Kamut Demi-Baguettes + KoMo Mill Giveaway!

Baguettes are something I’ve had my sights on for some time and they’re also probably one of the most requested. I’m really happy these are the first ones to share here. These demi-baguettes are comprised of close to 50% whole grain, most of which is fresh milled kamut1, an ancient wheat variety. Kamut imparts a sweet and nutty flavor to this dough that contrasts beautifully with the baguette’s rustic and craggy crust. I’ve talked in the past about spelt which also has some of these characteristics, but kamut, to me, is even sweeter and also brings a very appealing creamy, yellow color to the crumb. The hallmark of a good baguette is a thin, crispy crust and ultra tender interior — I’d say this recipe yields just that, and more.

But first, let’s talk about the mill giveaway.

I’ve partnered with Pleasant Hill Grain to give away a brand new KoMo Classic electric grain mill to one lucky reader of The Perfect Loaf. I’m very excited about this giveaway; it’s the first one of its kind here, and I love the idea of getting more people into baking sourdough with fresh milled flour. Entry to the giveaway is at the bottom of this post, so read on and enter!
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Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafIn this post I explore a few new techniques to produce some truly delicious fresh milled kamut demi-baguettes. First, the dough is bulk fermented in the refrigerator (cold bulk) which adds flexibility to this recipe as the final proof can take place at a variety of times the second day. In addition, because the dough is cold and firm from being in the refrigerator, I find it much easier to handle when shaped. Second, the dough will undergo its final proof on the counter at a warm temperature on a couche, or baker’s linen. This final proof for the dough is typically between 1-2 hours and using the famed “poke test,” we’re able to determine when the dough should be baked. Finally, I utilize a stiff preferment to bring more control to the fermentation in this dough and add additional strength.

First, let’s talk about kamut and the other grains used in this recipe.

Flour Selection

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafI’ve always liked the idea of using a high percentage of whole grains when making baguettes. This recipe, at close to fifty percent whole grain, is more than I had originally planned for — the fresh milled kamut tastes so good I couldn’t help but continuing to increase the percentage. The surprising thing is, when eating one, you’d be hard pressed to say there’s this much whole grain packed in there. The kamut flour is naturally sweet and has a wonderful yellowish hue to it (I find it somewhat similar to durum) — these things directly translate to the finished, baked baguette. And all of these wonderful qualities seem to be amplified even further since the flour is fresh  milled hours before mixing.

In addition to the whole grain kamut, there’s also a portion of red whole wheat in this recipe. I use this red wheat mostly in the levain build (outlined below) but it does bring a depth of flavor to the dough, even in such a small percentage. This red wheat could be replaced by either more kamut, another grain such as spelt, or replaced entirely with white flour.

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafThe kamut milled for this post was done exclusively on my KoMo mill just like the one in the giveaway below. I find that milling such a large quantity of raw kamut berries does tend to heat up the resulting flour right out of the mill. To offset this, I place the required kamut berries in the freezer a couple hours before milling. Additionally, I like to mill all the grain needed for the recipe at the same time I build my levain, this gives it several hours to cool and reach room temperature (if necessary).

To keep the milled flour cool, place the kamut berries in the freezer

Now that we have our flour selected, let’s discuss a few new techniques for making these kamut demi-baguettes.

Techniques for Shaping and Proofing Demi-Baguettes

Shaping Baguettes

Lots of complicated thoughts rolled around my head when I first attempted shaping baguettes, as is true with anything with bread, really. Over time thinking gives way to muscle memory and thoughtlessness, a true learned skill. The best way to get good at shaping these is to simply do them over, and over.

There are a myriad of ways to shape these, and each baker has their preference, but I’ve stuck to the method outlined by Jeffrey Hamelman in his seminal book, BREAD2. This approach imparts significant structure to the dough and this is beneficial when working with this formula — the higher hydration dough can be sticky and a bit slack. This shaping method helps keep the shape tight through its warm proof all the way to the oven.

