using your fingers, then mix in the scallions.
- Place your starter and sour cream in a bowl and mix with a fork.
- Pour this into the flour mixture, and mix till the dough becomes a shaggy ball.
- Place the dough on a floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead. Pat into a rectangle, fold the sides into an envelope shape and pat again. Fold up to the sides into thirds, and repeat.
- Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Keep baking until the biscuits are a wonderful golden brown.
Let’s take a look at how we can create these delicious sourdough buns, using sourdough starter or discard, so that they emerge incredibly light and airy.
- 120g sourdough starter or discard (unfed)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 240g flour
- ½ tsp salt and sugar
- Combine warm milk, unfed sourdough starter, oil and egg into a large bowl
- Mix in salt, sugar, instant yeast and flour
- Combine these ingredients using a fork to create a ball and knead for 5 to 6 minutes with a wet hand. You may find the dough sticky, but try to resist the urge to add more flour
- Oil the sough in the bowl, place it in a warm spot (70-80°F) and let it double for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, gently divide the dough into 6 pieces, form them into balls, and place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan
- Let them rise once again, meanwhile preheat the oven
- Bake for 22 minutes on the middle rack until beautifully puffy and golden brown.
If you’re wondering how you can possibly create delicious sourdough scones, then I’m here to assist! Using leftover sourdough starter, create an impeccable dessert or snack for you and your family to enjoy.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen black berries
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Zest from one lemon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ cup cold butter
- 275g sourdough starter
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, and load 2 cups of fresh berries into it. If you’re dealing with very tender berries, then freeze them for 30 minutes beforehand
- In a food processor, pulse flour, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cold butter and mix
- In a small bowl, combine milk, and sourdough starter. Add the starter mixture to the food processor and pulse until it forms a ball
- Spread the dough over the berries and press down lightly, getting them into all the corners with your fingers. Then place in the freezer for 2 hours
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the freezer and lay them on a cutting board. Let them sit for a few minutes until thawed enough to cut. Cut into 8 equal wedge shapes.
- Place them on a baking sheet, let them thaw for 30 minutes and bake for 25 minutes
- Meanwhile, stir sugar, and lemon juice in a pot until dissolve. Whisk in some butter, and serve these scones drizzled in this brilliant glaze.
Yummy Sourdough Baguette Recipes!
Using sourdough starter to create delicious baguettes is what makes bread making so special. Experiment with different shapes and sizes according to your preference, to achieve a delicious crispy baguette for everyone to enjoy!
Is Baguette Same as Sourdough?
The main difference between sourdough bread and French bread is the ingredients. Sourdough bread is leavened using natural pre-ferment, while French breads are typically leavened using a pre-ferment.
Can You Shape Sourdough into a Baguette?
Once your dough has sat, you can shape each dough ball into a baguette and place them in between a floured tea towel, either in a baguette tray or pushed together so they hold they’re shape.
How do You Cut a Sourdough Baguette?
Use a sharp bread knife to cut the baguette across the center of its horizontal axis. For a level cut, place your left hand flat and firmly down on the top of the baguette, and begin sawing the middle of the baguette with the knife in your right hand.
What Goes Well With Sourdough Baguette?
Sourdough baguette is packed with delicious unique flavors that go well with: Avocado, meat balls, cheese, smoked salmon, roast chicken, eggplant, tuna salad and so much more!