the type of cancer my dad has means he must add tons of whole grains to his diet (or as i like to call it, poopie power...or pee squared for you trendy folk). what better way to accomplish that then with a swagger francais? this is for the most part your run of the mill french bread recipe but with two adaptations: whole wheat flour is used, and a cold fermentation is done initially.
auditory pairing: beirut - my night with the prostitute from marseille
whole wheat french baguettes
(yields 4 baguettes)
- 2c unbleached bread flour
- 3 1/2c whole wheat flour
- 2tsp salt
- 2 1/4tsp active dry yeast
- 2c warm water
i cheated and used my kitchenaid with a dough hook. throw all ingredients in and turn that mofo on. you can alternately do it the non-wussy way: knead it by hand. after dough is kneaded, remove it and place in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. immediately place in fridge overnight.
remove the dough from fridge 2h before baking. once ready, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and separate into four pieces. pat each piece into a rectangle. bring the bottom half of the rectangle to the center and seal the seam. bring the top half of the rectangle to the center and seal the seam. then pinch together the seam you've created and with seam side underneath, roll out dough to desired length (6-12in...thats what she said!). be sure to taper off ends so the baguette looks legit!
lightly spray the top of the baguettes with pam/spray oil. use a couche (or be ghetto like i did and just use lightly floured towels rolled up in between each baguette to help keep its shape) while proofing at room temperature. lightly cover with plastic wrap during the proofing process. this should take 1 1/2-2h, you want your bread to be about 1 1/2x bigger than its original size. (start preheating your oven to 450F 45min before bake time, place a broiler pan/sheet pan one rack under where you intend to bake your bread. this will be used as a steam pan)
15min before, remove plastic wrap from dough. transfer baguettes to a lightly floured medium that you will use to bake on. i have a cast aluminum griddle that i like to bake bread with, but anything from a pizza baking stone to a cookie sheet can be used. right before baking, score each baguette 3-4x with 1/2" deep slits. the key to getting a crusty bread is steam, so pour a cup of hot water into the steam pan and place your baguettes in the oven.
bake for 12min, rotate the pan and bake for another 15min. cool on wire rack for half an hour before consuming with vigor.