At 11:00 p.m., when many of you are getting ready for bed, the Wedge
Bakehouse team is just starting their day. The Wedge is the only co-op in the Twin Cities with an on-site bakehouse and a team of night-owl bakers with
an appreciation for Old World methods and a flair for contemporary tastes.
We bake from scratch every day-no mixes, no preservatives, no artificial
ingredients or dough continuers-so you can enjoy a little slice of heaven, knowing that it’s wholesome, too.
For the past few months, the Wedge Bakehouse team, led by Tim Kastner,
have been developing and testing a new baguette recipe that launches
in early September. Tim takes pride in his work and knew it was time to
produce the highest-quality, best-tasting baguette in the Twin Cities. So he spent weeks testing a number of new flours and conducted, to the staff’s delight, internal taste tests to land on the perfect recipe.
The new recipe uses patent flour, which is the purest and highest-quality wheat flour available and is made from the center portion of the wheat kernel. The bread is also started from a “poolish” or sponge, which is a mixture of flour, water and a pinch of a sourdough starter rather than instant yeast.
With these changes, we now believe we have the best baguettes in town.
This new recipe will be used to make our mini baguette, French batard and
epi baguette. Get them while they are hot in aisle seven!
How to Make the Wedge Baguette
- Make a poolish
- The poolish is a bubbling mass of aromatic, yeasty
- Mix the dough by adding the flour, water and poolish
together. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes. This allows
the flour to fully hydrate, the gluten proteins to form
and the enzymes in the flour to begin breaking down
starches into simple sugars.
- Adding a small amount of yeast and salt and then
doing more mixing to develop the gluten finishes
the dough. The dough then ferments in bulk bins in
a refrigerator overnight. This long fermentation time
produces more flavor and develops a deeper color
from the hard, red wheat.
- Divide the dough and shape it into baguettes. They
“proof” or rise until doubled in size, and then they go
into to hearth oven.
- The oven is lined with thick ceramic tiles that retain
heat and give the dough good bottom heat. Steam
is injected into the oven to soften the dough’s
surface, giving it more time to expand before it sets.
The steam also gives the crust a nice shine, and upon
finishing baking, is what makes the crust crisp and
crunchy. The oven is set at 500°, so it doesn’t take
long to bake a batch.
- The finished bread cools on wire racks before they are
stocked for you in the artisan bread case.