Ah bread week. The week that I was least looking forward to. Bread week turned out to be my most challenging week last year, if you recall my misshapen ciabatta. I started my bake with a sense of trepidation. I kept asking myself why I wasn’t doing a delicious, savoury quick bread- i.e. something that I felt comfortable with.
But knowing that I let myself down on bread last year, I had to take on one with a long proving time that could be considered technically more difficult than a quick bread. Proving in our flat is always tricky – our windows aren’t double glazed, are about 100 years old and don’t seal properly. (On a windy day, our curtains blow around inside the flat…with the windows closed.) To make things rise, I have to find warm patches inside the house and move the bowl around when necessary.
Whilst my baguette wasn’t as gloriously formed as some of those on the show, and I forgot a last dusting of flour for aesthetic appeal, my baguette had a loose texture, a crisp crunchy crust, and it stretched instead of snapping and tearing. It tasted glorious.
- 250g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g salt
- 5g fast action dried yeast
- 30mL olive oil, plus extra for oiling
- 180mL water
- Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and most of the water in a large bowl and mix with a dough hook. Start mixing on a slow speed, gradually adding the rest of the water until you have a smooth dough, for about 5 minutes.
- Place your dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave the dough to prove for two hours.
- After your dough has finished proving, place it onto an oiled surface, then divide the dough in two. Kneed the dough and stretch and fold, and then roll the dough into a baguette shape.
- Place on a baguette tray or a large baking tray, cover and leave to prove until it has doubled in size.
- Heat a roasting dish in the bottom of the oven and pour in some water to create some steam (this will help form the crust). Preheat the oven to 220C (425F).
- Just before baking, slash the top of each baguette three times.
- Bake the baguettes for 30 minutes. Then drop the temperature to 200C (400 F) and cook for 10 minutes. The baked baguettes should be golden-brown.
How successful was your bread making this week?
And now on to something even more exciting! Last time, Ala got to announce of favourites of the past week, this week it’s my turn!
Congratulations Abigail, Sophie and Alice! We drooled over Abigail’s yummy biscotti flavours, swooned over Sophie’s perfect arlette spirals, and were in general awe of Alice’s bravery in taking on the 3D biscuit box.
Now it’s time to link up your bread bakes! And maybe next week you can be one of #bakeoffbakealong ‘s winners!