Thursday 20 November 2008

French bread« Baguette » Trial 1

French food laws define bread as a product containing only the following four ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and common salt; the addition of any other ingredient to the basic recipe requires the baker to use a different name for the final product.

French bread is required by law to avoid preservatives, and as a result bread goes stale in under 24 hours, thus baking baguettes is a daily occurrence, unlike sourdough bread which is baked generally once or twice a week, due to the natural preservatives in a sourdough starter.
A typical French bread is shaped into baguette, which means a stick, which consists of long and slender bread with a crusty and browned loaf and the interior part is white and soft with lots of irregular holes (sign of good quality).

Somebody said that the art of making a perfect baguette is the benchmark; If you can master the baguette, you're capable of baking anything!

My Baguette Trial I:

Things needed: (for 4)
500 g Wheat flour
10 g fresh yeast
A pinch of salt
2 tsps sugar
200 ml warm water
2 tbsps milk

Mix the salt with the flour in a bowl. On a work surface, prepare the flour by making a hole in the middle. Add the fresh yeast, sugar, and the warm water & knead for few minutes. The dough will be sticky in the beginning; continue to knead without adding more flour. You can also use a robot for preparing this. When the dough has been well kneaded, it doesn’t stick to the working surface and it is very soft. Now cover this dough & leave it in a warm place (for me, it will be in an oven) for about an hour.
When the dough has doubled the volume, knead it once again by folding the dough several times on itself & pressing with your palms in order to remove any excess air from the dough. Then start flattening the dough to form a rectangle shape and fold it on itself to the 3/4th of its size. Now seal the ends by pressing at the sides. Fold the remaining part on to itself & give it a thin &long shape. Roll it with your hands, by making a W kind of movement starting from the middle of the long dough & seal the ends tightly by pressing.
Leave this covered on a tray in a warm place for another one hour. Apply some milk on the surface of the dough & make deep incisions on the dough with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven at 240° C and cook for 20 minutes at 240°C. Let it cool down on a grid.

Bon appétit!
Sending this to Sindhura's Sandwich Event for all.


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