With this style, I see five steps to shaping a baguette:

  1. Starting with a preshaped round, first fold the top half down to the middle and seal (upper left image, below)
  2. Flip the dough 180° and fold the new top down to the middle again, slightly overlapping the first fold (upper right image, below)
  3. Using your left hand place your thumb horizontally with the middle seam and, using your fingers on the left hand, pick up and curl the top edge of the dough up and over your thumb. At each curl, use your right palm to lightly seal this curl to the middle of the dough. Work your way from the right side of the dough all the way to the left. Note that your right hand is only sealing the dough with the palm, it does nothing else (lower left image, below)
  4. Flip the dough 180° and repeat step 3 above, but this time seal the dough all the way to the bottom firmly against the bench
  5. Using one hand, start rolling the dough away and toward your body in the middle, then transition to two hands and roll the dough back and forth as evenly as possible until the desired length is achieved. Note that during this rolling it’s best to keep your finger tips and palms in contact with the bench at all times

The image below shows steps 1, 2, and 3. Starting in the upper left (1), upper right (2), lower left (3) and then lower right (dough resting before step 4).Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafIt’s worth showing more detail on the sealing portion of this technique (steps 3 and 4). The images below show the second set of sealing, that is, after the 4th image above and the dough has been rotated 180° to finish the shape before rolling.Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafKamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafKamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafOnce you have sealed up the entire length, you can now begin step 5: rolling out the cylinder to the desired length (for me, 14″ long). First, use one hand in the middle of the cylinder to start rolling and create the initial starting taper. You want it to be thicker in the middle with a gradual taper to the very ends. Then, as you’re rolling with one hand transition into using two hands next to each other and continue rolling back and forth to thin, and gradually taper, the cylinder.

Be sure to keep your finger tips and palms in contact with the bench as you roll back and forth, this helps create consistent taper on each side of the dough.Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloaf

Preparing a Proofing Surface

This dough undergoes most of bulk fermentation in the fridge, meaning we’ll be finishing off the proof for the dough at room temperature on the counter. To do this we need a few items to ensure the dough holds shape and doesn’t spread:

Gather a wooden proofing board (mine is 18” x 26”), or cutting board, to serve as a proofing surface. Spread out a couche3, or large kitchen towel, on the proofing surface.

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloaf

Tightly roll one end (left side, above), the starting end, to provide a stiff “book end.” Thoroughly dust the couche where the dough will rest and, after shaping each baguette, place the dough parallel to this rolled end. Then, pick up the couche at the top and bottom and form a crease at the right side. Essentially this will create a well where the proofing dough will rest. Continue placing shaped baguette one after the other, seam side up, on the couche while folding it until all pieces have been placed (see the above photo). At the ends, you can then drape the couche up and over the dough to keep everything in shape and covered.

Fresh Milled Kamut Demi-Baguette Formula

Traditional baguettes are longer than the demi-baguettes outlined here, but in a home oven we’re limited by space. I tested varying lengths and dough weights for these baguettes and settled on a 14” length (the depth of my Baking Steel baking surface) and 300g weight. At a dough weight of 300g, these are thin but they still have substance and are perfect for sandwiches. I started testing these at 350g per baguette, and they were almost like mini-batards rather than demi-baguettes. However, if you’d rather them be wider and have more heft, increase the weight of each until the result is to your liking.

The hydration of this dough is relatively high for baguettes, but the fresh milled kamut can take on quite a bit of water before becoming over hydrated. When mixing, you might want to hold back some water until you’re sure your dough can handle the entirety.

Vitals

Total Dough Weight 2000 grams
Pre-fermented Flour 4.00%
Hydration 83%
Yield 6 x 300 gram baguettes (approximately 14″ long)

Levain Build (Stiff)

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Percentage
22g Mature liquid starter (100% hydration) 50%
22g Whole Wheat Flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat) 50%
22g White Bread Flour @ ~11.5% protein, malted (Giusto’s Artisan Baker’s Flour) 50%
22g H2O @ room temperature 50%

Dough Formula

Target final dough temperature (FDT) is 78°F.

Note that the baker’s percentages listed below are with respect to the final dough ingredients and do not take into account the levain.

