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Sourdough Baguettes | How to Make Sourdough Baguettes.

Last updated on May 12th, 2024 at 10:14 pm

These perfectly crisp sourdough baguettes have a chewy interior, bursting with the tangy, complex flavours of sourdough culture. Making a great sourdough baguette is both an art and a science, requiring attention and care at every step of the process.

Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe

Making sourdough baguettes is both an art and a science, requiring patience, skill and attention to detail. In this post, I will walk you through all the essential steps for making sourdough baguettes. By the end of this guide, you will be equipped with the knowledge and techniques needed to create delicious and visually stunning sourdough baguettes fit to impress any bread lover.

If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s that the success of these baguettes relies on a strong sourdough starter. If you need a starter, the best way to learn the process is to create your own. If you are looking for tips on how to care for and maintain your sourdough starter, check out this video on how I have been feeding and maintaining my sourdough starter for almost 20 years.

Flour Specs:

  • 50% organic strong bakers flour
    • 12.4% protein
    • 0.54% ash
  • 50% all-purpose flour
    • 11.7% protein

This recipe can be made with a wide variety flours used in many different combinations. I recommend beginning with the above 50/50 blend as a starting point, then branching out from there. The dough strength and hydration can change when using different flours, so take notes and only change one thing at a time. Here some ideas to get the ball rolling:

  • Try using whole grains. Start with 10% to 20% whole-grain spelt or einkorn.
  • Switch up the levain for a different flavour and fermentation. A rye or spelt levain works really well for this formula.
  • Try using high-extraction flour in place of the bread flour. A T80 or T85 flour will give a great flavour.

Sourdough Baguette Specs:

Yield Three 400-gram full-size baguettes OR six 200-gram demi baguettes
Total Dough Weight 1200 grams
Pre-Fermented Flour 10.04%
Levain % in Final Dough 33.5%
Total Hydration 71.73%
Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe

Total Formula:

WeightIngredientBakers %
362 gramsBread Flour55.2%
296 gramsAll-Purpose Flour44.98%
463 gramsWater70.31%
66 grams Levain10.04%
13 gramsSalt2%

Sourdough Baguette Dough Schedule

To simplify the process and help you visualize the time commitment for making this sourdough baguette recipe, I have included a schedule. Your dough temperature and sourdough starter’s health can change the fermentation schedule, so make sure to keep an eye on the dough and don’t rely on just the schedule. Of course, you can also alter the schedule to fit what works best for you and your baking.

Mix the Sourdough Baguette Levain – 10:00 am.

This sourdough baguette recipe uses a young levain fed at 100% hydration. If you need help calculating dough percentages to scale this recipe easily for your baking, you can download my Sourdough Baguette Dough Calculator.

How to Score a Sourdough Baguette 1
Image by @datawithprofmandy

Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Cover with a lid. I like to place an elastic band around the top of the levain at the beginning of the feed so I can monitor its growth. This build should take about 3.5 to 4 hours at 28°C/82.4°F.

WeightIngredientBakers %
86 gramsBread Flour100%
86 grams Water at 28°C/82.4°F100%
86 gramsLevain100%

Total: 258 grams

NOTE: This yields an extra 60 grams so that you a) don’t have to scrape out your jar for every last bit and b) have some extra sourdough starter to keep your starter alive.

Simplifying Sourdough Bread Online Course

Autolyse – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Autolysing allows the flour to hydrate fully and the gluten network to develop before sourdough starter and salt are incorporated into a dough. This technique can enhance the dough’s texture, flavour and fermentation. While you can make this dough without an autolyse, I find it helps decrease the mixing time, resulting in a more extensible dough that is easier to shape and handle. If you are experimenting with different flour ratios you might consider shortening or lengthening your autolyse depending on the grains you choose.

Mix the flour and water 1 until fully combined. Cover and let rest for 30 to 90 minutes while you wait for the levain to finish rising.

WeightIngredient
296 gramsBread Flour
296 grams All-Purpose Flour
373 gramsWater 1 at 32°C/90°F

Note: You can also mix the levain into the autolyse. It is easier to do this when hand mixing so the choice is yours.

Mix the Dough – 2:00 pm.

