Baking challenge: Round 7
I’ve always fancied being able to make my own baguettes. There is something so tempting about a fresh warm baguette, and in the UK we can’t buy any bakery fresh ones due to potential sesame contamination. Fortunately sesame isn’t used much in France and we can happily eat freshly baked baguettes every day. And they’re better there anyway of course.
Baguette is wonderful bread: crusty outside, light and airy inside. I can’t claim that these live up to a good baguette baked in France (where the ovens are totally different to our domestic ones for a start) but the end result was still pretty yummy. The process is slightly tricky, but the dough is as simple as can be, and has the added bonus of being totally fat free.
Best served as fresh as possible.
Baguettes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)
makes 2 baguettes
- 500g strong bread flour
- 10g salt
- 5g dried yeast
- 250-300ml hand hot water
– Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
– Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm water, bring together to form a dough.
– Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover with the bowl and leave to double in size (about 1 hour).
– Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Centigrade/gas Mark 7. Place a baking tin in the bottom of the oven, and a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat up.
– Knock back the dough and split into two even sized pieces.
– Take one of the pieces of dough and roll out to a long thin oblong. Bring one side into the centre and slap down with the flat of your hand to seal the join2. Pick up the ends and slap the dough strip onto the work surface.
– Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat the process above so both sides join in the middle.
– Repeat once more, making sure the join is firmly slapped together.
– Roll out into a sausage shape and place on a floured baking sheet. Make 7 slashes along the top of the baguette with a sharp knife.
– Cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 30 minutes
– When ready to bake, slide onto the pre-heated baking sheet, pour some water into the hot baking tray at the bottom of the oven and shut the door.
– Bake for 5 minutes, then open the oven door a crack to let out any steam. Continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the baguette is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
– Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before eating.