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Percentage
373g Fresh Milled Kamut (Khorasan Wheat) 36.46%
352g White Bread Flour, ~11.5% Protein (Giusto’s Artisan Baker’s Flour) 34.38%
213g High Gluten Bread Flour, ~13.5% Protein (Central Milling High Mountain) 20.83%
85g Whole Wheat Flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat, Fine) 8.33%
864g H2O @ 80°F 84.38%
3g Diastatic Malt Powder (Optional) 0.26%
25g Salt 2.40%
85g Mature, stiff levain (See levain build, above) 8.33%

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloaf

Method

1. Levain – 11:00 a.m.

Build the stiff levain (everything listed in the Levain Build section above) in the morning and store somewhere around 80°F ambient until ripe, about 4 hours.Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloaf

2. Autolyse – 2:00 p.m.

Mix flour and water (reserve 100g water for mix, later) in a bowl until all dry bits are hydrated. Cover bowl and store somewhere warm, near the levain, for 1 hour.

3. Mix – 3:00 p.m.

Breakup the called for stiff levain on top of the resting dough in the mixing bowl. Add the salt and the reserved mixing water. Mix until well combined.

Dump the dough onto the counter and slap and fold the dough (French fold) for about 5-6 minutes, just until the dough starts to show signs of a smooth surface. If you aren’t comfortable with slap/fold method, or don’t like it, you can do stretch and folds in the bowl until the dough tightens up and becomes harder to stretch out and fold over. Transfer the dough back to the mixing bowl and cover.

Let the dough rest 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, dump the dough out to the counter and mix (slap/fold) for an additional 2-5 minutes until the dough starts showing signs its catching air and has tightened up. We’re not looking for full gluten development, but enough development so the dough only needs 2-3 sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation.

Transfer the dough to a tub or thick-walled bowl for bulk fermentation.

4. Warm Bulk Fermentation – 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

At 78-82°F ambient temperature, this portion of bulk fermentation will go for 2 hours.

Perform a total of 3 sets of stretch and folds during bulk, spaced out by 30 minutes. After the last set, let the dough rest for the last 30 minutes then cover the bulk container and place in the refrigerator until the next day.

5. Cold Bulk Fermentation – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. (next day)

The duration of this cold bulk fermentation step is very flexible. The dough can continue to rest in the fridge several more hours (or perhaps even more) after I have listed here, if desired. Take it out and proceed with the rest of the process when convenient.Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafThe image above shows my dough at the end of the warm bulk (left) and after pulling the dough out the next day after the cold bulk (right). Even though the dough was in the fridge you can still see plenty of rise and activity in the dough. Note that in the right image above, the area in the middle pushed up and pressed against the plastic wrap.

6. Divide & Preshape – 8:00 a.m.

Take the cold bulk fermentation container out of the fridge, uncover, and dump the dough onto an un-floured work surface. The dough will feel very cold and stiff, and because of this, you will not need much (or any) bench flour to divide and preshape it into rounds.

Using a scale, divide the mass of dough into six 300g pieces (you might have a bit of dough remaining). Using your hands, gently preshape the dough pieces into rounds. I prefer to gently preshape this dough. It will be cold, stiff, and challenging to shape into a super tight ball — but this is not necessary. The strength from the stiff dough will help hold its shape long enough for it to warm up and relax, right before final shaping.

Let the rounds rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.

7. Shape – 8:30 a.m.

After the 30 minute rest the dough should be warmer to the touch and slightly relaxed. If the dough still feels very cold, firm, and it hasn’t relaxed at all, give it another 5-10 minutes.

See the sections preparing a proofing surface (couche) and shaping baguettes near the beginning of this post for instructions on shaping this dough.

8. Proof en Couche – 8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. (appx. 1.5 hours)

Again, refer to the section near the beginning of this post on preparing a proofing surface for details on how to proof this dough.

Use the “poke test” (when poked, the dough slowly fills back the indention) to determine when the dough is ready for the oven. This was approximately 1.5 hours for me at room temperature (~75°F to 78°F).

Note that you’ll have to preheat your oven at some point when your dough is proofing.

