Baguettes, glorious baguettes
Not true. It is actually quite the opposite. We have a bread machine, so baking breads in the oven is just not required. But, what is more exquisite than freshly baked bread. From the marketing department (the smell of baking bread) to the presentation (a tray or basket of fresh bread on the table), to the client service department (the smiles as people bite into the crisp crust), baguettes are simply the best. i just say this as I have not mastered the art of ciabatta as yet.
The first time I made baguettes were a week ago, when our pizza dough went wild. When we got to the bread machine, the dough had lifted the lid and was on the way to go and beat up a cup of coffee left on the table. And as Tom Waits says, the coffee just wasn’t strong enough to defend itself…
Yesterday, with the cold days we had, we made the magnificant ministrone soup. And with fresh baguettes – njam!
- 500g white bread flour
- 115g fine cake flour
- 10ml salt
- 15g yeast
- 525ml lukewarm water
- Add flour to your bread machine or mixer
- Add salt and yeast
- Add lukewarm water
- Mix well (the bread machine mixes and heats to 50 degrees Celsius)
- Let it rest until doubled in size
- Take dough out. It should be quite sticky.
- Pat it down with your hands into a rectangle, about 2cm thick.
- Fold the dough over (so that it forms a square)
- Pat down again (gently) until 2cm thick.
- Fold over again.
- Roll it into a long shape, about 10cm thick.
- Cut into 8 equal sizes.
- Take each quantity and, with your hands, roll into a long sausage, about 2-3cm thick.
- Lay down on a tea towel and fold the tea towel up between each baguette.
- When all are there, cover the baguettes with a light blanket.
- They will puff up quickly.
- Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
- Spray two baking trays, transfer the baguettes to the trays and place in the oven.
- In 15 minutes they should be browned and crispy and they should have torn open on top (this comes from the folding of the dough)
- Tip: Watching a Rachel Khoo programme, she gave me the clue of folding the dough.
- Excellent tip: From the same programme, the baker that taught her said that you have to work with the dought when it's warm. This is the secret!