WeightIngredient
24 gramsWater 2
13 gramsSalt
198 gramsLevain
  1. Mix in the levain. This will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Using the remaining water, mix the salt into the dough by hand. This should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Once the salt is added, allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container or bowl and cover it with a lid.

Desired Dough Temperature – 30°C to 32°C/86°F to 90°F

Bulk Fermentation – 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

Bulk ferment the dough for 2 to 2.5 hours. If you are in a cold environment, keep the dough in a warm place during the bulk fermentation.

  1. Bulk ferment the dough for 2 hours.
  2. Give the dough 2 folds during the bulk fermentation.
  3. After the last fold, put the dough in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.

Divide and Pre-Shape – 9:00 am (1 to 2 days later).

Shaping sourdough baguettes can be challenging. I find it helpful to record myself shaping them and then watch the video after. It is also very helpful to shape more than 1 to 2 baguettes. The more you shape, the better you get ;0

  1. Take the dough container out of the fridge and allow the dough to come to room temperature for about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the dough from the container, place it on the table and pre-shape round.
  3. Let the dough bench rest for 60 to 90 minutes.
Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe 19

Final Shape – 10:00 am.

  1. Final shape the dough as a long baguette and place it into a flour-dusted couche.
  2. Let the baguettes rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Place the dough in the fridge or a cool place for another 2 to 10 hours. These baguettes will hold in the fridge for a while so you can mix more than you can bake at a time and bake the baguettes over a longer period of time.

Baking – 1:30 pm.

Depending on how you are baking your baguettes you will need to make adjustments. If you are baking demi-baguettes in a home oven loaded with steam, for example, the baking temps and times will be slightly lower than those for full-size baguettes baked in a deck oven. For a full-size baguette, a good benchmark is to aim for 24 to 26 minutes. For a demi-baguette, it will be closer to 18 to 20 minutes.

Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F for a home oven or 246°C/475°F for a deck oven.
  2. Bake the baguettes for 10 to 14 minutes with steam and 12 to 14 minutes without.
  3. When fully cooked, remove the sourdough baguettes from the oven and slide the bread onto a cooling rack.
  4. Let the sourdough baguettes cool completely before slicing.
Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette RecipeSourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe
Sourdough baguettes baking in a Tom Chandley Pico Plus oven.

Scoring Sourdough Baguettes

Scoring sourdough baguettes can be tricky, but it is an important step to ensure that the bread will rise properly. Here are a few tips for properly scoring your baguettes:

  • Use a sharp blade. A sharp blade is essential for achieving clean, swift and shallow cuts in the dough, which will make for even expansion in the oven and visually pleasing baguettes.
  • Hold the blade at a 45° angle and make shallow, angled cuts. The goal is to make shallow cuts that are no more than 1/4 inch deep and are angled slightly.
How to Score a Sourdough Baguette 5
Yes 🙂
How to Score a Sourdough Baguette
No 🙁
  • The cuts should overlap slightly and run down and across the baguette. If you can, visually split the baguette into thirds lengthwise, then try to keep the scores in the middle third—it will prevent you from running off the side of the baguette.
How to Score a Sourdough Baguette
Image by @datawithprofmandy

Sourdough Baguettes: Final Thoughts

If you liked this recipe please, check out our simple sourdough focaccia recipe and our 100% whole wheat sourdough recipe.

Making sourdough baguettes is a challenging but highly rewarding process that requires patience, attention to detail and a willingness to experiment. With the right techniques and ingredients, you can create crispy, airy and flavorful sourdough baguettes that will impress your family and friends. Remember to use high-quality flour, keep your starter healthy and allow enough time for fermentation and shaping.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, making sourdough baguettes is a fun and satisfying way to explore the world of sourdough bread baking. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog post, you can become a confident and skilled baguette maker in no time. Happy baking!

Sourdough Baguettes | Sourdough Baguette Recipe
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sourdough baguette dough calculator

Sourdough Baguettes | How to Make Sourdough Baguettes.


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4.5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Matthew James Duffy
  • Yield: Three 400-gram full-size baguettes OR six 200-gram demi baguettes

Description

These sourdough baguettes are perfectly crisp and have a chewy interior bursting with the tangy, complex flavours of sourdough culture. Making the perfect sourdough baguette is both an art and a science, requiring careful attention at every step of the process.


