Sourdough Baguettes - Sandwich Rolls
This sounds kinda silly, but I kept my sourdough starter (that I bought from King Arthur Flour) fed and kept in my refrigerator for almost two years. I was too chicken to try making sour dough. Well, that has all changed! Feeding and caring for a sour dough starter isn't that hard to do. Trust me, I'm the "Sour Dough Starter Whisperer" as I have resuscitated it a few times (the KAF website shows you how to do it). Bottom line-- these are incredibly delicious and not a lot of labor. You just have to give about 5 hours of time devoted to allowing the dough to proof. I shaped these into sandwich sized rolls, and they made the best tasting sandwiches. NOTE: I order my Vital Wheat Gluten from King Arthur Flour, but I've seen it at the organic section for Bob's Red Mill products. Bottom line: the rolls turned out crunch on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle and really did taste like sour dough (the Ascorbic Acid helped a lot)
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- 2 cups sourdough starter, about the consistency of thick pancake batter; fed, or unfed*
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast (I use SAF instant yeast)
- 1/2 teaspoon Ascorbic Acid** (I use LorAnn's brand from King Arthur Flour)
- 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (I order from King Arthur Flour)
- 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze; optional
- Pizza seasoning, sesame seeds, artisan bread topping, or anything else you think might be good; all optional
- If you feed your sourdough before using, the loaves will rise better; but if you're in a hurry, unfed sourdough will simply lend its flavor, while the yeast in the recipe takes care of the rise.
- The Ascorbic acid gives a nice little "bite" of sour dough flavor. I order mine online.
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 220mins
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
In a large bowl, combine the water, starter, and 3 cups of the flour, mixing until smooth.
Stir in the salt, sugar, yeast, gluten and ascorbic acid powder (if using) then an additional 1 1/2 to 2 cups of flour. Stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding only enough additional flour as necessary; a slack (sticky) dough makes a light loaf.
Knead the dough for about 7 minutes in a stand mixer; or 8 to 10 minutes by hand, on a lightly greased work surface. You may also knead this dough using the dough cycle on your bread machine; once it's finished kneading, transfer it to a bowl to rise, as directed below.
Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into six pieces (for thin baguettes) or three pieces (for thicker Italian loaves).
Shape each piece into a 16-inch long loaf, and place the loaves, at least 4-inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets, or in lightly greased baguette pans (French loaf pans). If you're using baguette pans, make the loaves 15-inches long. Note: I shaped my rolls about 6-inches long and got 8 rolls.
Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until they're nice and puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.
If desired, gently brush the loaves with egg yolk glaze (which I didn't do, this time), and sprinkle them generously with Pizza Seasoning, artisan bread topping, or the toppings of your choice. If you're not brushing the loaves with egg yolk, spray them with olive oil spray; this will help them brown. Note: I use the olive oil spray and placed the rolls on parchment paper and onto a bread baking stone.
For a classic look, make three diagonal slashes in each loaf, cutting about 1/4-inch deep. For taller, rounder baguettes, don't slash. Note: I made one long slash down the middle of each roll.
Bake the baguettes for about 25 minutes, or until they're a rich golden brown. Remove the loaves from the oven. Turn off the oven, crack it open a few inches, and return the loaves to the cooling oven, without their pans. Letting the loaves cool right in the turned-off oven helps preserve their crunchy crust.
Yield: 6 baguettes, 8 rolls or 3 Italian-style loaves.
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