10 May 2010

leaven baguettes

Don't let anyone tell you that making French baguettes at home is impossible.
& don't let anyone tell you that it cannot be done with leaven alone.

I've been thinking about this bread long and hard for quite some time, and thanks to:
this recipe and terrific folding instructions at: french baguettes 
Ajonjoli's excellent post at: Madrid Tiene Miga 
& La Cocina de Babette with a video by Paul Merry on forming your baguettes

and my lovely friend Joanna at Mostly Bread, with her enthusiastic ideas

I've been able to produce some delicious French baguette sticks

I managed to get some T65 flour from Maurice Chaplais, an artisan baker half way down my road
& since I don't have a dough hook, I tried to recreate the bakers' machine using my food processor & plastic blade

refreshed white 100% leaven @ 30g/ 60g water/ 60g T65 flour
500g T65 flour
350g cold water
1 teasp salt

process your leaven, water and salt for a couple of seconds, then add your flour

process as low as you go, for 5 minutes

using bread paddles lift and stretch your slack dough, and fold over the mass.  turn your bowl and continue to lift and stretch the entire dough.  
perform this 3 times at 20 minute intervals - as per French baguette link

then perform the bakers' turn, folding your dough 3 times at 20 minute intervals  - as per French baguette link

I refridgerated my dough overnight

shape your dough into 4 balls

rest them for 20 mins, then shape into your baguette shape in accordance with Babette's video

cover and rest for 30 mins

then slash and bake, I used 2 oven trays from cold dusted with a little flour, and a tray of water in the bottom of the oven
at 240 deg for 25 minutes

The crumb inside is light, tangy,
and the crust is crisp and cracking.



Lucinda said...

They look absolutely magnifique Gill! I shall definitely be trying this out at some stage. Bravo!!!

Gill the Painter said...

They're not as difficult as you would imagine Lucinda.
Although the forming of the baguette is a little wobblier than I thought. Not that that bothers one, does it now.

I don't know what impact the food processor had, but I'll try without next time I make them.

Emma and Ross said...

Gill, I love looking at your bread photos but they always make me feel hungry!

La cocina de Babette said...

Those look great! I'm glad the video helped and it's very good to see you've put it to such good use. Shapping baguettes is not the easiest but it takes less practice than one might think at first, so it's good to persevere.

Thanks for the mention. Cheers,


Gill the Painter said...

That's always the frustration, Emma & Ross. You cannot actually try the food :(

Hi Babette.
I was so nearly there, I used a tiny amount of flour, but they slide for me at the rolling stage.
Less is more, I'll have to use even less and perfect that movement.

It's the fun part of bread making I think, shaping the bread!

Ajonjoli said...

Hi Gill,

wonderful baguettes indeed.
I had the same problem with my baguettes, didn´t shape them tight enough and they opened at the sides. But next time I made them I didn´t put much flour on the counter and managed to shape them right :)
Anyway, they look great!
Also I used some yeast in another trial but I prefer the result with sourdough alone, they last longer.

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Ajonjoli

Ah ha! so ........
I shan't bother worry myself about dried yeast in there then. :)
I'll stay with the 100% sourdough note.

The next batch will be hand mixed, I'll lose the processor and see if that offers different results.

azelia said...

they look gorgeously tasty Gill...I could very happy sit here munching on one with some cheese....the crust looks really crunchy & yummmm

The Wandering Pit said...

Those baguettes look lovely and so professional,Gill. I have only tried making bread once but am looking forward to having another go, especially after seeing your photos!x

Choclette said...

Oh, I've not come across sourdough baguettes before - these look fantastic. How long do they last - or were they too tasty to find out?

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Aaaah, I do so love bread photos! Great looking baggies, Gill, I'm drooling looking at them..

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Tracey, & Choclette and Celia.

The breads are now finished this morning, so they have lasted a couple of days.
The last one was a bit chewy just now though, with the breakfast banana.

I'd better make some more, hadn't I.

Anonymous said...

Tes baguettes sont magnifiques! Vive les baguettes a levain!
Sorry, got overwhelmed there, that crumb looks beautifully delicate. I will definitely try your recipe, though it will have to be handmixed as no processor here.

Gill the Painter said...

Ooooo Churchill, I didn't know you spoke the lingo!
Ooooo yes yes yes!

I'll be trying the baguettes without a processor this weekend to see what I come up with Joanna.

Unknown said...

Those just made me drool Gill. Wow!! Gérard asks if you could lob one over please?
Bravo, they look fantastic and have made me long for a baguette right now ;-)
Tony is such a lucky guy.

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Elisa.

One coming your way, Elisa ................

Anonymous said...

Imressive looking baguettes! I will have to try making some this weekend. The downside of sourdough baking - no instant gratification when you see something good that you want to try!

Gill the Painter said...

Hello Spiceandmore, and welcome.

Sourdough's certainly a patience game isn't it.
I find myself thinking far too long and hard about the subject.

I must make these baguettes again, they went down so well with my husband. I hope it wasn't beginners luck!

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