Ingredients

WeightIngredientBakers %
362 gramsBread Flour55.2%
296 gramsAll-Purpose Flour44.98%
463 gramsWater70.31%
66 grams Levain10.04%
13 gramsSalt2%

Instructions

For the Levain:

86 gramsBread Flour100
86 grams Water at 28°C/82.4°F100
86 gramsLevain100

1. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Cover with a lid. I like to place an elastic band around the top of the levain at the beginning of the feed so I can monitor its growth. This build should take about 3.5 to 4 hours at 28°C/82.4°F.

Autolyse

WeightIngredient 
296 gramsBread Flour 
296 grams All-Purpose Flour 
373 gramsWater 1 at 32°C/90°F

 

1. Mix the flour with water 1 until fully combined. Cover and let rest for 30 to 90 minutes while you wait for the levain to finish rising.

Mix the Dough

WeightIngredient 
24 gramsWater 2
13 gramsSalt 
198 gramsLevain
  1. Using the remaining water, mix the salt into the dough by hand. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Once the salt is added, allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container or bowl and cover it with a lid.

Desired Dough Temperature – 30°C to 32C/86°F to 90°F

Bulk Fermentation

  1. Bulk ferment the dough for 2 hours.
  2. Give the dough 2 folds during the bulk fermentation.
  3. After the last fold put the dough in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.

Divide and Pre-Shape

  1. Take the dough container out of the fridge and allow the dough to come to room temperature for about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the dough from the container onto the table and pre-shape round.
  3. Let the dough bench rest for 60 to 90 minutes.

Final Shape

  1. Final shape the dough as a long baguette and place it into a flour-dusted couche.
  2. Let the baguettes rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Place the dough in the fridge or cool place for another 2 to 10 hours. These baguettes will hold in the fridge for a while so you can mix more than you can bake at a time and bake the baguettes over a longer period of time.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F for a home oven or 246°C/475°F for a deck oven.
  2. Bake the baguettes for 10 to 14 minutes with steam and 12 to 14 minutes without.
  3. When fully cooked, remove the sourdough baguettes from the oven and slide the bread onto a cooling rack.
  4. Let the sourdough baguettes cool completely before slicing.
  • Category: Sourdough
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French


7 thoughts on “Sourdough Baguettes | How to Make Sourdough Baguettes.”

  • Hi, this is a very interesting technique, especially putting it back in the fridge at the end. Do you keep the dough covered in steps 1-2-3 in the final shape stage all the way till baking?

    • I’m not Matt but I’ve baked these a lot. You should cover the dough as much as possible. During the autolyse and between stretch and folds a towel over the bowl oughta suffice. During fulk fermentation and when refrigerated, the dough should be covered in such a way where air won’t get to the top and cause it to dry out (cambro bins work really well for this). During preshaping I don’t worry about it too much, and after they’re shaped I cover them loosely with the remaining couche/a kitchen towel.

  • Third time, and all I need for these to be perfect is the shaping fairy…Good texture, and the smell is incredible coming out of the oven. I will not give up until they are pretty. I guess my co-workers are going to eat a lot of baguettes.






  • I really would like to try this recipe but I am a little confused about the amount of Levain needed. I understand you create a Levain that has 60g “extra”, but the total ingredient list specifies 10% levain (66g) but in the instructions it’s 198g (30%). From the other ingredients, I think the correct amount is the 198g but I just wanted to double check and then hopefully the incorrect number can be changed in the post.

    • Hi! Love all of the instruction but am unclear on formulas & levain amounts. The autolyse says a 1:1 bread flour to all purpose, while the formula has a higher amt of bread flour. Also the levain amt listed in the initial formula vs the later recipe is different as notes by another person above. Just not quite clear on what the actual formula is. Thank you!






  • Hi ! I am also a little confused about the amount of Levain needed. I understand you create a Levain that has 60g “extra”, but the total ingredient list specifies 10% levain (66g) but in the instructions it’s 198g (30%). From the other ingredients, I think the correct amount is the 198g. Can you just confirm please ? Thanks a lot !

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