January 21, 2022
A small version of the classic French baguette.
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 35 min
- Other: 3 hrs (proving)
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 2 loaves
- 250g strong white flour (bread flour), plus extra for dusting
- 5g salt
- 5g fast-action dry yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling
- 180ml cool water
- Semolina for dusting
- Put the flour in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
- Start mixing on slow speed and gradually add the oil and water. After 5 minutes, turn the speed up to medium and mix for a further 5-10 minutes, until you have a glossy, elastic dough that forms a ball on the dough hook and has a long, strong stretch when you pull it. You should be able to stretch a piece out to 30cm without it breaking.
- Tip the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
- Mix equal quantities of white flour and semolina together for dusting and scatter on work surface. Tip the dough onto the surface and knock back by pressing it down with the heels of your hands and then the tips of your fingers. Fold the dough in on itself several times to give it greater strength for rising
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. You are now going to shape the dough to give it form and structure. Stretch each piece of dough into a long oblong, with the long side facing you. Fold the long edge furthest from you firmly down into the middle, then fold the bottom edge up into the middle and push it down firmly with your knuckles or fingertips.
- Turn each piece over and roll into a baguette shape, keeping the dough nice and taut as you do so and applying a little extra pressure on the ends to get the classic baguette shape. The top should be smooth with a seam running along the bottom.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper, unless you have a good non-stick tray. Dust the tray with the flour and semolina mixture, then lift the shaped baguettes onto it.
- Place the baking tray inside a roomy plastic bag that won’t tough the dough as it rises. Leave to prove, or rise again, for about 1 hour until the baguettes have roughly doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200oC (394oF) and put a roasting pan on the bottom shelf.
- Just before baking, dust the baguettes with the flour and semolina mix. Now slash the tops 3 times with a sharp knife, using long diagonal strokes and cutting about 2cm (0.75in) deep. This helps the top of the dough to open out attractively and gives the baguette its characteristic appearance.
- Pour 1 liter water into the roasting tray to create some steam. which helps to form the crust. bake the loaves in the oven for 25 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 180oC (356oF) and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the baguettes are golden brown and have a slight sheen to them. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- 2022-01-22 – First try making baguettes. I used 4 on the mixer as medium and the dough ball after 10 minutes didn’t seem the consistency I envisioned. Maybe I will use 6 next time since my Kitchenaid doesn’t have a 5. Used the oven for my proof box and that worked fine although I’m not sure I got as much rise on the second proof as needed. I really struggled shaping the loaves. Guess that will just take time. But they turned out crispy on the outside and the crumb was springy and tasted pretty good. I expect I’ll need to make these a lot more to really get better but they were pretty good with the beef stew we had.
- Paul Hollywood’s Bread – Mini Baguettes, P121 – 123