9. Bake – Preheat oven at 9:15 a.m., Bake at 10:15 a.m.

Preheat your oven for one hour at 500°F.

One challenge with these baguettes is you’ll likely have to bake these in two batches. If you have two racks each with a baking stone (or Baking Steel), you could utilize both surfaces and bake all six simultaneously. My method is to break the bake up into two sessions: in the first, three are loaded and baked. Then, the remaining three baguettes are left on the couche, folded up gently, and placed into the refrigerator until it’s time to start the second baking session.

To start the first baking session, ready a pizza peel lined with parchment paper. I use one large piece to cover the entire peel, which is exactly the same width as my baking surface.

Grab the right end of the couche and pull it out so the piece of dough moves away from the rest. Then, using a dough transfer board (a smaller pizza peel or small cutting board could also work), place the board to the inside of the baguette (the side closest the rest of the dough pieces). With the hand holding the couche, quickly flip the dough onto the peel by tugging up and slightly over the transfer board. The baguette should now be seam side down on the transfer board.Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafKamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafSlide the dough off the transfer board and onto the prepared pizza peel with parchment paper, seam side down, and continue until you have three pieces (see below).Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafOnce all three baguettes are on the parchment paper, score each with three (or more, or less) slashes. Each slash should fairly shallow to the dough, and the beginning of one should overlap about 20% of the previous. Scoring these takes practice!

Slide the parchment paper with dough onto your baking surface. Due to their smaller mass, these baguettes will take less time to bake than a large hearth loaf. Once the dough is loaded, steam the oven and turn it down to 475°F. Bake for 20 minutes at 475°F with steam. Then, remove the steaming pans, vent the oven, and turn it down to 450°F. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until done.

Cool on a rack and repeat for the remaining three baguettes from the fridge.

I steamed my oven in my usual way, described here in my post on how to steam your home oven for baking.

Conclusion

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafThese fresh milled kamut demi-baguettes are mouthwatering. As you eat your way through one of these (and believe me, that’s an easy task) you would never think they’re comprised of almost 50% whole grain. They are sweet, nutty, tender, and light in the hand. The craggy crust plays well with the interior flavors and textures and provides just the right crunch at each bite — the perfect contrast.

Crust

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafThe goal for a baguette is a very thin, crackly crust. The crust is slightly thicker than with an all-white flour baguette, but this is not a bad thing. I like the extra crunch and the contrast between the rustic crust and creamy crumb is further emphasized. However, because of their shape and lack of moisture-retaining mass, they will dry out quicker than, say, a 1 kg batard. Therefore, these really are at peak eating quality the day they are baked.

Crumb

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafOpen, light, creamy — I couldn’t want anything more. Through sufficient and proper fermentation, this recipe achieves the tender and open interior indicative of a great baguette. When cut open, the yellow hue of the crumb is visually striking against the well-baked crust. It’s a beautiful sight.

Taste

The flavor of fresh milled kamut shines through prominently in these demi-baguettes — a sweetness not normally found in such high percentage of whole grain. I find this grain to be the perfect addition to a baguette dough. This sweetness, in combinations with a subtle nutty flavor, plays well against the meager hint of sourness present — a very balanced flavor profile.

The KoMo is able to mill finely milled kamut that brings loads of flavor and nutrition to these demi-baguettes. As you know, I love using fresh milled flour and this ancient grain is the perfect addition to this dough.


KoMo Grain Mill Giveaway

Kamut Demi-baguettes via @theperfectloafThis is the first giveaway here at The Perfect Loaf and I couldn’t think of a better item than a KoMo Classic grain mill — the same mill used in this post and the one I’ve been using for a couple months. It’s a fantastic little mill that oozes quality; from the handmade wood housing to the intuitive controls, its simple operation means you can quickly go from whole berries to flour. With a quick turn of the top hopper, you can easily adjust the grind from fine flour to coarse, cracked grain. In the past few months I’ve found myself pulling out this mill frequently, whether it’s for a small percentage of red whole wheat or a 100% whole wheat loaf.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run until the end of next weekend and is limited to one entry per person. Additionally, it’s limited to legal residents of the United States that are 18 years and older. One winner will be randomly selected from the entrants using the widget above.

