I’ve been experimenting with different breads lately, you just can’t beat that fresh bready smell as it comes out of the oven to make you feel like a domestic goddess. I was inspired to make baguettes after yet another Bake Off session! This is based on Paul Hollywood’s method. The recipe makes four baguettes but some of them disappeared before I could take a picture!
500g strong white bread flour
10g dry yeast
370ml cool water
Olive oil for greasing
Lightly oil a bowl or container with olive oil. Paul recommends using a square plastic container (2.25L) as it helps with shaping the dough later.
Put the yeast, flour and salt (in that order) in the thermomix. Add 370 ml water. Mix for 5 seconds speed 5 and then knead for 6 minutes on interval setting. Place dough in bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until at least doubled in size. If you don’t have a thermie then this can also be made in a freestanding mixer or by hand….
Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Gently tip out the dough onto the surface. You want to try and keep as much air as possible in the dough. Divide the dough into four pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Roll into a sausage and gently roll with your hands further until about 30 cm long. I have a baguette pan and place the baguettes into it to let them rise again. You can use a couche made of linen or cotton if you don’t have a special pan. The sides of the baguettes need to be supported or they will just spread sideways and be flat baguettes! Cover and leave to rise for another hour until doubled or until they spring back quickly when lightly prodded with a finger.
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mk 9 and place a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven to warm.
When risen slash each baguette four times on the diagonal and dust with a little flour if you like.
Pour 750ml of cold water into the roasting pan to create steam and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.