Let’s start with a question. Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked bread? Especially in the morning when you are very hungry?… It’s gone very quiet out there. Ah, I see, you all love the smell of freshly baked bread. Well, what about these fantastic freshly baked French baguettes!! Don’t they look wonderful…
Yep, French baguettes freshly baked at home. Ok, you’ve got to get up a little early if you want them first thing but, oh man, it’s worth it. That wonderful aroma of bread baking alone is worth stealing a couple of hours of slumber. Let alone the warm taste of that crusty bread, possibly with some super toasted sesame seeds on top. Yum!
Now, before I show you how to make these beautiful baguettes a little about why they are better for you than normal white bread. We all know that wholemeal or granary bread is better for our health than white bread, primarily due to, amongst other things, a far higher fibre content. However, why else is white bread criticised?
The thing is, over 90% of the bread you find in your local store is high in fat. And not always the good sort. A lot of butter or processed fats are used to preserve bread. In simple terms, the longer the bread will last before going stale, the more fat will be in there. That’s why your average white sliced loaf or packet of white baps will still seem fresh 4 days after you bought them. Very convenient but not great for your health.
These freshly baked French baguettes, however, are fat-free and have zero cholesterol. The downside is that they will only stay fresh for 1 day at best. But hey, when they smell as good as they do when baking, and look as good as those above, who cares? They’ll be eaten in no time anyway!!
Right, let’s make them…
1. Get the ingredients together
If you ignore the optional sesame seeds, and the little touch of olive oil for kneading, there are only 4 ingredients for this freshly baked French baguettes. And, remember, no fat.
All you need is some strong white flour, salt, yeast and water. Simple as that.
The measurements to make two reasonably sized baguettes are shown in the printable recipe below. Just scale up or down depending on how many you want to make.
2. Prepare the baguette dough
To prepare the baguette dough simple take the flour, salt and yeast and place this in your mixer. Try and keep the salt and yeast separate for now as pure salt can kill some of the yeast if not mixed with water.
You can see here that I have used a food processor with a dough attachment. This is primarily because I was only making a small batch. Plus, I don’t have one of those fancy big kitchen aids with a dough hook ????.
Either way, once the dry goods are in the mixer start mixing at a slow speed and slowly add the water. Once the water is added and the dough has formed increase the speed slightly and mix for around 8 minutes. Once mixed, remove the baguette dough from the mixer and form a ball with it. Then place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl or container.
With the baguette dough ball in the bowl just cover it with a clean tea towel and leave for 45-60 minutes to rest. It is ready when it has doubled in size and springs back when lightly prodded with your finger.
3. Form the baguettes
With the baguette dough rested and doubled in size gently remove it from the bowl and place it on a lightly oiled work surface. Now, split the ball into 2 equal halves and roll into balls again. Be gentle with this process. You want to keep some of the air still in the baguette dough.
Roll these ball into short sausage shapes and then into longer baguette rolls. Remember, you’re home oven unlikely to be as large as industrial baking ovens so only make the baguettes as long as you oven baking tray.
You can add sesame or poppy seeds if you like them. I personally love the taste of roasted sesame seeds so added these to one of the baguettes.
4. Prepare the baguettes for baking
With the baguettes formed you can now prepare them for baking. First, put your oven on to heat up at 220C / 200C Fan and place an empty baking tray in the bottom of the oven to heat up. You will ultimately add hot water to this to create steam on the oven. This help make the baguettes crusty.
Now, place the baguettes on a baking paper lined baking tray.
Now cover this tightly with clingfilm. Leave for another 45-60 minutes until the baguettes have doubled in size.
Leave for another 45-60 minutes until the baguettes have doubled in size.
The final thing to do before baking is to score the tops of the baguettes. Do this diagonally with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Be careful not to cut too deep and release a lot of the air.
5. Bake the baguettes
Now, add some hot water to the baking tray at the bottom of the oven and then place the baguettes in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden in colour.
Once baked, transfer to cooling wires and let cool a little.
And there you are, wake the family up and eat these fantastic freshly baked French baguettes while still warm! Yum!!
Well, that’s it for now gang. I need to go back to bed after my early start!! ???? Don’t worry though, I’ll be back tomorrow with something new. Not sure what but I’m thinking Italian. A move across Europe a little…
If you want to be kept up to date on all new recipes then just subscribe to my newsletter at the top of the page. Don’t worry, no spam and hopefully very informative. Or have a look at other recipes from The Yum Yum Club like those below…
As always, many thanks for reading and until next time… Steve.
6. Nutritional values
7. Printable recipe
Nothing's better than the smell of freshly baked bread first thing. Ok, you have to get up early but it's worth it ????. Freshly baked French baguettes. Yum! | theyumyumclub.com
- 250 grams strong white flour
- 5 grams salt
- 5 grams fast acting yeast
- 185 ml water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, optional
First, gather all of the ingredients together.
Now, add the dry ingredients to your mixer, being careful not to add the salt and yeast together.
Using your bread making attachment or dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed and slowly add the water. Once the dough has formed, mix for 7-8 minutes.
Now, remove the dough from the mixer and form a ball. Place this in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
Allow this to rest for 45 - 60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Gently remove the dough from the bowl and place on an oiled surface. Split the dough into 2 halves and roll each half into a ball.
Now roll each ball into short sausage shapes.
And then into longer baguettes just the right size to fit in your baking tray. Add sesame seeds if you like.
Place baking paper on your baking tray and transfer the baguettes to the tray.
Cover the tray with clingfilm. Also, turn your oven on to 220C / 200C Fan and place an empty baking tray in the bottom of the oven.
Again, leave to rest for 45 - 60 minutes, or until the baguettes have doubled in size.
Remove the clingfilm and, using a sharp knife, score diagonally the baguettes. Do no use too much pressure as you do not want the baguettes to deflate.
Now, add hot water to the empty baking tray in the oven to create steam and place the baguettes in the oven. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
Once baked, transfer to cooling wires to cool.
And there you have it. Fantastic freshly baked French baguettes. You can now go back to bed! ????