Classic and authentic french bread at home. This is a 80% hydration baguette, the real deal that you would find in boulangeries!
Is there anything better than freshly baked homemade bread, straight from the oven to your plate? Probably not and simple things like homemade bread is one of my favourite things to make and eat.
I normally eat homemade brown bread and white bread is considered a restaurant treat, you know in the little bread baskets with the tiny dishes of butter?
My favourite "treat" bread of all has to be an artisan French baguette with it's crisp crust and slightly chewy and airy interior. After eating baguettes in Paris, Brittany and in the Alps, I desperately needed a taste of authentic french bread and instead of driving for an hour to get a French-style baguette, I gave myself a challenge to make one at home, using a traditional method as well.
I love making my own bread, it is fun to do and the taste compared to shop-bought bread is unbeatable! Anyone can make bread, depending on which bread you make, you can have a loaf ready start to finish in under an hour. Homemade bread has much less ingredients than store-bought ones, some brands even contain up to 22 ingredients, gasp!
This bread is a little time consuming but it is so worth the effort, the gorgeous crisp golden crust contrasting with the fluffy interior is so worth every knead and prove.
Also, this baguette is naturally vegan, so anyone can enjoy it.
Still anxious about making bread, especially the iconic baguette? Don't worry, I have made my first You Tube video to show you my techniques on how to make this divine bread. I apologise for the camera quality, my camera does not like to film!
If you guys enjoy or like the video, I might even make some more!
This baguette only contains 5 ingredients which you probably have in your cupboards right now - flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water (hopefully not in your cupboards!). Set aside a lazy morning or a rainy day to make this bread, turn up the music and turn off your phone, and just knead and mix away!
I love to eat the baguette, straight out of the oven either plain or with strawberry jam or French Nutella ( I love this stuff) or even with French butter ( I never eat"naked" butter!)
I hope you enjoy, bon appetit!
Authentic French BaguettePosted by Eve
For the starter dough (poolish)
- 100ml warm water, about body temperature (37ºc)
- 1 tsp. dried active bakers yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 120g strong white bread flour
For the baguette
- 115g strong bread flour
- 1 large pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. yeast
- 75ml warm water, see above
- First, make the poolish; put the water, yeast and sugar into a bowl, mix well then leave to rest for 5 minutes until a layer of foam has appeared. Add in the flour and mix well using a spoon, fork or your fingers. Cover the mixture with a damp tea towel and leave to ferment for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, the poolish should be bubbly and giving off a yeasty aroma. Now you can start the main dough.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and yeast and add the water and stir until combined.
- Now, add the poolish to the main dough and mix together using your hands; it will be very sticky! Flour a clean surface and tip out the dough and shape it into a rough rectangle.
- Using your hands, lift up 1 side of the dough and stretch and fold it into the centre of the dough. Do this action of stretching and folding to every side for 3 minutes.
- After the 3 minutes, put the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
- Repeat step 5 and 6 four more times, so you have worked the dough for five 3 minute amounts. After the last stretch and fold, leave the dough to rest on the surface uncovered for 10 minutes, instead of putting it into the bowl.
- Once the dough has rested, flatten it slightly into a rectangle and roll it up tightly like a Swiss roll.
- Measure your baking tray that you are going to bake the baguette on and roll the dough into a baguette shape that will fit onto the tray. Heavily dust a chopping board with flour and place the 1st prepared baguette onto it and dust the top with more flour.
- While the baguette is proving, preheat the oven to 230ºc/ 220ºc fan/ gas mark 7 and place the baking tray into the oven to get very hot. Also, place a smaller tray underneath the "main" tray.
- Once the baguette has proved, using a very sharp knife, cut some slits into the baguette to help it bake up well.
- Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and quickly shimmy and slide the baguette onto it and place back into the oven. Toss 3 - 4 ice cubes or half a cup of water onto the smaller tray underneath the baguette to create some steam. Immediately close the oven door.
- Bake the baguette for 15-20 minutes until they are a dark golden colour, are risen and smell delicious. Remove from the oven and slide the baguette onto a wire rack to cool.
- Enjoy warm or cold with fresh jam, real butter or some "pâte de noisettes".
Baguettes are best eaten warm or cold as soon as they are baked or at least on the same day as baking.