Whole Wheat Baguette

The Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe Try this healthier, high-fiber alternative to a white baguette.

Fermenting time:
12 hrs or overnight

Rising and proofing time:
3 1⁄2 hrs

1 quantity sponge
substituting whole wheat for the white bread flour

For the dough:
½ tsp dried yeast
3⁄4 cup whole wheat bread flour
1 1⁄4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt

1 To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in 2⁄3 cup warm water. Put the risen sponge, 2 types of flour, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually pour in the dissolved yeast, stirring together to form a dough.

2 Knead for 10 minutes on a floured work surface, until smooth, glossy, and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic, and leave in a warm place for up to 11⁄2 hours, until doubled.

3 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knock it back. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Knead each piece briefly and shape it into a rough rectangle. Use your hands to tuck the furthest edge of the dough into the center, pressing it down with your fingertips, then do the same with the nearest edge. Fold the dough in half to make a long, thin oblong and press down to seal the edges.

4 Turn the dough over so the seam is underneath and use your hands to gently stretch and roll it into a long, thin log shape, no more than 13⁄4in (4cm) wide. Be careful not to roll it out longer than the length of a baking sheet, and bear in mind that it will expand when rising.

5 Place the loaves on 2 large baking sheets and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave in a warm place until well risen, and almost doubled in size. This could take up to 2 hours. The bread is ready to bake when it is tight and well risen, and a finger gently poked into the dough leaves a dent that springs back quickly. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

6 Take a sharp knife and slash the top of the loaves quite deeply diagonally all along the top. This will allow the bread to continue to rise in the oven. Dust the tops with a little flour and, if you like, spray with water. Place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 20–25 minutes. For a crisper crust, spray the
loaves with water every 10 minutes during baking. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

The baguette can be stored, loosely wrapped in paper, overnight.

Whole Wheat Baguette
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