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How Can I Make Sourdough Baguettes or Rolls

Are you craving the delicious taste of homemade sourdough baguettes or rolls? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Making sourdough baguettes or rolls is as easy as pie, or should I say, as easy as kneading dough! With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to create mouthwatering bread that will make you feel like part of a warm and welcoming community.

So, put on your apron and get ready to embark on a baking adventure that will fill your home with the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread. Get ready to impress your friends and family with your baking skills because, in no time, you’ll be enjoying the satisfaction of biting into a crusty, tangy, and oh-so-delicious sourdough baguette or roll.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Experiment with flavor variations like herbs, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted garlic.
  • Ensure the sourdough starter is active and ready to be used in the dough by discarding half and feeding it with equal parts flour and water.
  • Master kneading techniques to create a well-developed dough that is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky.
  • Achieve a light and chewy texture by allowing the dough to undergo a slow rise during bulk fermentation.

Gather Your Ingredients

To make sourdough baguettes or rolls, gather the necessary ingredients. Start by collecting your basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, and of course, your sourdough starter.

For that irresistible crust, you’ll want to incorporate techniques that achieve a crispy texture. One method is to create steam in your oven by placing a pan of water on the bottom rack. This moisture helps develop a beautiful, golden crust. Another technique is to brush your dough with water before baking, creating a steamy environment within the oven. Don’t forget to score the tops of your baguettes or rolls, allowing them to expand and form that classic shape.

Now, let’s talk about adding different flavors to your creations. You can experiment with herbs like rosemary or thyme, or try incorporating ingredients like olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted garlic for a savory twist. For a touch of sweetness, consider adding cinnamon and raisins or even chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless.

Activate Your Sourdough Starter

Once you have gathered your ingredients, it’s time to activate your sourdough starter. Activating your starter is a crucial step in the bread-making process, as it ensures that your dough will rise properly and develop that distinct sourdough flavor.

To activate your sourdough starter, begin by taking it out of the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature. This typically takes about an hour or two. Once it has reached room temperature, discard about half of the starter and feed it with equal parts flour and water. For example, if you have 100 grams of starter, discard 50 grams and feed it with 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. Mix it well to incorporate the ingredients.

Now, cover the container with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for about 4-8 hours, or until it becomes bubbly and doubles in size.

If you encounter any issues with your starter, such as it not rising or smelling off, it’s important to troubleshoot the problem. This could be caused by factors such as using chlorinated water or not feeding the starter enough. By understanding and addressing these issues, you can ensure that your sourdough starter is active and ready to be used in your baguettes or rolls.

Mix Your Dough

To mix your dough for sourdough baguettes or rolls, begin by combining your activated sourdough starter with flour, water, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Follow these steps to ensure a successful dough:

  1. Measure accurately: Use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients precisely. This will ensure consistent results and a well-balanced dough.
  2. Incorporate gradually: Add the flour and water to the mixing bowl gradually, alternating between the two. This helps prevent clumps and ensures even hydration throughout the dough.
  3. Kneading techniques: Once all the ingredients are combined, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough forward, then fold it back onto itself. Repeat this process for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky.
  4. Troubleshooting dough consistency: If the dough feels too dry, add a small amount of water (1 tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the desired consistency. On the other hand, if the dough is too sticky, sprinkle a little flour and knead it in until it becomes manageable.
Also Read:  How Do Different Types of Flour Affect My Sourdough Bread?

By following these steps and mastering the kneading techniques, you’ll create a well-developed dough that’s perfect for delicious sourdough baguettes or rolls.

Remember to troubleshoot the dough consistency as needed to achieve the best results. You’re on your way to becoming a skilled sourdough baker!

Perform Bulk Fermentation

After mixing your dough, it’s time to move on to the next step: performing bulk fermentation. This crucial step allows the dough to develop flavor and texture, resulting in delicious and airy baguettes or rolls.

During bulk fermentation, the dough undergoes a slow rise, allowing the wild yeast in the sourdough starter to ferment and produce carbon dioxide. This process creates air pockets in the dough, giving it a light and chewy texture.

To perform bulk fermentation, cover your dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for several hours. The duration of bulk fermentation depends on various factors such as room temperature, dough hydration, and recipe.

It’s important to monitor the dough and perform some troubleshooting if necessary. If your dough isn’t rising, check the temperature and make sure it’s in the optimal range for fermentation. Additionally, if the dough isn’t developing enough flavor, consider extending the bulk fermentation time.

The benefits of long bulk fermentation are numerous. Firstly, it allows the enzymes in the dough to break down complex sugars, resulting in a more digestible final product. Secondly, a longer fermentation time gives the dough a deeper and more complex flavor profile. Lastly, a well-developed dough will have better structure, resulting in a lighter and more evenly textured baguette or roll.