Thanks so much to Pleasant Hill Grain for sponsoring this giveaway. Good luck and buon appetito!





  1. Kamut is the commercial name for khorasan wheat.

  2. Additionally, I recently attended a week-long class taught by him in Washington where we all practiced this method.

  3. A couche, or baker’s linen, is a large rectangle of slightly-stiff linen that can be rolled and folded to hold proofing dough in shape.

  • Kim Findlay

    Nice looking loaves! And thanks for the giveaway! Good luck everybody!

  • Yael Levi

    Thank you, as always, for your wonderful blog entry! (I can’t seem to find where the entry is for the giveaway?)

    • You’re very welcome! The entry widget is at the bottom of the post in the KoMo Giveaway section. It should show up for you, not sure why it wouldn’t!

      • Yael Levi

        Thank you…I found it 🙂

  • pamela regan

    Beautiful photos! You have inspired me to get back to bread baking after taking a break due to work schedule. I have been able to purchase red whole wheat freshly ground at our farmers market. The kamut sounds interesting. Thanks for such a great post.

    • Thank you! That’s really great you have a local option for fresh milled grain, the flavor and nutrition really is worth seeking it out. Happy baking, Pamela!

  • Peggy Witter

    Thank you for the great post and giveaway!!! Now that we are mostly settled into the new place I was ready to start up my new starter only to discover my mill may have given up the ghost. Thankfully we can get good bread at the farmer’s market until we decide how to proceed… new mill versus buying already milled flour (not ideal but the budget will make the final determination.) Have a great week!

    • You bet, Peggy! Mills can be expensive but I find sourcing a high quality one (such as this KoMo) is worth it, they should last a long, long time. This mill also has quite a long warranty. Likewise, have a great week!

  • margie

    Maestro!
    Beautiful blog, great inspiration, & generous give away!
    Thanks Maurizio & Pleasant Hill Grain.

    • Thanks so much Margie, much appreciated! Next up with kamut will have to be OKC 🙂

  • Ann

    This looks gorgeous, but would it be possible to half the recipe?
    If so, would all the instructions still apply.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks, Ann! Yes, you should be able to halve this with no problem. All the instructions will remain the same but I might suggest still making a levain at the quantity listed in the Levain Build section, just use half of what you build in the dough. The reason is making half of the levain specified is a very, very small amount. I find building it a little larger helps it keep its warm temp and ferment a little more predictably.

      Happy baking!

  • thomas murphy

    Thanks for the detailed walk through and I love the grain exploration.

    • You bet, thanks for the comment and happy baking!

  • massimo Parisi

    Complimenti Maurizio per questa ricetta.La proverò al più presto .Come sai la baguette non è un pane facile da fare ,bisogna avere esperienza ed io sono riuscito a migliorarmi ed ora le mie baguette hanno molto successo.Preferisco anche io la lievitazione in frigo per tutta la notte anche se uso lievito compresso invece del lievito madre.Ti manderò qualche foto.
    Aspetto una tua ricetta con pane di semola (Altamura) o di (Matera).

    • Grazie, molto apprezzato! Sì, le baguette prendono la pratica ma sono così degne. Amo la crosta sottile e gli interni teneri – fanno grandi panini. Ho avuto Altamura pane sulla mia lista per un po ‘… sarò lì!

  • Ed M

    Yes! I am looking forward to trying this out soon. I’ve been looking at various baguette recipes and they all seem to be a bit more complicated with interim starters etc but your method looks very clear and easy to follow.

    Did you sift out any bran from the home milled grains? You have lots of very open air pockets which is impressive especially if 36% is home milled and included all the bran.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks, Ed, I hope you give these a try they really are fantastic. No, I didn’t do any sifting in this recipe at all. The fresh milled kamut was used in total! Hope you enjoy them — happy baking!

