The Mad Baker: Baguettes

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by bigmike&nan, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can't believe I don't have this recipe posted here !! It's a warm and humid day, perfect for dough - BAGUETTES !!!

    (WRITTEN A LITTLE OVER 3 YEARS AGO)
    I've been following my roots and getting back to baking. I LOVE BREAD as does my bride, and being our one year anniversary quickly approaches and funds are short I've been making her a lot of things at home. Cards, cakes, exotic dinners she wanted to try and lastly cookies, cakes and breads... I remember while orking at Vivande one of the line chefs would spend quiet parts of the shift reading a book that was up in the retail area. He loved this book, but being poorly paid it was quite a while before he bought it - this book is now out of print and very expensive, if you can find one for sale. So I reccomend any serious want to be baker check out THE VILLAGE BAKER by Joe Ortiz. In the 80s I used to frequent Gayle's Bakery, the very bakery in Capitola where he worked before writing his book... what a place. Joe's mastery of rustic breads and rolls is something to behold...

    So inspired by my family roots and memories I began my experiments to make the perfect baguette. I've had a couple of throws at it, digging into notes from school and recalling the techniques I learned at the baker's bench. Also I spent a lot of time online, looking at clips on YOU TUBE and elsewhere by Googling for recipes. I share one site with you now I think is particularly inspiring. Check out baker Mark at the Back Home Bakery website:

    http://thebackhomebakery.com/index.html

    he has recipes and video tutorials that should have you running out to buy bread flour, yeast and some decent sheet pans...

    Here's my baguette recipe and a lovely photo of today's work to inspire you - Bloof: imagine some lovely triple cream brie with a warm home made baguette...

    1 package dry yeast (about 1 1/2 Tsp)
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 pinch sugar
    3 cups bread flour
    1 cup all purpose flour
    2 cups tepid water
    2 tsp. salt


    Warm mixing bowl with hot water - then empty and add 1/4 cup warm water, sugar and yeast, mix with spoon and let rest 5 minutes or until it blooms. Then add 2 cups bread flour and the 2 cups tepid water and mix all well with your hands (or at speed 2 on your mixer). Slowly add salt and remaining flour until you have a sticky well combined mass. Knead in bowl with your fist, punching down and turning bowl 1/4 turn each time. Do this for a bout 4 minutes (or at speed 3 on your mixer for 4 minutes). Pour EVO onto dough and flip so dough is liglhtly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap, place in warm draft free location for 2-3 hours, it will have roughly doubled in bulk. Remove plastic wrap and lift dough from side of bowl - plop it down onto itself to deflate dough. Cover and let rise again about 2 hours. Remove plastic wrap and deflate again, cover and let rest one hour.

    On lightly floured surface cut dough into two pieces, set one aside to rest. Roll the dough into a rectangle and then fold one third toward the center, then fold other third on top (letter folding). Rotate and roll out into a rectangle and letter fold this one again. Cover with plastic wrap - repeat with other hunk of dough. Let the two hunks of dough rest one half hour. Now take one piece of dough and slice into half, lift each and plop onto work surface firmly a couple times to deflate. Move to side and let rest 10 minutes, repeat with other piece of dough. Now do the same with the other large piece. You will have FOUR pieces resting.

    Now take one piece, pull out and shape gently into a log and from the center roll it out into a long baguette. Let rest a moment and repeat rolling out from center - your loaf should be about 15-20 inches long, the only limit is the size of your sheet pans. Place loaf onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with other pieces. Each sheet pan should have two loaves. Now "dock" or slashes into the loaf with very sharp knife or single edge razor - the cuts should go across and along length of loaf and should be at about a 30 degree angle to the loaf so that the cus pop open in the oven. Cover each sheet pan with oiled plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 500 degrees.

    Remove plastic from first sheet pan and place loaves in hot oven. Spray water on inside of oven walls and loaves with a laundry or plant sprayer so you get a nice mist/steam going in oven - quickly close oven door - this water spraying will help proof them to their maximum size. After two minutes spray inside of oven walls and loaves one more time. Let bake 10 minutes at 500 degrees and then turn down to 400. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until loaves are a golden brown. Remove from oven, lift a loaf with an oven glove and tap the bottom - if done you should hear a nice hollow sound. now repeat baking process with 2nd sheet pan of loaves (do not try to bake all the loaves at once, this will crowd the oven and give you unsatisfactory results).

    Allow loaves to cool some and then serve with a soft French cheese, or some hearty pasta and red wine...


    [​IMG]
    these baguettes are about 20 inches long.


    Please check out the following video - if this doesn't get you interested in baking some baguettes I don't know what will...

     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  2. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    [​IMG] Oh MY! I could almost smell the bread baking. I miss the bakeries they have in Australia in almost every major shopping area. The bakeries they have here only make cakes and sweets.
     
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Ugh, i'm out of bread flour and want to try this today! Perfect warm humid day for it... and I'm craving it now!!!

    May risk doing this with whole wheat & all purpose!? [​IMG]
     
  4. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chooks,

    Sorry about that - when I was living in Santiago Chile I was amazed at the German and French populations there - the German and French bakeries right in the grocery stores always had amazing pumpernickel, the French great baguettes and rolls - amazing baguettes, always right out of the oven. A-mazing...

    VFEM, you can use 2/3 all purpose and 1/3 whole wheat, you'll get a decent loaf. Actually I would suggest all all purpose tho, just work that dough a LONG TIME... It won't hurt. Get it too whole wheat and they'll be bats, not loaves.

    Big
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    bigmike&nan :

    Chooks,

    Sorry about that - when I was living in Santiago Chile I was amazed at the German and French populations there - the German and French bakeries right in the grocery stores always had amazing pumpernickel, the French great baguettes and rolls - amazing baguettes, always right out of the oven. A-mazing...

    VFEM, you can use 2/3 all purpose and 1/3 whole wheat, you'll get a decent loaf. Actually I would suggest all all purpose tho, just work that dough a LONG TIME... It won't hurt. Get it too whole wheat and they'll be bats, not loaves.

    Big


    I did 1/2 cup whole wheat and the rest all purpose, so I think that will do me well. I also added a bit of milk to the sponge liquid (did 1/2 warm water with 1/2 milk warmed for that 1/4 cup). I read somewhere milk softens the whole wheat in a bread recipe. So far its proofing in the oven on it's first rise.​
     
  6. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Vfem

    I learned a great trick watching a bread making video on the internet. The baker used a small plastic storage box to let his dough proof in (we're talking 15x9x8) - one of those ones with a snap on lid like you can find at Target. Like the kind you could store a couple of sweaters in. Cost you about $5.00.

    Plop a little EVO into the container and then flip the dough to grease it. Put the lid on and then lay a towel over the whole thing. 2 hours later you find the container is filled side to side, end to end with dough. It climbs up the sides of the box. Best proofing results I ever got. I just flip one end of the dough into the middle, then the other side - then flip it all over so the fold is on the underside. Do that, wait 2 hours to let it grow, then do that again. Works great !!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  7. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    You shared that link with me! I think I dove into that guys videos and watched like 6 of them! Loved it!!!
     
  8. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just got the book on amazon in storage condition. Can't wait to get into the videos!
     
  9. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
  10. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:KenK,

    This is the guy I got the storage box trick from !!!



    I think this is the same link I shared here with VFem a while back. Great stuff...
    Got me jonesing for some sticky buns now. YUMM... We're broke but I got all the fixings for them, it's gonna rain in a bit, good dough weather.

    Mike
     

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