Baguettes

Baguettes

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This is the Italian version of the Baguette. Traditionally, Baguettes are from France. People wanted a bread with more crust and less mie (the breads interior), so bakers’ created the Baguette. Because Italians enjoyed the Baguettes, they set out to better it, and I 100% believe that they did just that with their version, the sfilatino!

baguette recipe

Baguettes are my favorite bread that D.J. has made so far! In September, for teacher conferences, we made 45 of them for Anthony’s school for all of the teachers and staff. I think we were up until about 2:30 or 3 AM that night baking.

baguette recipe

How To Make Baguettes

Adapted From The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli

 

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Gather Tools & Equipment

These tools will help making Baguettes a lot easier.

  • Stand Mixer
  • Baguette Pan
  • Lame
  • Dough Scraper
  • Spray Bottle
  • Mixing Bowls

Gather Ingredients

You will need to prepare a Biga a day ahead of time for this recipe, so plan accordingly. Keep reading to learn how to make Biga.

  • active dry yeast
  • bottled water
  • unbleached bread flour
  • salt
  • cornmeal
  • olive oil

How To Make The Biga Starter

Most Italian breads start with a biga. This is a universal bread starter made from flour, water and yeast. Since we started baking bread, we have kept some biga in our fridge at all times. In Italy, bakers save saltless dough from the previous day’s bake to start a new dough. If you like sourdough, let the biga rest 24-72 hours.

It is not a typo, you will see water on the ingredient list twice, in two different measurements.

  • ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp water, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (330 g) unbleached all purpose flour

Stir the yeast into the warm water and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining water and then the flour, 1 cup at a time.

italian bread

By Hand: Mix with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes.

By Mixer: Mix with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.

Remove dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at a cool room temperature for 6-24 hours. The starter will triple in volume and still be wet and sticky when ready.

biga starter

Start Making Bread – Makes 3 Baguettes

By Hand: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set it aside until it is creamy – about 15 minutes. Measure the flour into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir the salt into the flour.

Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture, the cool water and the biga into the well. Using the spoon, stir together all the ingredients until the dough is too resistant to be stirred.

Knead the dough briefly in the bowl, and then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and clean off any dough stuck to your hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, silky and noticeably elastic – about 20 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Follow next steps for first rise.

By Mixer: In a small measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let rest for about 15 minutes. Pour yeast mixture into stand mixer. Measure the flour into a large bowl and stir the salt into the flour. With the stand mixer on low, add the flour, cool water and biga.

baguette recipe

While gradually increasing speed and knead the dough until it is smooth, silky and noticeably elastic – about 10-15 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Follow next steps for first rise.

baguette recipe

First Rise – 1 ½ Hours

Rub a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the ball so that the surface is covered with oil. Cover the bowl with a lid or a towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled – about 1 ½ hours.

baguette recipe

Second Rise – 1 Hour

Punch down the dough by folding the edges into the center and turning it over so the top is once again smooth. Press most but not all of the air out of the dough. Recover the bowl and let it rise at room temperature a second time until doubled – about 1 hour.

baguette recipe

Shaping & Third Rise – 20 Minutes

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into three (3) equal portions. Working with one (1) portion at a time and using your fingertips, gently press out most of the air from the dough into a 4″x3″ rectangle.

baguette recipe

Fold about 1″ of the long rectangle edge, furthest from you, toward you. Continue to roll up the rectangle toward you, using some tension so that it is fairly tight. When you reach the edge of the roll to the bottom edge of the rectangle to form a seam. The roll should be about 6″ long. Repeat with remaining dough.

baguette recipe

Turn each roll so that it rests seam side down on a well-floured work surface. Taper the ends of the rolls by simultaneously rolling and pressing them against the work surface with the palms of your hands.

