Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Baguettes ...


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Saturday afternoon, I tried my hand at a recipe that Tracy from Sunny Corner Farm had posted about.  I made quick french bread a week or so back but these baguettes had me intrigued.  The process would take about 4 hours with lots of resting, proving, rising in between times.
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Actually the link takes you to another nice blog called Farmgirl Fare where the baguette recipe is.
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First up, a very rough mix, barely bringing the flour, water, yeast together.  Rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the salt on.
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   Knead for 10 minutes (I used my mixer with dough hook).
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Now to ferment the lovely smooth dough.  Place in a straight sided 2 litre container and press down.
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Mark on the side of the container where is will rise at least 1/2 of its height again.(45 minutes)
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Give the dough a turn - empty dough out on to floured bench.  With the short side facing you, fold the top down to the middle then the bottom up to the middle (like a letter).
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Put your hands underneath it, flip it over and pop it back into the container.  Replace the lid. (another 45 minutes)
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With one hour before the dough is ready, its time to turn the oven on to HOT 250C or 500F.  Place a pizza stone and a oven proof skillet in the oven to heat up.
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See where the mark is on the container and how the dough has risen about 1/2 way above it?  That's good!
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The dough is now ready for shaping...
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Flop the dough out onto a chopping board and cut it into 3 even pieces.  You could weigh it but I just "guesstimated".  The dough is lovely and floppy.
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This next bit, I hope I got it right.  It said to fold the top down then the bottom up, it think I got it right??  It didn't say to flatten out the dough, but that's what I did.
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Do this for all 3 loaves then gently roll each one to elongate so they fit on the pizza stone (12-14 inches).  Cover with a damp, clean teatowel and rest for 10 minutes.
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Place the baguettes on floured baking paper (on a tray), pleating the paper between each baguette.  Roll a teatowel up and place either side of the baguettes to support them while they rise. 
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Leave them to rise 30-40 minutes in a warm place, covered with a damp teatowel.
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When ready to bake, score each baguette with 3 quick cuts at 45 degrees with a sharp knife.
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The next bit is new to me.  Get a cup of ice ready to place in the hot skillet which has been heating in the oven.  Place the 3 baguettes, still on the paper, onto the pizza stone and quickly tip in the cup of ice into the skillet.   This will cause it to steam.
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This was at about 15 minutes of baking and you can see the slits have split open nicely.
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I think I baked for a total of about 28 minutes and they were perfect!  How good do they look??
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Lovely crunchy, thick crusts...
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C'est magnifique !!
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It all took a bit of time, but next time it will be easier.  It really needs to be started at about 1-2 o'clock if you want the baguettes for dinner.  As it was, I was waiting for the baguettes to come out so I could put my roast chook in! Well worth the effort, thank you Tracy for the link to the recipe.
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Cheers - Joolz

2 comments:

  1. Wow they look amazing. I'm having a bread phase ATM so I will have to give these ago.

    ReplyDelete

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