  • Christie Lynn

    I am so looking forward to trying this baguette recipe. I’ve got all the grains required! I’ve been using the wild yeast blog’s recipe for baguettes which requires commercial yeast. I can’t wait to give this one a go! Thank you so much for testing, tweaking, and sharing. Hopefully I win the mill too! I have a hand mill but I’d love the plug in kind, WooHoo!

    • Excellent, Christie! These are some really, really great naturally leavened baguettes, if I do say so. The crust is a tad thicker due to the whole grains but not in a bad way at all. I’m going to try and adapt my process here for a 100% white flour baguette and see if the texture changes — I have a feeling they will be super nice as well.

      Let me know how it goes when you give these a shot and good luck on the mill entry!

  • Miriam

    You’ve made some beautiful bread there Maurizio Thanks for such an inspiring post. Lots of great information as always in addition to some very helpful baguette shaping photos and narration. I like the cold fermentation as there is not always room to fit the couche and proofing board in my refrigerator. Love working with Khorasan and I will now have to give these demi-baguettes a try. Got my name in the hat for the KoMo Grain Mill too. Thanks for helping us all become better bread bakers!

    • Thank you so much Miriam! The cold bulk here is really a flexible thing. Not only is the timing more forgivable the dough is much, much easier to handle when it’s chilled down and firm. After working on this recipe for a while now I’ve fallen in love with khorasan, the flavor and texture is so, so good. Good luck on the mill entry and I’m so glad to share here — I’m happy to hear my posts have helped!

  • jinal contractor

    Excellence, Maurizio! Also, fine use of wholegrain here. This bread is on my list, next!

    • Thank you so much Jinal! These baguettes are really fantastic. The khorasan wheat is new to me but I’ve baked with it enough now in testing this recipe that I can firmly say that, along with spelt, it’s in my pantry for good. Let me know how these turn out for ya and happy baking!

  • ReneeR

    I was waiting for the kind of giveaway where you have to explain what you’d do with the mill if you won it 🙂
    Great looking recipe as usual, thank you!

    • That’s the best kind of giveaway, right!? Thanks so much and happy baking!

  • Vincent Nylin

    Thanks for the shot at the mill. Those baguettes sound wonderful.

    I am fond of my steam injection system though. 😉

    • Thanks, Vincent. These really are some delicious baguettes! And the mill is pretty fantastic, too. Oh how I wish I had a steam-injected oven… Perhaps one day. Enjoy!

      • Vincent Nylin

        I made it right before the freezer proofer. Used a tea Kettle, cork, copper tubing, few fittings and some high temp silicone hose. Works good.

        • Ah yes, I love this idea. I’ve looked into something similar for my home oven but it’s not possible with the way it’s installed. Perhaps in the future I can rig something like this!

  • Jackie

    Wow …. Beautiful Bread! Thanks for the chance at winning the KoMo Mill.

    • Thanks, Jackie — and good luck on the drawing!

  • Karen Sievertson

    This looks amazing. I love breads I can make with a cold ferment since my schedule is crazy and varies. Plus, I was considering milling my own flours. Now I might just get to give it a try.
    Thanks!

    • The cold bulk really adds flexibility in this recipe. What I like is that it really feels like a 50/50 split over two days instead of a lot of work the first day, and minimal the second. It’s a nice change and also a useful tool if you’re baking other things because you can tend to other baking items while this dough bulks in the fridge. Enjoy!

  • Rosa

    Hi Maurizio, I am so happy and excited to make these baguettes and the amount is just perfect six of them really pleased on this recipe that you have posted I’ve been waiting so long for you to make baguettes now you have and now I am really really appreciated that you have they look so good and I am going to be making them soon xoxo

  • Thanks for this man. Picked up a few tips and using a slightly different recipe (don’t have time to do such a long bulk), I got first batch in the oven. They’re looking good! Don’t know how I never thought of putting parchment paper to help with loading.

    • Right on, that sounds great. The parchment makes it super easy to slide these guys in there instead of having to load one at a time (I tried that before and it was a mess). Hope they turn out well, Ivan!

    • Yep, turned out really awesome – thanks for the inspiration! My oldest took one baguette to school to share with friends. He’s so excited.

