This recipe calls for 2 of my most favorite things.
1. Sourdough starter. I got mine from King Arthur Flour and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I know you can make your own, but it was worth it to me to pay under $8 for something I love and use constantly.
2. Baguette pan. How did I EVER live without one? A baguette pan can single handedly turn an ordinary bake into an extraordinary bake. I make these baguettes all the time and I swear my hubby can smell them baking 5 miles away on his drive home from work. Yes, you could make these on an ordinary baking sheet. They might even be good. But I bet they won’t be AS good. 🙂
Did I convince you to go buy those 2? Excellent. Now we can both make these fabulous baguettes and when people swoon over them we can say with pride “I made them myself” 😉
These baguettes are soft, chewy, and oh so perfect. The Parmesan makes that crust even more delicious. And the sourdough is present, but definitely not over bearing. Now go bake.
PARMESAN SOURDOUGH BAGUETTES
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 cups sourdough starter
5 to 6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp instant yeast
4 tsp vital wheat gluten
Egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T water)
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Combine the water, starter, and 3 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Mix until smooth then add the salt, sugar, yeast, and gluten and mix until combined.
Add 2 more cups of flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add up to 1 more cup if needed, but remember dough should feel a little sticky. This makes for a lighter more tender loaf.
Knead the dough on a lightly greased counter for 5 minutes (or in your mixer if that’s what you’re using). Let it rest for about 5 minutes, then knead again for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and rest covered until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Gently deflate dough, then form into 3 baguettes (or 6 for skinnier baguettes). Shape into 18 inch loaves (I just formed mine to the length of my baguette pan). and place on a lightly greased baguette pan or baking sheet.
Let rise for 1 hour.
Brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Put on broil for a few additional minutes to give a darker, crisper crust.
Recipe slightly altered from King Arthur Flour