Friday, September 22, 2006

Baguette by Paul Hollywood

I've been baking quite a bit lately. No matter how stressed I am, breadmaking always calms me down. It's really good for the soul. And when the results are so good, well, it's hard not to find the time. Anyway. This baguette is from Paul Hollywood's book "100 great breads". It's a soft baguette, and the inclusion of butter makes it tighter in crumb than those fluffy, hollowy french breads. I'd say that this is perfect as a sandwich bread, rather than eating with just butter or cheese - but that's just me. In a few days, I will post a baguette recipe that I like a lot more - the results are more chewy, crusty and in general, more baguette-y. However, this recipe is easy, and that's really important too. The dough is easy to handle, it's not sticky or runny, and it's very hard to mess this one up. (As indeed with many Hollywood breads. I very much recommend his book - it's been very reliable for me.)

Please note that you need to start this one day before you plan on eating. Don't worry, it'll just take a minute.

makes 1

500 g white flour, preferrably extra strong
20 g fresh yeast
warm water
1 tbsp salt
50 g butter, softened

Day 1:
Mix 200 g of the flour with all the yeast, and enough water to make a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and leave overnight.

Day 2:
Add the rest of the flour, the salt and the butter. Add enough water to make the dough smooth and elastic, but not sticky or wet. Leave to rise in the bowl for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough as to remove the air, and shape into a baguette form. Place on a baking sheet, and let rise for another hour.

Heat the oven to 220°C, and just before you put in the bread, make several diagonal slashes in it. Bake for about 30 minutes.



Andrew said...

Have you tried baking bread with ice cubes in the bottom of the oven? You put them in at the same time as the bread - the steam makes for a better, crispier crust.

Anne said...

Andrew, I've never tried ice cubes, but I often have a tray of water in the bottom, for the steam effect. Not with this particular recipe though.

Pene said...

Yes, making bread is always soothing & makes the house smell wonderful!

Rachael Narins said...

Paul Hollywood is so cute it sounds like a fake

The bread sounds great too!

Awayofmind Bakery House said...

Hey i love to eat baguette, Anne, your method looks easy, will try to bake one using your way.

Lauren said...

Hello Anne
Thank you for your blog! Fantastic!! I baked the baguettes too from your blog. Thanks so much for sharing!! I'm working my way around the world in eighty bakes and blogging about it too