Let rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

baguette recipe

Second Shaping & Fourth Rise – 15 Minutes

Graps the ends of one roll and lift it from the work surface. Stretch the roll until it’s roughly 2.5x the original length or about 15″ long. Place on a well-floured baguette pan. Let rest 15 minutes longer.

baguette recipe

Make 4-5 diagonal slashes with a bread lame, about ½” deep across the loaves.

baguette recipe

Bake Bread

Bake bread in the middle shelf of the oven being sure to mist the preheated oven with a spray bottle of water and quickly shut the door.

Bake for 5 minutes, and mist the oven again. Mist one more time and bake the loaves until they have a golden-brown, crisp crust and make a hollow sound when tapped on – about 30 minutes.

baguette recipe

Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Baguettes

Italian Baguettes or Sfilatino

  • Stand Mixer
  • Baguette Pan
  • Bread Lame
  • Dough Scraper
  • Spray Bottle
  • Mixing Bowls with Lids

Biga Starter

  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup room temperature water
  • 1 tbsp room temperature water
  • 1 tsp room temperature water
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (330 grams)

Baguettes

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour (360 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • 2 tbsp cool water
  • 1/2 cup biga starter
  • flour for work surface
  • olive oil for bowl

Biga Starter

  1. Stir the yeast into the warm water and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in the remaining water and then the flour, 1 cup at a time.

  3. By Hand: Mix with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes.

    By Mixer: Mix with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.

  4. Remove dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at a cool room temperature for 6-24 hours.

    The starter will triple in volume and still be wet and sticky when ready.

Baguettes

  1. In a small measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let rest for about 15 minutes.

  2. Pour yeast mixture into stand mixer.

  3. Measure the flour into a large bowl and stir the salt into the flour.

  4. With the stand mixer on low, add the flour, cool water and biga.

  5. While gradually increasing speed and knead the dough until it is smooth, silky and noticeably elastic – about 10-15 minutes.

    Shape the dough into a ball.

  6. First Rise – 1 ½ Hours

    Rub a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the ball so that the surface is covered with oil.

    Cover the bowl with a lid or a towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled – about 1 ½ hours.

  7. Second Rise – 1 Hour

    Punch down the dough by folding the edges into the center and turning it over so the top is once again smooth. Press most but not all of the air out of the dough.

    Recover the bowl and let it rise at room temperature a second time until doubled – about 1 hour.

  8. Shaping & Third Rise – 20 Minutes

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into three (3) equal portions. Working with one (1) portion at a time and using your fingertips, gently press out most of the air from the dough into a 4"x3" rectangle.

    Fold about 1" of the long rectangle edge, furthest from you, toward you. Continue to roll up the rectangle toward you, using some tension so that it is fairly tight. When you reach the edge of the roll to the bottom edge of the rectangle to form a seam. The roll should be about 6" long. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Turn each roll so that it rests seam side down on a well-floured work surface. Taper the ends of the rolls by simultaneously rolling and pressing them against the work surface with the palms of your hands.

    Let rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 20 minutes.

  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  10. Second Shaping & Fourth Rise – 15 Minutes

    Grasp the ends of one roll and lift it from the work surface. Stretch the roll until it's roughly 2.5x the original length or about 15" long. Place on a well-floured baguette pan. Let rest 15 minutes longer.

  11. Make 4-5 diagonal slashes with a bread lame, about ½" deep across the loaves.

  12. Bake bread in the middle shelf of the oven being sure to mist the preheated oven with a spray bottle of water and quickly shut the door.

  13. Bake for 5 minutes, and mist the oven again. Mist one more time and bake the loaves until they have a golden-brown, crisp crust and make a hollow sound when tapped on – about 30 minutes.

  14. Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

How To Make Dough By Hand

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set it aside until it is creamy – about 15 minutes. Measure the flour into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir the salt into the flour.

Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture, the cool water and the biga into the well. Using the spoon, stir together all the ingredients until the dough is too resistant to be stirred.

Knead the dough briefly in the bowl, and then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and clean off any dough stuck to your hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, silky and noticeably elastic – about 20 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Follow next steps for first rise.

Bread
Italian
Baguettes, Bread, Italian Bread

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