When my husband gave me a baguette pan for Christmas, I knew where to find the perfect baguette recipe right away. Sally of Bewitching Kitchen is an incredible baker. She makes absolutely stunning artisan bread loaves and beautiful cookies- especially French macarons.
Sally posted this detailed “award-winning” recipe on her blog, from Samuel Fromartz, author of the blog ChewsWise, via wildyeastblog.com. I adapted the recipe to use my new baguette pan for the second rise and to bake the loaves. It worked perfectly. 🙂 I was very pleased! The original recipe on ChewsWise.com provided very helpful links regarding the process of both forming the baguettes and scoring them prior to baking.
I baked the first batch for 18 minutes and the second for 20 minutes. I preferred the extra crispiness achieved with the longer baking time. All of the loaves had a fabulous interior texture. The sourdough flavor was subtle. I used my starter directly from the refrigerator. Next time, I plan to feed my starter 7 to 10 hours prior to making the dough, as in the original recipe. (see Note) Pretty and delicious.
Yield: 4 baguettes
- 90 grams sourdough starter (at 100% hydration- starter is fed with equal amounts of flour & water)(see Note)
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 420 grams water
- 590 grams flour (I used King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour)
- 10 grams whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
- 13 grams fine sea salt
- olive oil to grease bowl
- cornmeal, for dusting (unless using a baguette pan)
- Pour starter and yeast into bowl and add water, mixing until the starter breaks up a bit.
- Add flours and salt and mix for a couple of minutes. The dough will be heavy and shaggy.
- Let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes, covered with plastic.
- Rub the surface where you will knead the dough with a tiny amount of olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking (great tip originally from Dan Lepard). (I oiled a large cutting board.)
- Use a scraper to move dough onto the counter and begin to knead by stretching and folding dough, trying to use your finger tips.
- After kneading for 5 minutes, scrape mass into a clean bowl or plastic bin. (I lightly greased the bowl with cooking spray.)
- Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. (I placed the bowl in a proofing oven.)
- Oil the counter (cutting board) again if necessary and remove dough to counter.
- Stretch it until 1-inch thick then fold top and bottom in thirds like a letter.
- Do the same type of folding, stretching until 1-inch thick, but now folding from left to right.
- Put dough back in the bowl, cover, let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Remove from bowl, repeat the folding technique, and put back in a covered bowl for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the bowl, fold again for the third and final time.
- Clean the bowl, oil lightly (with 2 tsp olive oil), and put dough back inside. (I put it in fold side up to oil the top, and then rotated it seam side down.)
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
- Place baking stone or quarry tiles in middle of oven.
- Place a thick rimmed cookie sheet or cast iron pan on oven floor or lower shelf. (I placed it on the rack just below the baking stone, shifted to one side to allow the steam to reach the loaves.)
- Heat oven to 470F (245 C). (I set a large oven to “Bake”- not on a convection setting.)
- Put a little olive oil in your palm and oil a 20-by-20 inch (50 x 50 cm) section of the counter.
- Remove dough from container. Cut dough in half. Put half back in container and into refrigerator.
- Cut dough into two rectangular pieces (about 250 grams each) and gently stretch into rectangles 5-by-7 inches (13-by-18 cm) with the long edge facing you. Cover with plastic wrap or a light towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
- While dough is resting, cut parchment paper large enough to fit your baking stone. Dust paper with flour. Dust a couche (or kitchen towels) lightly with flour. (I used an unfloured non-stick baguette pan instead.)
- Shape dough into a log by folding top and bottom of rectangle toward middle and gently sealing the seam with thumb. Then fold top to meet the bottom and seal seam. You should have a log about 1.5 to 2 inches thick (4 to 5 cm). (I used this video) The goal is to create tension over the top surface of the dough.
- Gently roll and stretch into a 14-inch loaf (36 cm) or just under the size of your baking stone. Crimp the ends to seal.
- Place each loaf on parchment paper (or in baguette pan) about six inches apart, seam side down. Place one rolled up towel underneath the paper between the loaves and one under each other edge, supporting their shape.
- Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (I used a proofing oven.)
- Put 2/3 cup water in measuring cup and bring to a boil in the microwave.
- Carefully move the paper with the loaves onto a flour-dusted overturned cookie sheet or cutting board. Dust top of loaves very lightly with flour. Use a bench scraper to gently adjust the loaves and straighten them out. (I did this in the baguette pan without transferring the loaves.)
- Make four or five cuts on the top of the loaf with a razor blade, 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep, running lengthwise on the dough. A swift slash at a sharp 20-degree angle works best. (see video link in step 8)
- Take cutting board and slide parchment paper with baguettes onto hot baking stone (or put the baguette pan on the baking stone). Shut oven door.
