Baguettes! Whole grain, sourdough baguettes! Made with one of my favorite grains - spelt!
This recipe was definitely a process. I tried three different hydration levels and several different proofing times and techniques before I got the result I was looking for: a whole grain baguette made with 100% freshly milled spelt flour that had the chew and crustiness of a traditional baguette with the complexity, and the depth of flavor that come with whole grain sourdough. The ingredients are simple, but the technique is key. The results were definitely worth it.
100g fed sourdough starter
400g whole grain spelt flour
Large pizza stone or baking stone tiles to cover most of your oven rack. I used these - the 6 tiles fit perfectly on my oven rack to give me a nice surface for cooking the baguettes on.
Baguette cloth or other thick, sturdy cloth or burlap. I use this.
Heat-proof skillet/pan (cast iron works well) to place in the bottom of your oven to create steam
Optional but helpful: half sheet pan
Whisk together the sourdough starter and water. Add the flour and salt and mix until well incorporated into a sticky dough. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Knead, stretch, and fold the dough with your hands several times for 2-3 minutes. Now, cover and let the dough rise at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
Divide the dough evenly into 3 pieces by weight. Use your hands to roll the dough into a long, baguette shape about 12-14 inches long. Start from the center and roll outwards, so that the ends are slightly thinner than the middle.
Place a baguette cloth or other thick fabric onto a half sheet pan. Place the baguettes in the folds of the cloth as shown above.
Wrap the baguette cloth over the baguettes, and place the entire cookie sheet with the baguettes in the refrigerator. Leave the baguettes to proof for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.
Thirty minutes before you want to bake, place your large pizza stone or baking tiles onto your oven rack, with your heat-proof pan or skillet on the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
After the oven has preheated for 30 minutes, remove your baguettes from the refrigerator. Score baguettes with slashes along the length.
Place baguettes on the hot baking stones. You can do this with your hands with heat proof gloves. Or, you can place the baguettes onto parchment paper and slide the parchment paper off a pizza peel, or place the parchment paper onto the stones with heat proof gloves on. Pour about 2 cups of water into your pan at the bottom of the oven. Be prepared: the pan will immediately start to steam when you pour the water!
Close the oven immediately and bake the baguettes at 450 F for 15-17 minutes, until the the tops are starting to lightly brown and the bottoms are golden brown.
Let cool completely on wire racks before slicing or tearing.
Enjoy these with your favorite vegan butter, vegan cheese, sliced and made into a sandwich, or however you enjoy baguettes! Baguettes have always been one of my all time favorite breads, and I'm so excited to have such a great whole grain sourdough version.