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Crusty French Baguette

These Crusty French Baguettes will take your taste buds back to a french boulangerie or a road side Parisian cafe as soon as u take them out of the oven. Since we cant go to France for now, why not give the bread a shot at home. I made these for the first time and was truly shocked at the result. Trust me I am no baker, I am just a relentless try-er :) . Sometimes I hit gold. Sharing my treasure map with you today. :D 
The more I think of baking, I come to the conclusion that there are a few tricks which have helped me in my bread making journey.
  1. Be Positive, I begin the baking process thinking I will rock this one. It's kinda like a relationship, if u think it will fail, it probably will.  (hahha just kidding)
  2. Read the recipe twice. If its a new one that I want to try, I read atleast 2-3 recipes and figure out which one is calling out to me, read that one at least twice and then I just go with it. 
  3. Yeast- The Litmus test. If my yeast doesn't rise, I abort mission and start again.
  4. Follow the recipe to the T. I am a recipe rebel normally, I always always tweak any recipe to my liking, but NOT when I am baking. 
  5. See recipe videos if you can. I am kinda impatient, so recipe video come in handy. They tend to simplify and sort the process in my head. I have made one for this recipe as well. 
  6. Last but not the least : know your oven. Mine tends to overheat, so I keep temperature a tad bit on the lower side and lightly cover the bread with an aluminium foil after first 15 minutes or it starts to burn on top. 

 

Basic Baguette Process : 

I am breaking it down for you, so you realise how simple it is. This is a no-knead recipe so the actual work is very less. I set alarms on my phone and carry on with what ever I am doing, and only to tend to the baguette from time to time. 

  1. Proof the yeast- Mix with warm water, sugar. Cover and rest for 10 min.
  2. 1st Proof of dough- mix all ingredients and let it rest for 30 minutes
  3. 2nd Proof of dough- turn and fold twice and let it rest for 2 hours
  4. Roll & Shape into 4 loafs
  5. 3rd Proof of the dough-rest for 45 minutes
  6. Preheat oven for 30-45 minutes at 200 deg, place bakers stone on rack, hot water bath at the bottom.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Cool on wire rack.

Voila !!!!

 

Ingredients
  • 50 ml warm water
  • 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast*
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 450 gm Maida
  • 2 teaspoons OFG's Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 285 ml cool water (you may not need all of the water)
  • additional flour, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Measure the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle sugar and yeast on top. Cover & set aside till it froths, if it doesnt, start again.

  2. Measure the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt.

  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and stir in the dissolved yeast.

  4. Add the cool water, a little at a time, while stirring, just until a shaggy dough has formed (you may not need to use all of the water).

  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and gently press it into a rectangle and fold into thirds.  Turn 90 degrees and repeat. 

  7. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (2 hours).

  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, and shape each one into a long loaf (about 15-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter), with pointed ends.  

  9. Place the loaves on a floured muslin cloth, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk (about 30 to 45 minutes).

  10. Preheat the oven to 230 deg C, and place a pan of water on the bottom rack. You can also place a bakers stone if you have at this point.

  11. Uncover the baguettes and transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. I put aluminium foil strips in the middle to create partition.  

  12. Sprinkle with flour, and make 4 elongated slashes down each one with a lame, razor, or sharp knife. 

  13. Bake the breads until crusty and brown (in my oven this takes around 35 to 40 minutes).  The baguettes should give a hollow sound when tapped. 

    Happy Baking and stay safe !!


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