- Open door, and carefully pour 2/3 cup water onto cookie sheet or cast iron pan. (I put the cookie sheet on a gliding oven rack.) Be very careful if using boiling water. Shut door. Do not open the oven again while baking.
- Check baguettes after 18 to 20 minutes. They should be dark brown and crusty. If pale, continue baking for 1 to 2 minutes. (I found 20 minutes to be perfect in my oven.)
- Let cool for 20 minutes on rack before eating. They are best eaten within 6 hours.
- While baguettes are baking, form the remaining dough into loaves or leave for up to 24 hours and make fresh loaves the following day.
Note: To Make 90 grams Sourdough Starter at 100-percent hydration: Use equal parts of water and flour by weight, and ferment for 7 to 10 hours. Use 25 grams ripe and active sourdough, 50 grams flour and 50 grams water. After it ferments, use 90 grams of it in the bread and refresh the rest for future doughs.
Posted in Baking, Bread, Recipes
Tags: baguette, baguette pan, bread, French, French bread, Fromartz, instant yeast, sourdough, sourdough starter, whole wheat flour
Before I was introduced to this recipe, I thought that borscht was always a deep red, beet-based soup. I now know that borscht means “sour.” The sour tang in this soup comes from soaking sourdough bread in the broth, puréeing it, and incorporating it into the finished soup, along with crème fraiche which is stirred in just prior to serving.
I made my first homemade borscht (the beet-based version) for Christmas Eve, and my husband purchased pierogies at a Polish store for the same meal. Luckily, I saw this recipe and he was also able to buy house-made garlic kielbasa for this soup. The quality of the kielbasa is very important because it is used to create the broth for the base of this soup.
This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Gabrielle Hamilton. I followed the recipe closely, but may decrease the amount of butter next time- I’m not sure it was necessary! (but it was quite delicious 😉 ) It was a creamy, indulgent, and delicious upgrade of potato-leek soup. Fabulous cold-weather comfort food.
Yield: 5 quarts, Serves 10 to 12
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds full horseshoe link of high-quality smoked kielbasa
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 3 pounds leeks (6 long, lively leeks)
- 3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 large yellow onion, small-diced (about 2 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- 1 (4-ounce) hunk of dense, very sour sourdough bread, crusts removed
- 1 full tablespoon finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 bunch fresh dill, woody stems removed, fronds minced
Posted in Pork, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: borscht, creme fraiche, dill, Easter, Eastern European, kielbasa, leeks, potatoes, russet potatoes, sausage, soup, sourdough, stew, Ukrainian, white borscht
This healthy one-pot dish is for fans of greens. 🙂 I thought that it could even work as a dish to serve for a small-scale Thanksgiving feast because it incorporates bread (stuffing), greens (vegetables), and chicken (poultry). It would just need potatoes on the side- which is actually how my husband ate the leftovers. 😉 It was a pre-Thanksgiving meal for us because my crowd prefers a more indulgent feast on the big day. We did end the meal with apple pie bars.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Melissa Perello. It was inspired by chef Judy Rodgers’ famous wood-fired roasted chicken at Zuni Café in San Francisco. I kept waiting for chard to appear in my CSA box so that I could make it. This dish gobbled up all of the chard, kale, and beet greens from my share! The capers and golden raisins made the base of the dish extra delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8
- 8 to 10 oz (about 1/2 loaf) day-old peasant bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used a pain au levain boule)
- 4 to 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 T salted capers, rinsed well
- 4 T golden raisins
- 1 1/2 pounds tender fresh greens such as Swiss chard, kale, spinach, or beet greens (the original recipe uses Swiss chard)
- 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs or one 3 1/2 pound chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces
- fresh thyme and parsley, for garnish, optional
- Prepare the Greens: If using Swiss Chard: Remove the stems and finely slice or chop; slice leaves in half through the ribs and cut into 2-inch ribbons. If using Kale: Remove ribs and discard; tear leaves in half and slice into 1/2-inch ribbons. If using Spinach or Beet greens: Remove stems and slice leaves into 2-inch ribbons. Wash and spin dry.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
- In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, capers, raisins, prepared greens, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Spread the bread-greens mixture in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. (My pan was almost overflowing!)
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and arrange them over the bread. Sprinkle with dried thyme.
- Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment paper and close the casserole with a heavy lid. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes.
- Remove the lid and parchment paper and increase the oven temperature to 400°.
- Bake the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until golden on top and cooked through.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with the bread and greens, garnished with fresh herbs.
