Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baguette, from Kris

375 grams bread flour
90 grams all purpose flour
2 tsp yeast (I use red star active dry)
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP sea salt
2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/4 cup warm water (approx. 115 degrees)

In mixing bowl (I actually 'heat' my mixing bowl by inverting it and running under hot water for a minute or two so that the water for the yeast doesn't cool down so much to not activate the yeast) combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 7 - 10 minutes for yeast to activate. Once yeast is activated, add remaining ingredients and combine with wooden spoon until mixture is sort of together into one mass. I use my electric mixer with dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes on level 2. In first 2 minutes I add more flour or water if necessary. Turn dough ball out onto lightly floured surface and knead by hand for additional minute or two - try not to work any additional flour into dough ball (dough will be sticky). Form into tight ball and place into greased glass bowl, brushing the top of the dough ball lightly with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm dry area for 2 hours or until doubled in size (one technique I read about and I use is turn the oven to 450 degrees for 25 seconds, then turn oven off. Place bowl with dough ball into the slightly warmed oven). After dough has doubled in size, punch down to release trapped bubbles, knead gently on a lightly floured surface for a minute or two, then form into 2 baguettes (or 4 small torpedo rolls), place both onto lightly greased cookie sheet. I can't really explain how to form the baguettes, best I can suggest is to look on you tube for how to instruactions on forming baguettes. Optionally you can sprinkle a little corn meal onto the lightly greased cookie sheet before putting the baguettes on it. Cover baguettes with towel and allow to rise a second time for about 20 or 30 minutes. Just enough time to get the oven preheated to 425 degrees.

Just before putting the bread into the oven, spray the sides and bottom of your oven with water in a spray bottle. About 5 sprays each. The more humid air is supposed to lend itself to a crispier crust. Bake for a total of 12 - 15 minutes. After each 5 minutes of baking, spray the sides and bottom of oven again. Bread is done when it is browned all around and sounds 'hollow' when tapped on the underside. Let rest for 5 or 10 minutes before slicing.

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