Happiness month – day 18, baking french bread
Today’s post is in honour of the lovely Jennifer over at Not Easy to Be Green.
She sent me a tweet saying “Mrs Green, I found the best baguette recipe! So easy, I wanted to share http://t.co/wShEGdc”
Now I don’t know whether she’s psychic or something, I mean, how did she know that baguettes are one of Little Miss Green’s favourites?
In fact, only that morning I’d bought a baguette at the extortionate price of £1. I wouldn’t mind paying twice that amount if it were organic or artisan, but this was a bog standard supermarket loaf that LMG’s big brown eyes had begged me for.
You might remember that it’s taken me thirty something years to be able to bake bread. Gimme cakes, souffles, anything that’s supposed to be impossile and I laugh at the word ‘impossible’ but I’d never mastered bread until I tried a recipe shared by Enlgish Mum.
With my confidence intact I decided it was time to spread my wings to une baguette.
I started gently by preparing enough dough for just one loaf incase it didn’t work out, which went something like this:
French Baguette recipe
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups strong white bread flour
- 1/4 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon quick action yeast
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon until you get a dough
- Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes. It’s a very sticky dough, but just keep at it until the ten minutes are up. If the dough is still sticking to your hands add about 1/2 tablespoon more dough until you can shape it into a ball
- Place the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic. Put in a draught free, warm place until the dough doubles in size. This took about 1 1/2 hours
- Take the dough out of the bowl, punch it around for 30 seconds and shape into une baguette. I did this by rolling it up like a sausage then stretching it out.
- Put onto a baking sheet, cover with plastic again and leave until doubled in size – around 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 170 (mine’s a fan oven, you’ll need to adjust the temperature accordingly) and put a roasting tin with water in the bottom to create steam
- Pop the bread in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Take the loaf out, turn it upside down and bake for another 4 minutes
- Et Voila!
- Wait until cool if you possible can and enjoy!
I’m not sure how authentic it is; I’m quite certain a French person would laugh at me, but there you go. Seeing Little Miss Green’s face when she ate the bread was definitely my ‘happy moment’ for the day. Thanks for putting a smile on both our faces, Jennifer!
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