Another winter storm blew in on Tuesday night, so we baked baguettes. This is number 5 of our Bake Off challenge. It took six hours from start to finish, so you’ve really got to like baguettes. The recipe from “The Great British Bake Off Everyday” uses two flours; 300 g of white bread flour and 200g of plain white flour. You mix them together and then halve them into two bowls. One bowl will get 1/2 teaspoon of yeast and 300 ml of warm water, which you mix to a batter.
Cover the batter and leave for 3-4 hours. It should be all bubbly.
Add another 1 3/4 teaspoons of yeast, the other bowl of flour and a tablespoon of warm water. We added another 3 tablespoons of water to get a “slightly soft but not sticky” dough. Cover and leave to rise for an hour. After an hour or so, cut into two. Form into balls and leave for 15 minutes. Roll out to a rectangle 25 cm x 30 cm (10″ x 12″) then roll up tightly from the long side, tuck the ends in and pinch the seam together.
There was a very long discussion about wrapping up the loaves in floured towels, which we ignored. We covered them in plastic and left them for 45 minutes. Meanwhile the oven was turned to 450 F/230C. We put a baking sheet and a roasting tin in to heat up. When the dough is ready you roll it onto the hot baking sheet, brush with salt water and slash several times. When you put them in the oven, pour some water into the roasting tin to create steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Ours were done in less.
The seams split on the one loaf so they need to be pinched quite well, but overall, we were happy with the outcome. They tasted really good and had that nice crispy outside. Becky had some trouble chewing hers, but found it was good with soup. I just wanted ham and tomato with mine. I’m not sure we’ll ever do this again as it’s not our favourite bread, but it was another experience to learn from.