Baguettes – I’m Back

So apologies first off, when I started this blog I planned to post nearly every day. Essentially every time I baked, but sadly things have not always worked out. Recently I have had a number of failed bakes, coupled with a trip to the states, meaning there has been very little baking from my kitchen. But I am back, and I have a new toy to play with. A baguette baking tray. So I have been testing it out this morning.

The baking tray is a very simple thing much like this one. I bought it from The Cook Shop in Leamington Spa, one of those amazing shops where there isn’t enough room to turn around, it is a real Aladdin’s cave of cookery equipment.

To test out the new purchase I found a very basic baguette recipe on-line at allrecipes.co.uk.

Recipe:

  • 225 ml Water
  • 35g g White bread flour
  • 1 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • To glaze – 1 Egg Yolk

Method:

I had to split tis bake over night, and there are a few things I would do differently next time, but I will start with what I did.

Using my bread maker I made a dough from the ingredients – Now I read the recipe wrong, and actually put the egg yolk in the dough, and compensated for it with a bit of extra flour, my bad.

I then knocked the dough back and left to rise over night, in the fridge, where it more than doubled in size. In the morning I knocked it back and split into two, then left to warm on the counter, where it again doubled in size.

I then shaped it into baguettes, my technique needs a lot of work, but I got the right shape at least. Again I left it, but this time in the baguette tray, whilst the oven finished heating. Then I brushed them with egg yolk and slashed them.

Finally I baked them for about 20-25 mins at 190°C, with lots of steam.

Result:

For my first proper attempt at baguettes I am really happy with these. They were instantly converted into a rather continental breakfast served with either jam or cheese (an English semi-hard goats from Country Bumpkins – Leamington Spa, whose name I have forgotten).

They were very soft, and I think the egg yolk glaze was unnecessary. I would also cut the recipe back a bit for the size baguette trays I have, as I would prefere them a little longer and a thinner, but thats just how the size fitted. Regarding crust I might try my sourdough technique of the first 10 mins at a hotter temperature, then dialling it down for the rest of the bake.

As I alluded to earlier, my technique is far from spot on, and my baguettes were lacking tension in the surface, making the expansion from the slashes a little bit extreme. In fact I got a much better ‘tear’ on the underside (not shown), ideas for next time.

Other than that I am really happy with them, and will be looking forward to trying them again, for lunches.

 

Given the success I may have to place another Shipton Mill order for some French bread flour, to see where that gets me. I will add it to the list of wants, which is steadily growing now that my baking stone is lying in three pieces.

 

Cheers,

Olly

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9 thoughts on “Baguettes – I’m Back

  1. I want one of those! Hairy Bikers have baguette recipe that takes for ever that I’m itching to try. The way I look at it, if you can eat what you make it counts as a success! Poor weather for biking today, perfect weather for baking.

    • It is great, I wasn’t sure ‘why’ I needed one (it was a bit of a rash purchase / actually a gift), but having seen it in action I am in no doubt.
      Don’t get me wrong they were a great success, but I think I was imagining those crusty baguettes you get for lunch.

      Very true about the weather, though once we are finished baking some Jubilee cup cakes we are off to watch a friend at a race. What have you got planned for the long weekend?
      O

      • I’m doing my cinamon and raisin bread for Mellow Bakers today. I wasn’t planning on doing it, but as the afternoon is a wash out and OH is going out and the offspring wants to watch TV I shall do this and some more nostalgic blogging about the Silver Jubilee. Our town has even cancelled it’s picnic which was due tomorrow so not sure what we might do then…. if the drizzle packs up later today I shall also do some running!

  2. I was also going to say before I pressed reply… Hairy Biker’s recipe is just flour, yeast, salt, water and oil for greasing, and it takes 2 days to make…

  3. Mal says:

    Hi Ollie. Glad to see you posting/baking again. If it has good ingredients and tastes good it’s good bread.

    Baguette pans allow you cope with bread with a higher hydration – try it for all your other breads too!

    Strictly speaking “French” baguettes should only have flour, water salt and yeast as ingredients (by French law 1993). No glaze (although steam via a pan of water in the oven or by spraying cold water gives it a crust – a process sometimes described as “frenching”). Another “rule” for baguettes is the slashes go lengthways in the central area – and overlap each other.

    These are just French conventions to produce a French baguette style. There’s no must about it.

    • I know, I need to have a go at the real thing, but this was a quick (and dirty) imitation, and it served well. I much prefer a simpeler loaf, not a fan of this whole sugar + glaze, but I am always nervous to go off piste on my first go.
      Cheers for the tips – I will use them wisely.
      O

  4. […] a comment on my post about making baguettes by Mal of Rye Smile about the ingredients in my bread got me thinking. I really don’t need […]

  5. […] my previous post on baguettes was a stab in the dark, I have now done some more research and boy had I underestimated them. I had […]

  6. […] my previous post on baguettes was a stab in the dark, I have now done some more research and boy had I underestimated them. I had […]

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