I have baked and blogged a few different variations on Baguette, the classic French baguette, the Italian version and multigrain baguettes, but, rather surprisingly, this is the first time I published a whole wheat baguette recipe, and this really is a wonderful bread to bake at home. Like most whole wheat breads the water content for this whole wheat baguette is relatively high with a hydration of 78%. This can make the dough a little sticky at first if you are kneading by hand but the dough develops quickly and becomes more manageable. Try not to add too much extra flour during the kneading and you will be rewarded with a softer interior in your final baguette. The whole wheat flour is pre-fermented with water and yeast for 12 hours and then used with regular bread flour to make the final dough. These easy whole wheat baguettes are wonderfully crunchy and crusty, and the baguette crumb is soft with a rich wheat flavour. The sourdough is added purely for a little flavour in this yeast dough and could be left out if you do not have a starter culture ready to use.
Whole wheat baguette recipe
Ingredients and method for 4-5 baguettes
350g whole wheat flour
1g instant dried yeast
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the pre-ferment until well combined and the flour is fully hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 8-12h.
25g strong bread flour ( or german 550 flour)
5g of whole wheat sour dough starter culture.
Mix the sourdough ingredients, cover and leave to ferment 8-12 hours.
750g strong bread flour (or german 550 flour)
10g instant dried yeast
1. Mix the pre-ferment dough, sour dough (if using) and the rest of the water. Then add the rest of the flour, yeast and salt and mix until well combined.
2. Knead with the dough hook of your electric mixer or by hand for 10 minutes. Finish the kneading by hand by stretching and folding the dough over several times. This will strengthen the dough and help it keep a good shape while proving and baking.
3. Form the dough into a tight ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
4. Turn out the risen dough and gently deflate it. Divide into 5 roughly equally sized pieces ( or 6 if you prefer thinner baguettes). Dust each piece liberally with semolina and stretch and shape each dough piece into a log shape. Click here, for a great description of how to shape your dough into baguettes. Cover your bakers peel or sheet in semolina and then place each log of dough well spaced out onto the peel or sheet. You will probably need to use 2 or 3 baking trays. leave the baguettes to re-rise for about 45 minutes. Pre-heat your oven now to 250 degrees, if you using a baking stone it needs to be fully pre-heated as well. Also place a roasting tray of water on the oven floor to provide steam during baking.
5. Once the baguettes have re-risen, make 0.5cm deep diagonal cuts down each loaf. This will help the loaves to rise evenly in the oven.
6. Slide the loaves off your bakers peel onto your heated stone or baking trays and bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 210 degrees and bake for a further 25 minutes or until your desired brownness.
7. Leave to cool on wire rack until slicing open and enjoying.