Épi, or épi de blé, is a baguette that resembles a sheaf of wheat, which is traditionally served during harvesttime. To get the flavourful dough, a starter ferments for 18 hours ahead of time.
- Portion size 8 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: October 2009
Method1- Starter: Eighteen hours ahead, in large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water; let stand for 1 minute. Stir in flour until smooth and slightly elastic, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside for at least 18 hours or for up to 24 hours.
2- Dough: Mix water and yeast into starter dough until broken up and slightly foaming, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and salt to form ragged soft dough. Transfer to well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into ball.
3- Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk and indentation remains after pressing finger into dough, about 1-1/2 hours.
4- Punch down dough; divide in half and knead into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
5- Press balls to flatten; roll up into logs. Roll each until 15 inches (38 cm) long. Place on lightly floured tea towel, pleating towel between loaves. Cover with greased plastic wrap; let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.
6- Place loaves, 3 inches (8 cm) apart, on large flour-dusted baking sheet. Starting 2 inches (5 cm) from end and using sharp scissors at 45-degree angle, make 1 cut three-quarters of the way through loaf. Turn cut section to right. Repeat 6 more times, cutting 2 inches (5 cm) apart and turning each piece to alternate side to resemble wheat sheaf.
7- Place in 450°F (230°C) oven. With spritzer bottle filled with cold water, spray wall and floor of oven (avoid oven lightbulb) until steam fills oven, about 10 seconds. Immediately close oven door. Repeat spraying in 3 minutes. Bake loaves until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on bottoms, about 20 minutes in conventional oven, 14 minutes in convection oven. Let cool on rack.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 146 mg
- Protein 3 g
- Calories 100.0
- Total fat trace
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Saturated fat 0 g
- Total carbohydrate 21 g
- Iron 9.0
- Folate 27.0