Ok I just realized that Thanksgiving is next week! W-H-A-T?! How did that happen? Where did November go? Take that back-- where did September and August go?
Have you planned your Thanksgiving meal yet? Are you a traditionalist or are you trying something new this year? At my parents' house we typically follow the same recipes but in their old age they are becoming more adventuresome so we are trying out a few new things this year as well. Don't worry I'll be sure to share everything with you.
Speaking of new things, my love affair with freshly baked bread is continuing to flourish. I'm currently making my way through this cookbook from King Arthur Flour dedicated to whole grain baking (it will take me some time since it is a giant book!). The first recipe I tried was these baguettes. I mentioned yesterday that I served them with pulled pork when my folks were visiting ad they really liked them. I also dunked them in soup, toasted slices and slathered them with peanut butter, and made them into garlic bread, enjoying each and every bite. You can store them (I still have one baguette left) in the freezer and they reheat very well, so definitely make the whole batch.
You'll note that the recipe from start to finish takes three days because there are two overnight steps. They are totally worth it though; I'll certainly be making this recipe again!
Whole Wheat Baguettes (from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cool water
pinch of instant yeast
All of pre-ferment
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp cool water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
Mix the pre-ferment ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight at room temperature.
Transfer the pre-ferment to a larger bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon until you cannot mix it anymore. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is cohesive, about 7-10 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise 3-4 hours. Approximately every hour, gently deflate the dough and turn it over.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 pieces. Shape each piece into a flattened oval. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Starting with one piece of dough, fold in half lengthwise and then seal the edges. Flatten and fold and seal again. With the seam side down, gently roll the dough into a log that is about 16 inches long. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. Place the logs on the prepared pans. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove from fridge and let the loaves rest at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 425 F about 30 minutes before baking.
Uncover the loaves and place the baking sheets on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18 minutes. Tent the baguettes with foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Turn off the oven, crack it open and allow the baguettes to cool complete in the oven.
Use immediately, or cover with aluminum foil and freeze. To refresh, thaw if frozen, bake wrapped in aluminum foil for approximately 10 minutes at 350 F.
Makes 3 loaves.