French Baguettes

Ingredients

  • 450 grams minus 4 tablespoon All purpose flour (maida)
  • 4 tbsp Gluten Powder(optional)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 7 grams Yeast
  • 325 ml lukewarm Water (little more if required)

Method

  1. I have used bread flour for this recipe, you can use all purpose flour just by skipping the gluten.To make bread flour - from 450 grams of all purpose flour remove 4 tbsp of flour and replace it with 4 tbsp of gluten.
  2. Sift flour,gluten and salt into a bowl (if you think your yeast is very reliable you can go ahead and mix the yeast in the flour and make a dough using the water.....otherwise follow the next step) 
  3. In a bowl combine lukewarm water sugar and yeast and mix. Keep in a warm area for few minutes. Once you see the bubbly froth in the yeast water mixture pour into the sifted flour and stir with your hands until it leaves the side of the bowl.(add little water if required)
  4. Transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes or till smooth and elastic.Once kneaded place the dough in an oiled bowl cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm area for 1 hour or till the dough doubles in size.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the baking tray, I wanted the exact baguette shape for which I used the cardboard roll of the kitchen towel roll as a partition (you can use anything you want...maybe a long glass jar...just brainstorm)...see picture below.


I covered the roll with butter paper (u can skip that step). Oil the bottom and sides of the pan and place a butter paper or parchment paper on the baking tray including the cardboard roll(the butter paper should cover the whole tray and more coz when you place the rolled dough an each side the butter paper will sink in on both sides and will take shape.

Preheating the oven:- Keep a small vessel of water inside the oven and preheat at the highest temperature (mine is 210 degree C) for 30 minutes.

6. Getting back to the dough ,punch down the dough and remove all the air.Divide into two equal balls, keep one aside. Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and roll out into a rectangle (remember the longer side on the rectangle should fit into you baking tray...so make it little smaller than your baking tray).

7.Once you have rolled out your rectangle, place the longer side towards you and roll (like a swiss roll....make sure the end of the roll comes underneath).Once you have rolled the dough you have a long log. Now for the smooth round end...on both corners pull the top layer of the roll and cover the endings with it,that is how you get a smooth round  end.

8. Roll the dough on little flour to get a rustic bakery look (you can skip this), and place the dough on one side of  the prepared baking tray. Repeat the same with the remaining dough and place on the tray. Cover the tray with a damp cloth and place in a warm area for 30 to 40 minutes or till it doubles in size.

9. Once the rolls have doubled its time to make the slits on the dough. Dip a sharp serrated knife into water and and keep the knife in a  slanting position on the dough and make four slits as fast as you can (don't stop in between, move your hands quickly while making the slits)

10. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or till the top turns golden brown.Last few minutes of baking time remove the rolls from the tray and bake again on the wire rack for 5 more minutes to crisp up the bottom of the rolls.

11. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

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