French Baguettes 2 Ways

ETA: The 2nd version, with sourdough, would be considered the ‘best’ of the bunch. I like the first version.

I’ve made ‘baguettes’ before using regular bread dough, and even sourdough, but the attempts didn’t really conform to the traditional recipe (no sugar, just yeast or starter, flour, water and salt) and shaping of the real thing. I wanted to join a recent sourdough French baguette event on a FB group I belong to but didn’t have any active starter as it’s been either frozen or dried.

An attempt to thaw and build up some of my first sourdough starter from the freezer was a failure as I rushed things and overfed the small amount of live yeast in the frozen starter. I ended up adding some of the failed starter to a regular yeast bread recipe because I didn’t want to waste the flour. I even made a “lame” with a razor blade (package of 5 for $4) and a bamboo skewer so I could I could do proper slashes. I rehydrated some dried starter for the second try.

Lame

Comparison between the two baguette trials … the baguette on the left of the picture (yeast one) was pulled from the freezer so it looks a bit shriveled.

French baguette Trial #1 – yeast (plus failed starter from the freezer so as not to waste the flour). I used Kat’s French bread recipe from FB as a base but omitted the Vital wheat gluten.

 

The slashes opened up during baking but the placement was a bit off.

French baguette Trail #2 – sourdough using the recipe here and referring to the YouTube video for shaping

Crumb of the yeast (left) and the sourdough (right) baguettes

  

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6 thoughts on “French Baguettes 2 Ways

  1. Both look delicious, though the nr 2 is closer to the typical baguette (which is even more “airy” with a thicker crust). I´ve heard from a baker that it´s very difficult to obtain abroad not only because of the techniques but because the flour used in France for artisan baguettes is different (I talked to a French baker who works abroad). I would never be able to make anything close to your creations, so congratulations!

    1. Making baguettes does depend on the flour (and the technique) but I’m experimenting with the latter as I’m unlikely to be able to get the right flour. 🙂 In any case, I didn’t like airy SD version and tossed it after tasting. It tasted ok but I had enough bread in the house that I liked that I didn’t even want to freeze it away to experiment with ways to serve it ie turning it into crostini.

  2. These look mouth watering my delicious! The texture of both look wonderful. I have some sour dough starter in the fridge but I haven’t fed it for a while, probably is dead! Fortunately I have some dehydrated in the freezer.
    Years ago, we were doing a redesign of packaging for the Italian Home Bakery people and the president gave me a lamé, I still have it even though it’s disposable! I really like your hack!

    1. Thank you. You never know, your starter might come back if you take it out of the fridge and feed it. I stored my dried starter in the pantry and got it going again in 4 days. I was amazed.

      I couldn’t justify spending the money for a lame but there were lots of DIY options on the net/YouTube.

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