Most authentic French baguette recipes I come across on the internet or in my baking books take far longer to make and bake than this one I’m sharing today. My husband being from Algeria, the French influence on the culture and cuisine of his home country is evident even 50 years on from the country’s independence.
Did you know? It is against the law in France to use preservatives in bread. So the baguette is made every day in bakeries across France. In Paris you will often see people especially in the morning, sitting in the park eating this simple yet satisfying staple along with jelly, I wonder if they have yet cottoned on to the peanut butter and jelly/jam flavour combination, me thinks not.
325ml* water warm to touch
*maybe more or less, add slowly.
Place flour in a medium size bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, sprinkle salt evenly over flour, give it a mix with your hand/spoon, or let the mixer do the work for you! Sprinkle yeast evenly over the flour and mix again. Make a well in the centre of your flour, add 1 cup/250 millilitres and mix together adding more water little by little until dough forms then knead by hand for 10 minutes or 5 minutes in your stand mixer. Check if dough is kneaded enough by pressing a floured finger into the smooth dough, the indentation should spring back.
Lightly coat a medium size bowl with oil (I used extra virgin olive oil but it’s up to you), place your dough inside the bowl and then turn it over so the top is coated with oil, cover with plastic wrap or a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it has nearly doubled in size.
Remove dough from bowl and knock back the dough by kneading for a minute or two. Weigh the dough it should be around 800g, whatever the weight divide it by 4 which in this case would give you 4 x 200g balls, leave dough balls to rest for 15 minutes and then shape into baguettes, look to this video i found on how to shape baguettes.