Shape Your Baguettes or Rolls

Shape your baguettes or rolls by gently stretching and folding the dough to create a tight and elongated shape. This step is crucial in achieving the classic appearance and texture of a baguette or roll.

Here are some different shaping techniques and troubleshooting tips to help you master the art of shaping your sourdough creations:

  1. Traditional Baguette Shaping: Divide the dough into equal portions and gently flatten each piece into a rectangle. Fold the top third down and press it firmly into the dough. Fold the bottom third up and press it firmly into the dough. Roll the dough tightly from one end to the other, sealing the seam with your fingertips.
  2. Bâtard Shaping: Divide the dough into equal portions and gently shape each piece into an oval. Fold the top third of the dough towards the center and press it firmly into the dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough towards the center and press it firmly into the dough. Roll the dough tightly from one end to the other, sealing the seam with your fingertips.
  3. Roll Shaping: Divide the dough into equal portions and gently shape each piece into a ball. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it back and forth using the palms of your hands, applying light pressure to create a cylindrical shape.
  4. Troubleshooting Common Shaping Mistakes: If your baguettes or rolls aren’t holding their shape or have uneven surfaces, make sure to properly seal the seams and roll the dough tightly. Additionally, avoid overworking the dough as it can lead to a dense texture.

By practicing these shaping techniques and troubleshooting any common mistakes, you’ll be able to create beautiful and delicious sourdough baguettes or rolls that will impress your friends and family.

Happy baking!

Proof Your Dough

To proof your dough, you’ll need to allow it to ferment and rise, developing the flavors and textures of the sourdough baguettes or rolls. Properly proofing your dough is crucial to achieving the perfect crust on your baked goods. So, how do you know if your dough is properly proofed? Well, there are a few indicators to look out for.

Firstly, the dough should visibly increase in size. It should double or even triple in volume during the proofing process. You can check this by gently pressing your finger into the dough. If the indentation slowly springs back, the dough is properly proofed. However, if the indentation remains, the dough needs more time to proof.

Another way to know if your dough is properly proofed is by observing its surface. A well-proofed dough will have a smooth and slightly shiny appearance. If the surface looks wrinkled or feels dry, it may be underproofed.

Now that you know how to determine if your dough is properly proofed, let’s discuss some tips for achieving a perfect crust on your baguettes or rolls. One important tip is to preheat your oven at a high temperature, around 450°F (230°C), and use a baking stone or a baking sheet to create a hot surface for your bread. This will help to develop a crispy crust.

Also Read:  Can I Bake Sourdough Bread on a Pizza Stone or Baking Steel?

Additionally, you can create steam in your oven to enhance crust formation. Simply place a shallow pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven while preheating. The steam generated will keep the crust moist and promote a beautiful golden color.

Remember to score your dough just before baking to allow steam to escape and prevent the bread from bursting. A few diagonal slashes on the surface of your baguettes or rolls will do the trick.

By following these tips and ensuring your dough is properly proofed, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect crust on your sourdough baguettes or rolls.

Happy baking!

Preheat Your Oven and Prepare Your Baking Surface

To achieve a perfect crust on your sourdough baguettes or rolls, start by preheating your oven and preparing your baking surface. Follow these tips to ensure the best results:

  1. Preheating your oven:
  • It’s crucial to properly preheat your oven for baking sourdough.
  • Set the temperature to the recommended level, usually around 450°F (230°C), and allow it to heat up for at least 30 minutes.
  • This ensures that your bread will have a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior.
  1. Choosing the right baking surface:
  • The choice of baking surface can greatly affect the outcome of your sourdough baguettes or rolls.
  • Options include baking stones, cast iron pans, or even preheated baking sheets.
  • Whatever you choose, make sure it’s preheated along with your oven to ensure even heat distribution and a crisp bottom crust.
  1. Using a baking stone:
  • Baking stones are known for their ability to retain heat and produce a crispy crust.
  • Place the stone in the oven during the preheating process and transfer your shaped baguettes or rolls directly onto the hot stone for baking.
  1. Using a cast iron pan:
  • If you don’t have a baking stone, a cast iron pan can be a great alternative.
  • Preheat the pan in the oven, then transfer your dough onto the hot pan for baking.
  • The cast iron will help create a golden, crispy crust.

Score Your Baguettes or Rolls

After preheating your oven and preparing your baking surface, the next step in making perfect sourdough baguettes or rolls is to score them. Scoring is the process of making shallow cuts on the surface of the dough before baking. This step is crucial as it allows the bread to expand properly during baking, creating a beautiful crust and ensuring an even rise.

