Monday, October 26, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Whole Wheat Baguette

What's better on a cold, dreary fall day than fresh baked bread? Now that the heat has left us (have I mentioned that enough?), I'm using our oven more often -- much to the delight of my family.

When I buy baguettes at the store, they're usually over two dollars a loaf (granted, Joseph's has great bread for $1.49 but I don't get that direction often), which is hard for me to justify when it's so easy to make on my own. Plus, it's so much more healthy when I do it, as I can count the ingredients on one hand.

I've made this twice this fall already, and my mom has told me that when she goes into the home, this is what I'm to bring her when I come to visit. And yes, she has a flair for the dramatic. We all know where Little Miss gets it.

Whole Wheat French Baguette

1 1/2 c water (hot but no more than 115 degrees) and no, I'm not counting water as an ingredient, so hush
1 t yeast
1 t sugar
3 c whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 c white bread flour
1 t salt

Add the water to your bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top, then the sugar atop that. Stir well. Add 2 c of the flour (either will do) and mix thoroughly. Add the salt and combine. Slowly add your last 2 1/2 c of flour. Knead your dough until it's starting to stretch some (about 7-10 minutes on a stand mixer with a dough hook). When you're adding flour, you want to add the flour until the dough no longer sticks at all when you strip it from the dough hook. If you add too much flour, you can sprinkle (and I mean sprinkle -- a little goes a long ways) water into the bowl while it's mixing. The amount of flour you'll need will vary based on the humidity in your home, so be flexible and play with it. It's quite forgiving.

Once your dough is thoroughly kneaded, cover your bowl with a damp towel. Let it sit for an hour and a half until it's doubled in size. Gently punch it down and separate it into two balls. One at a time, stretch a ball into a flat rectangle about 5 x 9. Fold a long edge 2/3 the way up the rectangle, then fold the other long edge over. Pinch both long ends together next so that you have a neat seam atop your rectangle. Flip over your rectangle and gently roll with your hands to finish up the loaf shape. Repeat with the remaining ball.

Place both loaves onto either an oiled baguette pan (I was young and single and loved to cook -- I've got some great gadgets that I love) or a greased jelly roll pan. Cover them with your damp towel again, and let them rise for another hour or two.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place your loaves into the oven (after removing the towel!). Toss 1/2 cup of water into the oven, but NOT on the loaves. Repeat this process three or four times during the first several minutes of cooking. It will create a steam bath in the oven which will help create a great crunchy crust to your bread. Bake for 25 or so minutes until golden brown and it has a hollow sound when you thump it.

Let it cool for a couple minutes, then slice and enjoy. This bread is great for a day or two, but eat it quickly! It will freeze nicely.

*If you don't have whole wheat flour, feel free to use all white flour, but reduce the water to 1 1/2 cup or so.

Enjoy this and more at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday with Blessed With Grace!


SnoWhite October 26, 2009 at 8:30 PM  

thanks! All the baguette recipes I've seen have been for white flour... I've got this one bookmarked.

Pop and Ice October 26, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

Any mixer recommendations? The most popular one I've googled appears not to handle wheat bread very well. Or perhaps you have a mixer review somewhere?

Sherry October 26, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

Thank you for sharing this recipe ! I love doing wheat breads, but haven't ever tried a baguette.

Teacher Tom October 26, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

I love cooking, but seem to always fail at baking. Maybe it's all the measuring.

Acorn squash soup. That's what we had tonight. It would have been really good with some crusty wheat bread . . . damn!

Laura October 26, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

Always looking for news ways to use my Kitchenaid, yeah!! love the whole wheat flour recipe too

Brenda October 26, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

Homemade bread is so yummy!

Anonymous October 27, 2009 at 6:36 AM  

Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely be making this one.

heartnsoulcooking October 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

I have been trying to make a GREAT!!! french bread and for some reason it just doesn't come out light and airy. I will have to try your recipe. I like the idea of the whole wheat.

The Not So Perfect Housewife October 27, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

Just stopping by via TMTT. This looks delicious. I love to make homemade bread.
Thanks for sharing.

Angela October 27, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing! I make PW's cheesy olive bread and would love to use (1) homemade and (2) whole wheat bread in that recipe. I will definitely make these SOON!

Angie's Spot October 27, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

Yum yum yum yum yum! I received a breadmaker last Christmas and (shamefully) haven't used it yet. I'm afraid to. Isn't that ridiculous?! Do you have any bread machine recipes that you would recommend? I'm definitely going to try this recipe too!

Swishy October 27, 2009 at 6:42 PM  

Oooh, I want some!!

septembermom October 27, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

What would I do without bread! I love this one. Oui!!

Mrs4444 November 1, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

I've never been confident about baking with yeast; it scares me. This looks yummy, though; maybe I'll try it :)

Michelle March 27, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

SnoWhite - They're generally with white flour, but I like to add whole wheat flour to just about everything I make. You have to adjust recipes slightly, but it works!

Carol Lynne - I love my Kitchen Aid! I want a new and bigger one... and no mixer review yet, but hey - maybe someone's looking! I'd promise to put it through its paces.

Sherry - It's good. The wee ones love it, and I've got a loaf in the freezer right now that I'm putting out to reheat tomrorow to have with some yummy soup I made tonight!

Tom - Yeah, the measuring gets to be pretty key, although bread it easier. You go by feel instead of strictly the chemical reaction.

Laura - Why am I not surprised by this?

Brenda - Isn't it? I'm actually waiting for a book to come into the library on bread you can keep in the fridge and just bake daily. I calculated I'll have it no later than the end of July - how sad is that?

Happy Nester - You're welcome! It's one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy it.

Geri - I wouldn't call this one light and airy always, but it tastes great. I actually was reading lately that whole wheat flour requires LESS kneading to go light and fluffy.

Mikki - Homemade bread is ALWAYS worth the effort, and the effort is so much less than people think it is, too.

Angela - Ummm yum. I'm going to pretend that recipe doesn't exist for the sake of my waistline though ;)

Angie - I've actually never used a bread machine. The few times I've had loaves from there, they taste funny to me so... I do it by hand. Sorry!

Swishy - Sorry, it's all for me :)

Kelly - Probably the same thing I would? I would NOT make a good celiac.

Mrs4444 - Yeast is not scary. As long as the water is under 120 degrees and you keep the yeast in the fridge, it's really easy. Just use lukewarm water and keep the yeast fed with sugar and/or flour. Go for it!

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