Written by “Baking Great Bread At Home” member, Joshua James Salkie
Okay, so I’ve been working on a baguette recipe that is as simple as can be while still producing a delicious product that ticks all the boxes.
800g bread flour
520/560/600g warm water – beginner/intermediate/advanced
4g fresh yeast or 2g dried/instant yeast.
Mix all ingredients either by hand of using a stand mixer till smooth.
Perform two sets of folds over 1 hour.
Cover and rest in fridge till the following morning.
The dough should have increased in volume by at least 50%. If it’s not let it increase at room temp.
Tip out the dough and divide into roughly 300-350g balls.
Leave for 20 minutes
Now you’ll need a couche/heavy cloth of some description. It’ll need to be well floured, rice flour works very well but plenty of regular old plain/AP will do the trick.
SHAPING – this is the tricky bit. Take a dough ball and flip it upside down on a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough out a bit 👈👉 then stretch and fold the top down to the middle all the way across and then the bottom up to meet where you’ve folded the top down.
Now fold the dough at it’s seem (if you’re using higher hydration you may need to stretch and fold twice here for more strength) and then roll the dough out making nice thinly tapered points at each end. The dough should be roughly 30-40cm long.
Place seem side up on cloth and bunch the cloth up to create a wall either side of the baguette dough so that when it proofs up it’ll help hold it’s shape.
Leave to proof at room temp. Now forget time here as everyone’s room temps will be different. Instead just watch the dough puff up and give it a gentle poke every now and then. When the dough springs back almost all the way it’s ready to go.
Using a planche or something similar (I’ve used a wooden serving board before 😅) take the cloth and use it to flip the baguette dough seem side down onto the board, once you’ve done this make several cuts \ 👈 at this angle down the dough and then transfer still seem side down into the oven.
Bake on a stone or steel at 220°c with steam for the first 15-20 minutes then without steam until desired colour.