Monday, June 4, 2012

Simple Baguette

For a very long time I was too intimidated by baguette recipes to attempt making my own baguette, until one day I snapped to my senses and told myself to buck up and give it a try! No more mooning over photos of other people's baguettes!!! 

This is an easy, worry-free baguette recipe used as foundation for other types of baguette-like breads. Adapted from French Baguette recipe from Breadman bread machine recipe book (pdf here).

Simple Baguette:

Ingredients (this can be used as 100% hydrated bread starter):

250 mL warm water

2 tsp bread machine yeast

500 mL bread flour

3/4 tbsp sea salt

100 – 150 mL additional flour

Add yeast to water and let them bubble for about 5 to 10 mins.

Add flour and salt and mix roughly until everything is incorporated. Proof at room temperature for a few hours until double in size, or in the fridge overnight. Dough will be very sticky.

Add some more flour (around 75 mL) and mix again (now it is no longer 100% hydrated) and proof again for few hours.

Add another bit of flour to mix again and then divide into loaves or roll into one long loaf or even leave it as a round ball. Use more flour if needed to shape and prevent sticking.

Cover with damp cheese cloth and proof it in the oven (make sure it is OFF!!) or microwave for about 2 hours. Just somewhere where it can reach higher humidity, but sometimes the Toronto summers get pretty humid so even in the open kitchen is OK.

The dough should be nice and proofed now, you can score it a few times to prevent cracking during baking. Sometimes I gently fold it back into shape after the 3rd proof because it oozes around. And sometimes I just bake it as is :)

Preheat over to 460 F and bake for 23 – 30 mins until it has a hollow sound when tapped. Enjoy!!!!

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