Sunday, June 20

Sunday Baking Project: French Baguettes



I'm going to sound totally melodramatic here but when I first bit into my first bit of these baguettes and almost wept.  I am not joking.  I don't joke about crying and I certainly don't joke about bread!

It took me back to November of 1993 - my first ever trip to Paris at the tender age of 22.  This is where my love of good bread and salty butter began.   The french do bread like no body else and even though I've been to umpteen french bakeries here they never seem to measure up (if anyone would like to recommend one to me, please do!) in terms of baguette or croissant.

I vividly remember sending postcards back home with 'BEST BREAD AND BUTTER EVER' which probably seemed a little odd to those back at home as I was in the city of love with my first very serious love of my life, and obviously had discovered another.

So I made these with no great hopes, but with a french recipe - and my goodness I was so excited I decided to make another batch straight after dinner that night. I proved, rolled and re-proved and then went to put them in my oven.  That moment I realised my oven was broken.

Tragedy, and tears.  Tears of frustration.

Please give them a try!


Ingredients:
dough
2 1/2 cups plain bakers flour (I use defiance brand)
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 tb caster sugar
1 tsp salt flakes
1 1/4 cups water


Wash
1 egg yolk
1 tb milk


Method:
Mix all bread ingredients together and knead for about 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes by machine.  It will be a wet, elastically consistency.
Place into a greased bowl, and cover with clingfilm and place in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 1-2 hours)

Knock back the dough by dividing in half and rolling into 2 sausage like rolls about 5cm in diameter.

Place on greased tray side by side without about 12cm between the two.  Using a sharp knife - slash diagonally along the top, and mix your egg wash together, and then and allow to prove again for another hour.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Bake for 25-35 minutes until rich golden brown.


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16 lovely comments:

MonetPaisley on June 20, 2010 at 8:50 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wow, they look delicious, and you make it sound so easy. Will definately try these, good to have someone suggest the right flour as I know that makes a big difference. Where do I get it from???

Liss on June 20, 2010 at 9:49 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hello!

I buy my defiance flour in 5kg bag from Coles/Woolworths - it's about $10.

Kylie on June 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hmmm, you have inspired me. I have a couple of questions - can you get bakers flour from most supermarkets? When you prove the second time do you cover it again? Also, where is your 'warm' place to prove? We have a distinct lack on sunlight around these parts, I wonder where to put it so that it will be warm enough. Thanks Liss!

Kylie on June 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hahaha, sorry, ignore my first question - I didn't read the other comments first.

Liss on June 20, 2010 at 2:32 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hehe Kylie!..

I prove mine about a metre away (and a metre above) from the heater..

Cat on June 20, 2010 at 3:47 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

LOVE! I'm totally going to give it another go tomorrow...when we hopefully will be less croup effected in this house.

Natb on June 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Im off to make this now Liss.. and I agree,,,,, LOVE PARIS.. LOVE FRANCE!!!!

BTW Just sent the link of your blog to my Dad to make the muffins and sweet onion bread!!!

greenfumb on June 20, 2010 at 5:56 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

You're right it's brilliant. It even met with approval from my French exchange student although my Francophile (and very critical) daughter tells me more salt would be better. I didn't have flakes only sea salt so maybe that was the problem.

I couldn't get the baguette shape though, any idea how to stop them spreading over the tray?

Liss on June 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Deb I find depending on the thirstyness of your flour - I think it's all in the art of the water you add - so next time if using the same flour, try just one cup of water or just a little bit less :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on June 20, 2010 at 11:19 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

They look great! And how long until your oven is fixed. Oh the horror! :o will that mean that you have to buy bread now? :(

greenfumb on June 21, 2010 at 8:06 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks Liss, I will try that and report back. I am getting through a lot of bread with a fille Francaise in the house.

Hope you're oven is fixed soon, do you have a big BBQ you can bake in?

Rowena said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Have you tried Pierre's Patisserie in Turramurra? They make the best baguettes and pain au chocolat!

Duyvken on July 8, 2010 at 8:51 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I second the recommendation for Pierre's at Turramurra. The bakers are french (love hearing the chatter in the kitchen behind the counter in the mornings) and the bread is delish. The pain au chocolat and the almond croissants are my favourites.

Shell on July 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I just made these - and they spread over the tray too :( Should have read the comments and noted a bit less water.

Still taste delicious and have the texture of great french bread - they are just a bit more like ciabatta lol

Nisha on July 22, 2010 at 6:07 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Lovely Liss! I have 2 beautiful baguettes sitting on my benchtop as we speak and im using all my strength to wait paitently till the hubby comes home to eat it.

I found that because the dough is quite wet and sticky, some olive oil rubbed on my hands helped when kneading & shaping the baguettes. I also brushed the top of one with butter, sprinkled on some dried rosemary and sea salt and it baked beautifully!

Jayda said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

So easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing, now how to explain to my husband why there is only one and a half bagettes left!


 

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