  • Ann

    Thank you Maurizio for your swift reply.
    Can I enquire, do you ever prepare a sourdough bread with traditional kneading by hand or domestic machine?
    I ask this because we have a television programme here in the U.K. ( The Great British Bake Off) which is very popular and seems to produce delicious bread which is always kneaded by hand owing to the time factor.
    I wondered your thoughts on this.

    Ann

    • I make dough both ways, by hand and with a small home spiral mixer (and sometimes even my KitchenAid mixer for things like pizza dough and brioche). There are benefits to each, of course, and it depends on your end goal, how much dough you’re making, and whether you even have a machine to begin with. I use my spiral mixer when I’m mixing up a large batch of dough (4kg+) but I always do it by hand when mixing smaller batches (this baguette recipe, for example).

      The spiral mixer does do a more efficient job of mixing but I find when the dough mass is too small, it’s better to do it by hand. I’ve also found that in general, if you mix too long in the machine the end result will be less tender and a more “stiff” crumb.

      So, there are pros and cons to each method — in the end use what works best for ya!

  • Mita T

    Namaste Are we from India , Mumbai too eligible for this contest? As it would fantastic

    • Hey, Mita! Unfortunately only legal residents of the United States are eligible. Sorry about that!

      • Mita T

        No problem.Thankyou so much that for the prompt reply.

  • Anna

    Thank you for a new recipe, and for the giveaway, it’s so nice of you, I wished I win it!

  • Rebecca Makarova

    Wow!! Can you imagine having that mill in our home? We could get the kids involved, huh?

  • Alicia Rudin

    I’ve been trying different grains as well and I think kamut has been my favorite. I’ve been trying your recipes and I haven’t been totally happy. The bread tastes great, but the center is very wet. So far I’ve been decreasing the hydration. I think living in Florida we are quite a bit more humid than you are. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Kamut sure does have an amazing flavor, right? It’s fantastic fresh milled, too. Bummer about the “wet” interior — it does sound like the hydration is too high for your flour and/or environment. Here in New Mexico it’s super, super dry so you are basically in the complete opposite type of environment from me! I’d say reduce the hydration 10% and see how the bread bakes up. If you want, increase the hydration slowly from there, or just keep it right there if it tastes great to you.

      Hope that helps!

      • Alicia Rudin

        Thanks! Just learning about hydration. Will try it and let you know how it works!

        • Alicia Rudin

          So, I’m trying out your suggestion and decreasing my hydration by 10%. Thought I’d start from the beginning with your beginnings sourdough. So far so good – the inside is great, more the way I wanted it – now to try some other recipes!

  • Ariel

    Hi, Would you recommend this method to make a country loaf? I’ve never done the cold bulk fermentation…

    • Hey there! Yes, you could definitely use this same method for a country loaf. I’ve been experimenting with a cold bulk for a while now with my usual boule and batard bakes — I’ll have a post on this sometime soon. It’s a really useful method and works very well.

  • Angela Coppola Gratta

    Thank you so much for posting this new recipe, I’ve baked a few of your recipes and they all came out fabulous. You’ve inspired me to grind my own grains and I would never bake without freshly milled flour. I’m so excited to make this Kamut baguette. I’ve just recently started baking with Kamut, and love the taste. I have a question, with my work schedule I would like to try to make this bread in the later in evening after work. How can I make my leaven in the morning before work and not have it over proof by time I get home 8 hours later?

    • Happy to hear that, Angela! Fresh milled flour really is something special — especially in these baguettes. The kamut really shines here, and the armoa… incredible.

      What you could do is make the levain with a small inoculation (the amount of mature starter you use to create the levain). For 8 hours, at room temperature around 75-78°F, I’d probably do something like 25% starter added to the flour and water to main the levain. So I would do something like 10g mature starter, 30g water, 30g ww flour, 30g white flour. This should give you a little extra levain to cover the requirement of the recipe and let it last 8 hours or so before it ripens. Check on it when you get home and if it doesn’t quite look ready give it a little more time.

      Hope that helps!

  • margie

    Hi Maurizio,
    What flavors of foods do you think these go with best?