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Greens, Recipes
Tags: beet greens, chard, chicken, chicken thighs, croutons, greens, healthy, kale, one-pot, sourdough, spinach, Swiss chard, Thanksgiving, thyme
I have made these wonderful rolls on numerous occasions. I love that they can be prepared from start to finish in an hour or two. We have eaten them as dinner rolls and as sandwich rolls.
This recipe was adapted from HeartsContentFarmhouse.com. I weighed the ingredients, and used a stand mixer and warming drawer. Similar to Portuguese rolls, these have also become a family favorite.
Yield: 8 rolls
- 7 oz of thick liquid pourable starter (1 1/4 cups)
- 13 oz white bread flour (2 1/2 cups to 3 cups)
- 6.5 oz of water (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
- Combine the starter, flour, water, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to combine. The mixture should be a slightly sticky dough.
- Cover and allow to rest for about 20-40 minutes. (I put the covered bowl in a warming drawer for 20 minutes.)
- Add the salt and yeast on top of the dough, and transfer it to whatever you are using to knead. For a stand mixer, use the dough hook and set it on low for about 5 to 7 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for about 10 minutes (with a 5 minute rest halfway) without adding any additional flour. ( If using a bread machine, set it on the dough cycle.)
- Check the consistency of the dough after a few minutes of kneading. It may seem sticky, but should clear the sides of the bowl. If it seems very wet, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time.
- When the dough is kneaded, cover it and put in in a warm place to rise between 40-90 minutes. (If using the bread machine, let it complete the cycle and leave it in the machine a bit longer.)
- When the dough has completed its first rise, dump it onto the counter or a cutting board. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper dusted with cornmeal.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I use a scale and aim for a tad over 3 ounces for each.
- Shape the pieces into rolls by pinching the bottoms. Place on the cornmeal dusted parchment.
- Cover with heavily greased plastic wrap and allow to rise again at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. (I placed the baking sheet in a warming drawer for 45 minutes.)
- Fifteen minutes prior to the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place one rack in the center, and one in the lower middle area. Place an empty baking sheet on the lower rack to get hot while the over heats.
- Rub the top of each roll with flour. Slash, if desired, using kitchen shears, a lame, or sharp knife. Cover while the oven is preheating.
- When the oven has heated and the rolls have risen, pour 1 cup of water on the hot baking sheet to create steam. (It may buckle.)
- Place the rolls inside the oven and bake for 15-21 minutes, until browned outside and until the internal temperature reads 210 degrees on an instant thermometer. Cool on wire rack.
Last spring, when the “New York Pause” of self-isolation began, our family enjoyed many special Happy Hours. My son tried every flavor of San Pellegrino soda and my daughter’s beverage alternated between lemonade and Arnold Palmer. We have limited these indulgences to once a week (if at all) at this point. 😉
The kids and I made these soft pretzels on a couple of these occasions. I loved that we all shaped them differently! We ate them with a variety of mustards and with warm queso (from Trader Joe’s) on another occasion. The melted butter was essential.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur flour. I used active dry yeast and omitted the malt. Great.
For the Dough:
Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Bread, Recipes
Tags: appetizer, bread, discard, King Arthur, pretzels, rolls, snack, soft pretzel, sourdough, sourdough discard, sourdough starter
As a big fan of English muffins, I tried a few sourdough versions before finally finding this successful one. It was worth it!
This recipe is from Emilie Raffa’s book, Artisan Dough Made Simple, via thelemonapron.com. I may need this book. 🙂 I cooked the muffins in a large cast iron skillet but may try to expedite the process by using a griddle next time. They were equally delicious with mustard egg and cheese as with butter and jam.
Yield: 12 to 14 muffins
- 245 grams (1 cup plus 1 tsp) milk, whole or 2%
- 120 grams (1/2 cup) water
- 56 grams (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
- 75 grams (heaped 1/2 cup) bubbly active starter
- 24 grams (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 500 grams (4 cups plus 2 tbsp) all purpose flour
- 9 grams (1 1/2 tsp) salt
- Cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
To Make the Dough:
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water and butter together over low heat, or in the microwave. Cool slightly before adding to the dough.
- Add the starter and sugar to a large bowl. Slowly pour in the warm milk mixture, while whisking to combine.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork to form a rough dough, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile replenish your starter and store according to preference.
- After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15-20 seconds. (I did this on a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap.)
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with the damp towel and let rise until double is size, about 8-10 hours at 70 degrees F. (21C) (I let the dough rise for about 5 hours in a proofing oven.)
- Once fully risen, cover the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight.
