Basic French Bread with Sprouted Flour
This recipe uses ingredients measured by weight (grams) and make fabulous baguettes, rolls, and buns every time! Makes 2 pounds of dough.
A poolish is a starter sponge, similar to a sourdough starter but using commercial yeast. Creating the poolish gives the yeast time to activate before adding it to the flour, resulting in a springier, more robust loaf.
1-3/4 cups sprouted wheat flour (193 grams)
1-1/4 cups water (193 grams + 6 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon yeast
2-1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour (387 grams)
1 cup water (213 grams)
3/4 teaspoon yeast (3 grams)
2 teaspoons salt (12g)
Mix poolish the night before and cover well with plastic wrap. Let rise for 12 to 14 hours at 70°F.
Mix dough (using glass, ceramic, or stainless bowl)
Weigh out water separately
Weigh flour, measure yeast and mix into flour
Add poolish and most of water; the rest of the water depends on dough stickiness. (Lean toward sticky.) Blend ingredients enough to get all of flour incorporated.
Cover dough with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Let dough sit for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl onto floured counter or kneading board. Pat down to pop bubbles. Sprinkle salt onto dough.
Knead dough until strong but flexible. (Windowpane test is a good indicator. This will take 12 to 15 minutes by hand.
Clean the bowl and oil it, then place dough into it, turning to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until poofy: about 1 hour at 75°F.
(Optional step) Place dough on kneading board and punch down. Fold 4 times (don’t knead) and place back in bowl for second rise (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
Preheat oven to 500°F. For best baking results let oven preheat for 1 hour, especially if you’ve placed a baking stone in the oven.
(Optional step) Divide dough in half and pre-shape into baguettes. Cover and let them rest until relaxed (about 15 to 20 minutes).
Shape dough into a baguette shape.
Place baguette(s) onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and rise somewhere warm until full of gas (about 45 minutes).
Score the dough and steam it by wetting the surface. Use a spray bottle, or sprinkle water onto the loaf with your fingers.
Quickly put dough into oven and turn temperature to 460°F.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. DO NOT open oven door for first 15 minutes.
At 20 minutes test for doneness by inserting a thermometer into center of bread. Should read 190° to 206°F.
Remove bread from oven. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack and let cool before slicing.