Sandwiches,Savoury

Baguette

This baguette recipe comes to you after months and months of practice. Every time I got to come home for a few days from my last project, I went straight to the kitchen to give this one a shot. The beauty of this bread is the minimal ingredients, and a fairly straight forward procedure – although the first time I made it, it did not seem so. By the third time, this recipe and method became ingrained in my head that even after weeks of break, I still did not require to look at the notes or measurements again!
This baguette is free of gluten and bread improver – although I have tried this recipe with adding some of it, I found these came out better without the added interference.
Once you get the hang of this one, I assure you, you will never buy baguette from the stores again!

The Recipe
Serves 6-7 mini baguettes

Ingredients

  • 50 ml warm water
  • 1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 450g flour maida
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 285 ml cold water
  • additional flour for dusting
  • oil for greasing
  • lots of ice for the oven

Instructions

  • Measure the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside.


  • Measure the bread flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt.


  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and stir in the dissolved yeast.


  • Add the cold water, a little at a time, while stirring, just until a shaggy dough has formed.

  • Cover the bowl with damp cloth and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.


  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and gently press it into a rectangle and fold into thirds. Turn 90 degrees and repeat. 


  • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, and cover with damp cloth.
  • Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).


  • Divide the dough into 6-7 equal portions, and shape each one into a long loaf
  • Place the loaves on a floured towel, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size for 45 minutes.


  • Preheat the oven to 250 C, and place a pan of water with lots of ice on the bottom rack.


  • Uncover the baguettes and transfer to lightly greased baking sheets.


  • Sprinkle with flour, and make 4 elongated slashes down each one with a lame, razor, or sharp knife. 


  • Bake the breads until crusty and brown for approximately 20 minutes
  • The baguettes should give a hollow sound when tapped