Sourdough bread doesn’t just come in large loaves and rounds. Sourdough also works up wonderfully into buns, rolls, grissini and my personal favorite, mini-baguettes.
Once I started baking bread on a regular basis, commercially prepared bread just became unpalatable – too many preservatives, too little real bread flavor. So in addition to making loaves, I started making little baguettes that are perfect for hearty sandwiches or crostini.
This particular recipe is adapted from the most popular recipe ever on my Seed to Pantry blog, Best Ever Sourdough Oatmeal Bread. In fact, it has been so popular it was the first recipe I posted here on Mother Earth News. For this baguette version I added sunflower seeds and golden flaxseeds. Any other seeds would work well here too. Experiment with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and even pumpkin seeds. One note, adding nuts, fruits or seeds to sourdough breads will slow down the rising process. Thus the baguettes are much heartier than anything purchased at the grocery store, and not as soft as the original sourdough oatmeal recipe.
It really isn’t difficult to make your own sourdough starter. You can use the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough.
2 cups sourdough starter
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp sea salt
3 tbsp honey
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp golden flaxseed
Start with an active, bubbly sourdough starter. In a large bowl combine all ingredients until a soft, loose dough forms. Cover and let sit 30 minutes.
Knead dough 5 - 10 minutes or until dough is smooth. The dough will still be quite wet. That's ok if you are using a stand mixer. If you are kneading by hand you may need to add a little more flour to keep the dough from sticking. Just add as little as possible so the dough stays soft and loose.
Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 - 4 hours. The mixture will be a bit puffy, but you probably won’t see a doubling of the dough.
Cut dough into 8 pieces. Gently pat each piece into a rectangle. Fold one long side towards the middle, then fold the other long side towards the middle. Now gently fold the rectangle again, enclosing the long open edge. It seems like the pieces are too small to do this, but they aren’t! Fold the short ends towards the middle until they are just touching and gently shape the loaves until they are the desired size.
Let rise on parchment for 1 -2 hours. To keep the loaves rising up instead of spreading, I pinched the parchment pulling it up, thus forcing the baguettes to rise up not out. Additional step-by-step photos can be found over on the Hestia’s Kitchen blog.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, before baking quickly score the loaves with a razor blade or sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
When done, remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This resting period is important to let the crumb set and lets the bread slice evenly.
Stuff the baguettes with roasted eggplant, red bell peppers, and broccoli, Feta cheese, and olives. Top with extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper for a non-traditional picnic treat.