I’ve mentioned the bi-weekly bread challenges from the Bread Baking FB group before and, in this post, I’m going to share some pictures of the latest challenge, French Baguettes.
The basic recipe which was to be used for the challenge makes four baguettes. I halved it and ended up with a couple of fourteen inch long baguettes which I devoured almost immediately, so I made another half batch and shaped it into four demi-baguettes.
I rewrote the instructions and posted the recipe below.
French Baguettes and Demi-Baguettes
Crumb of the baguettes
MaryAnn’s Baguettes – makes 4 baguettes, each about 14 inches/35-36 cm long.
2 cups + 2 tbsp water
2 1/2 cups/ 335 gm bread flour
1 tbsp dry yeast
2 1/2 cups/335 gm bread flour
1 tbsp/18 gm Kosher salt or 2 tsp/12 gm table salt
oil, for hands
Combine poolish ingredients in a large bowl. Cover, and allow to stand until bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Stir in the 2nd amount of flour. Mix until smooth. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle on the Kosher salt and, with oiled hands, slide fingers under each side, and stretch and fold over the top a few times, turning the bowl with each fold. Let stand for 15 minutes and stretch and fold a few times. Repeat the folding routine several times over the course of an hour. Allow to double.
Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into baguettes. (Pre-shape and let sit for 15-20 minutes and then shape. Baguettes are pre-shaped into logs/ovals while demi-baguettes are pre-shaped into rounds.)
Allow to rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 450 deg F/232 deg C.
Slash the baguettes and bake for 20-25 minutes.
A future bread challenge is for a rye bread. I’ve never baked with rye before so I picked up some flour from the Bulk Barn and decided to try a small rye loaf recipe shared on the group. I added some cocoa powder, molasses and salt to the dough and rewrote the instructions. The recipe is posted below.
Caraway Rye Bread – makes a terrific corned beef brisket sandwich with Dijon mustard
RT’s Small Caraway Rye Loaf – makes ~700 gm dough, enough for one 9×5 inch loaf, sliced into 16 pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp molasses
1-2 tbsp brown sugar, packed (optional)
90 gm dark rye flour
315 gm strong bread flour
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp caraway seed
45 ml/3 tbsp light oil
13 ml/~1 tbsp white vinegar
280 ml/1 cup warm water
Softened or melted unsalted butter, for brushing
Proof the yeast with molasses and warm water for 10-15 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl, combine the rye flour, caraway seed and all but about 50 gms of the bread flour. Add the salt, cocoa powder and brown sugar, if using. Stir together to mix all dry ingredients.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the proofed yeast, oil and vinegar. Stir well until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to a working surface lightly sprinkled with some of the reserved flour. Knead for 10 minutes using up the remaining flour. Cover the dough with the bowl you mixed your dough in. Let rest for 10 minutes then knead for a further 10 minutes and shape into a ball.
Lightly rub a clean bowl with some vegetable oil. Add the ball of dough to the oiled bowl. Turn the dough a few times to lightly coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic food wrap and drape with a towel. Let rise in a warm area until doubled, 1 – 1 1/2 hrs.
Preheat the oven to 190 deg C/375 deg F.
Lightly punch down the risen dough, shape to fit into a loaf pan and let proof until at least 1 1/2 times larger. (It may not double though mine did in about 40 minutes.) Spray the loaf with water and slash the top, if desired.
Bake the bread for 40 minutes or until knocking on the bottom of the loaf gives a hollow sound. Brush the top of the loaf with softened or melted butter to give it a glossy appearance.
Let cool overnight before cutting.