I recently borrowed some books from the library and two of those were about bread making. Both were by the same baker. One book was called Dough and the other Crust.
I have a bread making machine but I wanted to try my hand at making bread without the machine and the bread I wanted to make was a baguette.
These two beautiful loaves were of the type we ate while we were in France and I wanted to try to emulate them.
The book that I was using was written by a Frenchman and there was also an accompanying DVD which showed the process of working the dough in order to get air into the bread.
The recipe calls for the use of fresh yeast and I went to the local delicatessen and the healthfood shop to get this but unfortunately they do not stock fresh yeast as there is insufficient call for it so I had to make do with powdered yeast.
Undeterred by this I started off on my venture. I don’t think I got the working of the dough quite right and after I had finished the bread I went back and viewed the DVD a second time so that I get the process right next time I make it.
The bread turned out ok and I was quite pleased with the result and learned a great deal along the way.
Most importantly to achieve the desired crustiness you must spray the oven 15 times with water and then another 5 times after inserting the bread. I only sprayed the oven a couple of times and so the crust isn’t as crusty as I expected. I will know next time.
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You never fail to amaze me. Jeanie
Well done, they look great. Me and my bread machine are best buddies, ‘fraid that’s as far as my bread making skills go!
I have to admit it took a bit of time but the result means I am prepared to give it another go. I would love to get it just like the French baguette.
You know what they say … practice makes perfect. Enjoy.
Pretty good first effort Heather! When I tried making baguettes it was an abject failure so I did not have another go!
I will certainly be giving it another go as I was really happy with the first effort.
You can make the dough in the bread machine. It saves time, and the trick to the baguette is to make it really thin, deeper cuts in the dough and maybe more egg wash on top. I simply dump half a cup of water on the bottom of my oven, few times during the baking. I make mostly bread and it makes really crispy crust. If you’d try, and somehow it fails, please do not curse me, I live 1,5 km above see level, and one has to modify all recipes.
Thank you for the advice. The idea of the half cup of water makes more sense than spraying.
You are welcome. I have to warn you not to have your face too close to the oven because the steam gets hot as soon as it hits the bottom of the oven. I also let the yeast stay in the warm water and 1/2 cup of flour (all stirred) for about 6 minutes before I put all the ingredients into the bread machine. The yeast starts to grow so it is better incorporated into bread. Your baguettes look yummy as they are.