    • Hey, Margie! I at several of these as sandwiches: cut in half horizontally and then vertically, then layered on goat cheese, arugula (a must), prosciutto or grilled chicken, sautéed peppers, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. They were a huge hit. I also cut these up into small “rings” and then toasted them briefly in my pizza oven to make bruschetta one night (grate some fresh garlic on the toasted bread and use in-season tomatoes) — fantastic. Other than that, I think they’d hold up super well to any sauced dish with marinara or a butter sauce. And finally, these are great with just any aged cheese, sliced and eaten straight up.

      Just some ideas 🙂

  • massimo Parisi

    Ciao Maurizio,
    I have baked these lovely baguettes following your recipee using Italian flours with same protein average and whole kamut flour(unfortunately not fresh milled).I am very satisfied of the result ,not only for the crunchy and healthy breads but also for the sweet taste and the nutty flavour given by the kamut flour.I baked 6 baguettes of 320 gr. each at 240 degrees for about 31minutes in my oven with steam provided by a karcher steamer .
    Bravo Maurizio e grazie delle ricette.Aspetto una tua ricetta con pane di semola al 100%.
    A presto!

    • Ciao, Massimo! Really happy to hear that — these do have such a wonderful flavor, crust, and loads of nutrition. I haven’t thought of doing a 100% semolina bread, but I do like that idea; I’ve added it to my baking to-do list. Thanks again and ciao!

  • Sangeet Premkumar

    ciao Maurizio,

    Love your blog. I’d like to get in touch for a quick chat. Let me know how I can get in touch.

    Thanks
    Sangeet

  • Mark Woodward

    Hi Maurizio – I’m just wondering, since you have the mill, why don’t you mill the whole wheat flour as well as the Kamut? Cheers, Mark

    • Hi, Mark! I do usually mill my red/white whole wheat, I just had some aged ww on hand for this recipe and I also wanted to reduce the amount of milling and various grains readers needed to have in their pantry. If you have red wheat berries and want to mill them that would add even more flavor to this recipe — have at it! Hope that helps and enjoy!

  • cucperson

    Have a komo mill and use it for my sourdough and pizza/flatbread dough. I found a source of heritage red spring and also use a lot of red fife. I sometimes but not always bolt through a 30 or 50 screen depending upon use. In the bread I normally do not bolt the flour. I am curious as to how finely you grind your flour. Can you post a photo of the dial setting? I suspected that I was grinding to finely and have changed the setting with good results but I am curious. Thanks in advance.

    • I used to bolt my flour as well, but these days I just use it at 100% extraction when making bread and pizza — it all depends on what end result you’re after! I’ll take a picture of the dial from here on out, that’s a great suggestion. I’ve played with varying levels and I also adjusted the grind for this recipe to be more coarse. I ended up several notches from the finest setting, if I recall it was 3-4 notches more coarse than the finest possible. I kind of adjust this on the fly when I’m milling; I’ll feel the flour as it’s coming out of the mill and try to get to to a point where it’s not so fine that it almost floats away in the air, but fine enough so there are no overly large bran/germ particles. I do plan to have a post in the future on varying milling specs like this and provide some discussion on the differences! Hope this helps, happy baking!

      • cucperson

        Thanks for your reply. I was milling at 3 or 4 notches but got less predictable results especially with red fife. I man ow milling at 6 or 7 notches and don’t bolt. Red fife definitely performs better at this setting.

  • iantthomas

    Thanks for this great recipe!

    I’m just a little confused on the levain build. It has a baker’s percentage of starter at 100% and 22 grams, then has each flour at 50% with 22 grams and water at 50% with 22 grams, too.

    Do I misunderstand something, or should one of those weights be different?

    Thank you for your help!

    • You’re welcome, glad you’re enjoying it! Oops! You’re right, I have a typo in there. The starter should also be at 50% (22g). I’ll fix this now. Thanks so much for catching that — it doesn’t matter how many times I read one of these posts there’s always something that sneaks through 🙂

      • iantthomas

        Thanks! I’ve found it impossible to edit my own writing so I 100% understand. Thanks for the quick reply!