There are different scoring techniques you can use to achieve different results. For baguettes, the classic score is a series of diagonal cuts along the length of the dough. This helps the bread to expand in a controlled manner, resulting in the traditional elongated shape. For rolls, you can use a simple cross or diamond pattern, which helps the dough rise evenly and creates a rustic appearance.

Proper scoring techniques are important for several reasons. Firstly, they allow the bread to release steam during baking, preventing it from becoming too dense or developing a gummy texture. Secondly, scoring helps to control the direction of expansion, ensuring a uniform rise and an attractive appearance. Lastly, scoring creates a weak point in the dough, allowing it to expand without tearing or bursting.

To score your baguettes or rolls, use a sharp blade or a bread lame. Make swift, confident cuts, ensuring that the blade is at a shallow angle to the dough. Experiment with different patterns and techniques to find the one that works best for you. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t as precise as you’d like. With time and practice, you’ll become an expert at scoring your sourdough baguettes and rolls.

Bake to Perfection

Start by preheating your oven to the recommended temperature for baking sourdough baguettes or rolls. This step is crucial to ensuring that your bread bakes evenly and develops a beautiful crust. Once your oven is preheated, it’s time to bake your sourdough creations to perfection.

Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

  1. Steam the oven: To get that crispy crust we all love, create steam in your oven during the first few minutes of baking. You can achieve this by placing a pan of hot water on the bottom rack or spraying water into the oven using a spray bottle.
  2. Rotate the pans: To ensure even baking, rotate your pans halfway through the baking time. This will prevent any hot spots in your oven from causing uneven browning.
  3. Check for doneness: Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your bread. For baguettes, it should reach around 200°F (93°C), while rolls should be around 190°F (88°C).
  4. Troubleshoot common issues: If your crust isn’t as crispy as desired, try baking for a few more minutes or increasing the oven temperature slightly. If the crust is too dark, you can cover the bread with aluminum foil during the last few minutes of baking.
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Enjoy Your Homemade Sourdough Baguettes or Rolls!

Enjoy your homemade sourdough baguettes or rolls by savoring the delightful flavors and textures that you created with your own hands. To achieve a crispy crust on your sourdough baguettes or rolls, follow these tips.

First, make sure your oven is preheated to a high temperature, around 450°F (230°C), and use a baking stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will help create a hot and even baking surface.

Second, create steam in the oven by placing a pan filled with water on the bottom rack or by spritzing the dough with water before placing it in the oven. The steam will keep the crust moist and result in a crispy exterior.

Lastly, avoid overbaking your bread. Bake the baguettes or rolls until they’re golden brown, with a crust that’s firm but not overly hard.

If you encounter any issues when making sourdough baguettes or rolls, here are some troubleshooting tips.

If your bread turns out too dense, it may be due to insufficient proofing or overproofing. Adjust the fermentation time accordingly to achieve the desired texture.

If your baguettes or rolls have a pale crust, increase the oven temperature and bake them a little longer. On the other hand, if the crust is too dark, reduce the oven temperature and cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through baking.

And if your dough doesn’t rise properly, check the freshness of your yeast or sourdough starter, and make sure the dough is kept in a warm and draft-free environment during the fermentation process.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your homemade sourdough baguettes or rolls are ready to be savored, shared, and enjoyed with loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Activate a Sourdough Starter?

To activate a sourdough starter, it typically takes around 5-7 days. During this time, you’ll need to feed it regularly to keep it healthy. Maintaining a healthy sourdough starter is crucial for making delicious baguettes or rolls.

Can I Use All-Purpose Flour Instead of Bread Flour for Sourdough Baguettes?

You can use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour for sourdough baguettes, but the texture and rise may be slightly different. Bread flour has higher protein content, which helps with gluten development and creates a chewier texture.

What Should the Texture of the Dough Feel Like During Bulk Fermentation?

During bulk fermentation, you want your dough to feel soft, elastic, and slightly sticky. It should be easy to stretch and fold. The fermentation time can vary, but generally, it takes around 3-4 hours at room temperature.

How Can I Prevent My Baguettes From Sticking to the Baking Surface?

To prevent your baguettes from sticking to the baking surface, try using alternative surfaces like a well-floured baking stone or a parchment-lined baking sheet. This will create a barrier between the dough and the surface, ensuring easy removal and a perfectly baked result.

How Long Should I Let My Sourdough Baguettes Cool Before Slicing?

Let your freshly baked sourdough baguettes cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the bread to set and the flavors to develop fully. Enjoy the crisp crust and soft interior!


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to make delicious sourdough baguettes or rolls from scratch. By following these detailed and precise instructions, you can now enjoy the satisfaction of baking your own homemade bread.

With the activation of your sourdough starter, the mixing and shaping of the dough, and the careful baking process, you can create perfectly crispy and flavorful baguettes or rolls.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to the wonderful taste of freshly baked sourdough bread!

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