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Bread week. The bane of my life. I am positively rubbish at bread, it always fails, and I always have to try again. Which is exactly what happened this weekend. I decided to try baguettes as I’ve never made them before and they were quick(ish) as I’ve been busy – it was another late night baking session on Saturday! I found Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his very own website and I followed it to the t. But my dough looked way too sticky. So I did it again…and it ended up exactly the same! Then I just thought sod it, I’ll use them both. So instead of four baguettes, I ended up with eight of them!
I don’t actually think they turned out too bad, except some were more ciabatta shaped so I have renamed them ‘ciaguettes’… They did taste delicious though! I don’t think Paul & Mary would fully approve as they are not uniform, but you know, it gives them that home made with love look… 😉
Ingredients (makes 4-6)
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 10g salt
- 10g instant yeast
- 370ml cool water
- olive oil for kneading
- Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container.
- Put the flour, salt & yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the yeast directly on top of the salt). Add three-quarters of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water, then continue to mix on a medium speed for 5-7 minutes, until you have a glossy, elastic dough.
- Tip the dough into the prepared tub. Cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled in size – about 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Coat the work surface with a little olive oil, then carefully tip the dough onto it. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. The dough will be wet to the touch but still lively.
- Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening the dough out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Then roll each up into a sausage – the top should be smooth with ha join running along the length of the base. Beginning in the middle, roll each sausage with your hands. Don’t force it out by pressing heavily. Concentrate on the backwards and forwards movement and gently use the weight of your arms to roll out dough to the length of your oven trays.
- Place 2 or 3 baguettes on each baking tray. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for about 1 hour, until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to gas 7/425F/220C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.
- When your baguettes are risen and light, dust them lightly with flour. Then slash each one 3 times along its length on the diagonal, using a razor blade or a very sharp knife. Fill the roasting tray with hot water to create steam and put the bread into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the baguettes are golden brown and have a slight sheen. Cool on a wire rack.
- Enjoy! We enjoyed these with sandwich fillers for lunch and dipped in stew for dinner.
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