False Rye Sourdough Baguettes

One of the best things with weekends is to wake up late and have a luxury breakfast in bed. And an almost mandatory thing when having breakfast in bed – newly baked bread. You know, the smell of bakery and that still slightly warm bread with a crisp outside and that perfectly baked inside! It´s hard to come by anything better. I don´t know what I like the most; serving the bread with plenty of toppings or just with a BIG knob of butter and some sea salt. You have to admit that one of the best things is warm bread with butter. So good in all its simplicity!

I could live on bread and sandwiches because it´s so insanely yummy. But I guess it doesn’t contribute to a balanced diet, which is sad =( The fact that I don´t eat bread so often might be the cause till why sandwiches and bread taste so lovely. Things might simply get better if you have to crave it for a while.

This bread is made out of false sourdough but it´s still very tasty. I don´t have the patience to take care of a real sourdough. It´s almost like a baby, you have to care for it, feed it, make sure the temperature is right and you have to change diapers (yep, it smells, but the smell is more comparable to paint). Besides you have to throw away some of the dough and replace it with new water and flour, and that’s a wasting of good ingredients. So if you aren´t a hardcore sourdough fan there is no need to keep a sourdough alive, you can bake incredible breads anyway. The secret behind a good bread reads as follows:

Low and slow

The low and slow technique will give you a delightful bread with a lot of aromas and perfectly balanced flavours. There is only one point, which I can think of, that make this false bread differs from the real sourdough and that is the acidity. A real sourdough is simply slightly more sour, which to me seems quite natural. When I created this recipe I used a recipe by Martin Johanssons (Pain du Martin) as a foundation. Then I made some adjustments to it and swapped the rye sourdough to a predough made out of yoghurt, rye flour, lukewarm water and a tiny pinch of yeast.

A long proving-time will enhance the flavours of the bread. So don´t sweat it! Let the breads prove in a cold place, preferably in the fridge over night and use ice cold dough liquid. The only time not to use cold water is in the predough – this is due to the fermenting of the yoghurt which needs a kick-start.

False Rye Sourdough Baguettes – 6 Baguettes

Ingredients:

Predough
40 g natural yoghurt
200 g strong-/bread flour
140 g rye flour
370 g lukewarm water
5 g yeast

Dough
35 g yeast
300 g cold water
700 g strong-/bread flour
20 g salt

Oven: 275 °C

How to do:

Predough: Crumble the yeast in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until all the ingredients are combined and you have a smooth dough. Leave the mixture at room temperature for 10-12 hours or until its super bubbly and smells like paint. If you haven’t got the time or energy to continue with the bread making after these hours you could place the predough in the fridge for a couple of hours. The important thing is to activate the fermenting process before placing it in a cool place.

Dough: When you are ready to continue with the bake; crumble the yeast in a mixing bowl and add water, flour and the predough. Kneed for about 8 minutes in the stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Add salt and mix for about 2 more minutes. Let the dough prove for about 4 hours or until doubled in size. The proving time will vary depending on the temperature in the room. Place the dough on a floured surface and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Gently knead each bun into a small flat circle, then shape into a tight ball by pinching the seams together underneath. This method lets you control the tension of the dough and will give you evenly baked breads in the end. Let the buns rest for approx. 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes it is time to shape the baguettes. Work with one piece of dough at the time on a floured surface; flatten it out into a rough rectangle; fold down the top third towards the middle and pinch it together with your fingertips. Repeat the process with the bottom third of the dough. To create a stretched, even surface; fold the dough on the middle and pinch it togheter again. Form the rectangular dough into a baguette by gently pressing it against the floured working surface and roll it into a roll with a length of approx. 40 centimeter. Twist the baguette and place it in a baguette pan or on a tray lined with parchment paper. If you haven’t got a baguette pan I recommend twisting some kitchen towels and placing one on each side of the baguette (this will prevent them from flattening while proving). Place 3 baguettes on each tray and let them rest under a cloth in a cool place for 10-12 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven way ahead and place an empty tray on the bottom. Place the baguette pan in the oven and throw an ice cube or a shot glass of cold water on the bottom tray. Don´t forget to remove the towels if you used those while proving. Quickly close the oven slot and let the steam from the ice or water make the baguettes surface crispy. Open the oven for a few seconds after about 10 minutes of baking and let out the remaining steam. Bake the baguettes for another 5-10 minutes or until the inner temperature reaches 98 °C. Let the baguettes cool on a rack or eat slightly warm

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