Basic French Bread
Makes 2 pounds of dough. Great for baguettes. Recipe by Emily Buehler in folk school baking class. I measure by grams and make fabulous baguettes every time!
  • 1 3/4cups sprouted wheat flour
  • 1 1/4cups water
  • 1pinch yeast
  • 2 1/2cups sprouted wheat flour
  • all poolish
  • 1cup water
  • 3/4tsp yeast
  • 2tsp salt
  1. Mix poolish the night before (it rises for 12-14 hours in 70 degree room). Cover well with plastic wrap.
  2. Mix dough (using glass, ceramic, or stainless bowl) . Weigh out water separately Weigh flour, measure yeast and mix into flour Add poolish and most of water; rest of water depends on dough stickiness. (lean toward sticky). Blend ingredients enough to get all of flour incorporated.
  3. Let dough sit for 30 minutes (this is called autoleasing). Cover dough with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  4. Remove dough from bowl onto floured counter or kneading board. Pat down to pop bubbles. Sprinkle salt onto dough.
  5. Knead dough until strong but flexible (Windowpane test is a good indicator. See baking tips for this month). This will take 12–15 minutes by hand.
  6. Oil your cleaned bowl and place dough (turn to coat both sides) into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until poofy (about 1 hour for 75 degree dough).
  7. (Optional step) Place dough on kneading board and punch down . Fold 4 times (don’t knead) and place back in bowl for 2nd rise (about 1–1 ½ hours).
  8. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. For best baking results let oven preheat for 1 hour, especially if you've placed a baking stone (pizza stone) in oven.
  9. (Optional step) Divide dough in half and pre-shape into baguettes. Cover and let them rest until relaxed (about 15–20 minutes).
  10. Shape dough (final tightening of dough into baguette shape).
  11. Place baguettes onto parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and rise somewhere warm until full of gas (about 45 mintues).
  12. Score (cut) the dough and steam it by wetting the surface (I use a spray bottle of water).
  13. Quickly put dough into oven and turn temperature to 460 degrees.
  14. Bake 20-25 minutes. DO NOT open oven door for first 15 minutes.
  15. At 20 minutes test for doneness by inserting a thermometer into center of bread. Should read 190 – 206 degrees.
  16. Remove bread from oven. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack and let cool before slicing