- In the morning, remove the cold dough from the fridge onto a floured surface. Let it rest 10 minutes.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal all over them. This will prevent the dough from sticking.
- With floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle or oval, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
- Cut rounds about 3 inches in diameter (you can use the rim of a drinking glass: use a rim that isn’t too thick) You should get 10-12 rounds. (I used a Bonne Maman jam jar.)
- Place them onto the cornmeal on the baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with more cornmeal.
For the Second Rise:
Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest till puffy, about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (I used a proofing oven.)
To Cook the Muffins:
- Warm a large cast iron or non-stick skillet (you can also use a cast iron griddle) over low to medium-low heat.
- Place a few rounds of dough into the pan to fit comfortably. Don’t worry, they really won’t spread.
- Cook on one side for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking at the halfway mark for even browning. Adjust the heat if necessary. Flip the muffins over and continue to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. When ready, the muffins should feel lightweight and the sides should spring back when pressed gently.
- Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Continue cooking the remaining rounds.
- When ready to eat, split them open using a fork piercing into the equator of each all the way around and gently prying open.
Muffins will stay fresh 2 days, stored in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature.
The tip to cooking English muffins is to find balanced heat. If the flame is too high, the outside will brown too quickly leaving the center undercooked. If you find this has happened, finish baking the muffins in a low heat oven (about 250F) until cooked through.
You can avoid this by doing a test run with one or two muffins to begin with to help guide your stove top heat.
You can make the dough Friday morning before you leave the house for the day, put it in the fridge at the end of the day, and then bake them on Saturday morning for a great treat.
Posted in Baking, Bread, Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: American, breakfast, brunch, cornmeal, English muffins, muffins, rolls, sourdough
Compared to my last post, this is a more classic sourdough loaf. Like the other loaves, it has a great crumb and tender texture inside but this loaf has a crispy top crust and a more pronounced sourdough flavor.
This recipe is from Bob’s Red Mill. The original recipe states that it is ideal for all kinds of sandwiches, as well as toast, bread pudding and bread crumbs. We enjoyed it for wonderful sandwiches and toast, but making bread pudding with this beautiful loaf might need to happen in the future. 🙂
Yield: One 2-pound loaf
- 1 ¼ cups room temperature water, 75°F (10 fl oz)
- 2/3 cup active sourdough starter (6 1/2 oz)
- 3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (1 lb)
- 1 T table salt or 4 tsp Kosher salt
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve water and starter.
- Add flour and mix until a rough and shaggy dough forms, about 4 minutes (low-speed if using an electric mixer).
- Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Add salt and mix until a slightly soft and elastic dough (which easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl) forms, 6–10 minutes by hand or about 2–4 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer. To ensure proper gluten development, tear off a small piece of dough and stretch it as thin as possible; if a thin, transparent “window” is visible without any tearing, the dough is ready to proof.
- Transfer dough to a large lightly oiled bowl, turning dough to coat all sides in oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- Punch down the center of the dough and fold all four sides into the center. Flip dough upside down, cover, and let rise again, another 30 minutes.
- Repeat the punch and rise a total of four times (2 hours). The dough has properly proofed when a light push with a finger leaves an indentation that does not spring back.
- Remove proofed dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Gently stretch into a 10-inch rectangle. Fold the short ends of the dough to meet in the center. Fold the top of the dough to the center and lightly seal with fingertips. Fold the top of the dough to the bottom and seal with the heel of the hand, then gently roll into a 6-inch long cylinder. Cover and let rest 15–20 minutes.
- Uncover the dough and turn the cylinder seam-side-up on a floured work surface. Press and gently stretch the dough to a 6-inch rectangle. Fold the top of the dough to the center and press with the fingertips to seal and tighten. Fold the top of the dough to the bottom and seal with the heel of the hand. Gently roll the dough into a tight and smooth 8-inch loaf.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic and proof until puffy and an indentation does not spring back, 30–40 minutes. (My final rise time was about 1 hour, just until the dough rose over the rim of the loaf pan.)
- Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 450°F. Place a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven and place a baking stone (if using) on the center rack. Make sure the oven (and baking stone) preheat for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough is ready to bake, gently score the top of the loaf with a few slashes using a lame, kitchen shears, razor blade, or very sharp knife.
- Place the loaf pan on the preheated baking stone and pour 4 cups of water into the baking pan on the bottom rack. Quickly close the oven door and let bake at 450°F until browned on top, 35–45 minutes. To ensure doneness, gently remove the bread from the pan and tap the bottom of the loaf–a hollow sound should be audible. Using a probe thermometer, test for a final interior temperature of 200–210°F.
- Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.