For Blogging Marathon this week I am taking up Taming the Yeast where we are trying our hand at yeast breads!
So this month Pradnya has suggested the French Baguette!
In her write up on French Baguette Pradnya has said something that has cleared my doubts about French breads here it is,”All Baguettes are French but not all French breads are Baguettes. So French Baguettes are basically freshly baked breads meant to be consumed the same day. The bread is crusty on the outside, chewy within. The bread goes best with soups or along with an array of fresh cheeses.”
Also “The other popular shapes are slightly roundish like inverted bowl shape…which is crusty from outside, slightly chewy but little soft at the centre…this is more suitable for French breads."
Coming to the recipe…a few things to remember is the technique….to create the crust on the bread, we need to create a vapour cloud inside the oven.”
Do I need to add something more?
Yes the first time I made these Baguettes I handled the dough gently. Patted the seams of the folds and the result was like Pavani on whatsup said Halloween bread... they had opened up. So the second time I checked the video and followed that for sealing. The trick is to use the heel of your palm and seal the edges.
Yield: 2 loaves of 6 inch length
- 2 cups Maida/APF
- 3 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ¼ tsp active yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 cup ice cubes (to be kept in refrigerator until the last step)
- ½ tsp oil only to brush the top of the dough
- In a small bowl warm ¼ cup of water. Add the sugar and stir well. Sprinkle yeast and stir till the yeast dissolves. Set aside till the yeast proofs.
- In a large bowl add the flour and salt and mix it well with hand.
- Add the honey to the flour mixture and mix well.
- Now add yeast mixture and mix using your hands until the flour gathers to form crumbly dough.
- Gradually add 1 tsp of water at a time while kneading with one hand to smoothen the dough. You may not need all the water.
- Knead the dough at least for 10 min till the dough is smooth, elastic and stretches easily. This is a crucial step so Do not cheat on this step. If you are using an electric hook, then you can knead for 5 min.
- Dip your 2 fingers in oil and lightly rub the top of the dough to cover the exposed surface from drying.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-40 m or until it doubles.
- After it has doubled take the dough and punch it using your knuckles and flatten the dough.
- Make two balls and roll them and set them aside for 10 minutes.
- Then work on one ball. You can work with your palms and flatten the dough with your fingers or Roll out the dough using a rolling pin on a flat surface.
- Make a rectangular shape; first time about 4 inch in width and 6 inches in length.
- Now fold the top lengthwise, until mid way, to look like an envelope. Use the heel of you palm to seal the edges.
- Now fold over the bottom half over the top. Seal the edges well.
- Flatten with your fingers or roll out width wise and repeat the envelope folds and seals again.
- Continue until you reach desired length, either 6 or 8 inch or maximum 12 to 14 inch in length
- Now just place the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently roll out the dough.
- Transfer to a greased tray and Set aside for 30 min more
- Towards the end of the rising period (I generally start the oven 15 minutes before the end of the rise time) preheat your oven at 230 C.
- Take ice cubes in an oven safe pan
- Slid the baking tray on the top rack and the ice cubes on the bottom rack.
- Close the oven door and Bake it for 15 min or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped
- Serve hot with soups or cheeses.
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