Wednesday, June 15

french baguettes

I made bread and it was heavenly. It made my house smell great. It was killer straight out of the oven, with butter and honey, and now I'm hooked. I can't figure out what website this recipe came from, but I just printed nearly every bread recipe over at pete bakes and can't wait to try them all. I've come a long way and so can you! Do not be scurred.

{french baguettes}
adapted from artisan breads every day by peter reinhart
5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 tsp salt or 1 tbsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 c. lukewarm water {about 95 degrees. Tap water that feels just warm to the touch is fine}
{prep day} combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer with paddle attachment and mix on lowest speed for 1 minute until well blended and smooth. Dough should form a coarse, shaggy ball. Let rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Switch to dough hook and mix on medium low speed for 2 minutes. Dough should be smooth, supple and tacky but not sticky.

Knead dough by hand on lightly floured work surface for 1 minute, then transfer to a large, clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.

{baking day} remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking. Gently transfer to lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 10 ounce pieces for baguettes. Just divide the dough in fourths if you don't have one but Yes! I bought a $7 kitchen scale for this. I had four 10 ounce balls and then a little 5 ounce one leftover.

Form baguettes: by batting each piece of divided dough into a thick rectangle. With the long end facing you, fold the bottom half to the center and seal the seam. Fold the top half to the center and once again seal the seam. Roll the top half of the dough over the seam to create a new seam on the bottom of the loaf. Rock loaf back and forth with hands moving out toward and increasing pressure at the ends, to slightly taper the loaf until baguette is length of your baking sheet (or baguette pan if you have one).

Mist top of dough with spray oil, loosely cover with plastic wrap and proof and room temperature. Make a "couche" by placing baguettes on a clean towel dusted with flour, bunching up fabric between each loaf to create walls for support. Proof for about 1 1/2 hours or until they have increased to  1 1/2 times their original size.

Prep for baking: About 45 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a rimmed sheet pan which will serve  as the steam pan on the shelf under which the baguettes will be baked. Remove plastic wrap from the dough 15 minutes prior to baking. Gently roll dough onto baguette pan or baking sheet. Just prior to baking score the dough 1/2 inch deep with a serrated knife. Transfer loaves to oven, pour 1 cup hot water into steam pan. Wear an oven mitt & be careful, the steam will be steamy in the hot pan. Warmed the water in my stovetop kettle and poured it in so there was some distance.

Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 15-25 minutes until the crust is rich golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when thumped, and the internal temperature is about 200 degrees. Coll on a wire rack for at least 35 minutes before slicing or serving. good luck with that. Store wrapped in a dish towel to maintain crust's crispiness.

No comments:

Post a Comment