[Opening jingle] Hi and welcome to The Bread Kitchen. If you’re watching this video, expecting me to make Baguettes that are THIS big, I’m afraid you’re gonna be disappointed because my oven is only THIS big. As is yours, probably. But that won’t stop us making delicious Baguettes! To start with, I’ve got 300 ml of lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons of dried yeast. Just mix those together and then leave it for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate. Here I’ve got 400 g of strong white bread flour. I’ll add in a teaspoon and half of salt and just mix them together. Once the yeasts get busy, pour the yeast/water mix into a nice, big bowl. Then add in about half of the flour. Whisk it together to make a smooth batter. Looks like I’m about to make pancakes but I’m not. Cover this and pop it in a warm place for about 3 or 4 hours. This has been bubbling away for about 4 hours now. What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna add the rest of the flour and mix it in. That first fermentation really does change the taste of the bread. Now… My dough is very sticky so I’m gonna toss in a handful of flour and mix that in and I’ll just keep adding in flour until I get a a soft, moist dough. After a couple of handfuls of flour, what I’ve got is a soft, slightly sticky dough. Now turn this lovely, soft, dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes. Amazing stuff, this! After 10 minutes of pummeling, the dough should be nice and soft and springy. Now I’m gonna pop it into this lightly-oiled bowl. Cover it and then leave it in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Well, I reckon that’s looking pretty good, don’t you? I’ll just flour my surface. Turn the dough out. Just knock it back a bit. I’m gonna make 2 baguettes with this. I’ll cut the dough in half. Make each half into a nice ball. I’ll take one of the pieces of dough and stretch it out to about 6 inches by 3 inches or 15 cm by 8 cm. Fold up the bottom, fold over the top, press the edges together and then stretch it out again. Same sort of dimensions you might need to leave the dough rest a
little bit between each stretch to avoid tearing the dough. You don’t want to do that. So I’ve given that two foldings. I’ll just leave that to rest and I’ll give this other one a couple of foldings. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to fold the dough 3 or 4 times. Alright. Back to my first piece of dough. Put the seam underneath so it looks nice on the top. Put that to one side. I’ve now got a couple of nice baguette shapes. I need them to rise again but I need to do that in such a way that
they don’t flow outwards so you’ve got 2 alternatives: First option is to get yourself a tea towel. Fold it in such a way as you create a couple of channels in it and then you can put your bread in those channels to rise. Or you can pop them into a lightly-oiled baguette tray. You can either need to cover these or what I tend to do is put them in a nice, big bag. Make sure the plastic is well off the bread and then leave these to rise for about half an hour. These are certainly looking quite nice after half an hour. I’m gonna put some deep slashes in them. I’m gonna pop these in a very hot oven with some water in the bottom for about 15 to 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, you’ll have these glorious, golden Baguettes. Now leave them to cool. What it’s missing now is a lovely chunk of Brie. The Baguette is an integral part of the French way of life and you’ll find it served with just about any meal that’s going. I hope you enjoy making your Baguettes and do join me next time in The Bread Kitchen. [Closing jingle]