Baguettes: Stage 1

There is a fire in the hearth and Mr L  is in the front room, playing on his keyboard, so I am keeping him company and baking in the kitchen. I have fresh yeast in need of using, and my new copy of Dough and so…

I am having a go at Baguettes. I have almost all that I need in order to do a proper job, but I still lack a spray bottle for the crust.

One important lack isthat of a stone or a tray large enough to bake a decent-sized stick. My stone is a round pizza stone and will make one short stick. The remainder will have to go on one of my heavy baking trays and be restricted by its dimensions.

If I remember, I shall keep back 200 grams of dough for a ferment, so I may only get two, possibly three, baguettes instead of four as stated in the recipe.

Recipe: plain white dough from Richard Bertinet’s basic recipe in Dough, using 500g Bacheldre Watermill Organic Stoneground Unbleached White flour – this is my first dough from this flour and I am excited to see how it turns out. It had better be good – I have 25 kilos to use!

Method: I am following Richard’s instructions to the letter, to the best of my ability – so have used his dough-stretching method. It did not go terribly well at first. I believe that I needed a wetter dough but had already added extra water to his carefully stated 350g and was leery of adding more. I am of the opinion that a slacker dough, and more of it, would make the method easier to work. I had trouble in sticking the dough to the table in order to stretch it properly. Anyway, as you might predict, just at the stage where I was deciding that I would never get the hang of this, the dough came together and started wanting to form a cohesive ball. Like magic.

The dough is currently rising… or resting, as Richard would have it, for an hour. It should double in size.

wpid390-shower-capped-1-of-1.jpg

Here is a tip that you may not have previously seen – I use disposable shower caps to cover my bowls and baskets. Five to a pack, from Tesco, for just £1.00 – or nick them when you stay at a travel lodge type hotel. Each will give you somewhere from several to many uses and the degree  of stretchiness accommodates many bowl dimensions.

Baguettes: Stage 2

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