Sunday, June 20
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!
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
1 egg yolk
1 tb milk
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.
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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