Baguette is arguably the most difficult bread to make. It takes perfect fermentation, perfect shaping, perfect scoring, and perfect baking to get a great result. I have made a few baguette videos already detailing all the steps and trying to give as much information as possible for you to successfully make your own baguettes.
You can check out a more in-depth writ-up on the baguette topic here. It is worth reading it and watching the other video to get a better understanding of the baguette making process especially if you have not made baguettes before.
This recipe is a more laid back and less serious approach to the process. Since I stopped using pre-ferments and since I stopped kneading all the doughs I make, it was time to tackle the baguette with these adjustments.
Instead of using a pre-ferment we will cold bulk ferment this dough for 24 hours. That will develop great flavour. And instead of kneading we will simply give the dough a couple folds to develop enough gluten strength.
All other principles still apply. The baguette must be shaped well and proofed right, scored properly, and baked with plenty of steam. More on that in the link above.
This recipe makes two demi-baguettes or one full baguette if your oven is two feet wide!
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
250g (8.8oz) white bread flour
2.5g (0.09oz) instant dry yeast or 3g (0.1oz) active dry yeast or 7.5g (0.26oz) fresh yeast
5g (0.17oz) salt
160g (5.3oz) water
If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.
- In a large bowl combine the water, yeast, and salt. Mix well to dissolve the salt completely. Add the flour and mix to a dough. *Desired dough temperature 25C (77F).
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Fold the dough.
- Place back into the fridge for around 12 hours of fermentation.
- Give the dough another fold.
- Place it back into the fridge to complete the full 24-hour cold bulk fermentation.
- Divide the dough in two and pre-shape.
- Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
- Perform the final shaping. *See video.
- Place between the folds of a well-floured cloth and leave for the final proof which should take around 1 hour. During this time pre-heat the oven, baking steel, stone or tray, and a steaming pan to 250C (480F) fan off.
- Invert the baguettes on to a piece of baking paper and score them.
- Place them in the oven and steam the chamber. Turn the temperature down to 230C (445F) and bake for around 20 minutes or until the crust has nicely browned all over.
Leave to cool down and enjoy.
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here