Oh happy happy Saturday.
I’m at the last day of my two month long vacation. Tommorow, I’ll go back to college and it’ll be back to the grind.
But I’ll always have Sundays.
When I was younger, I never looked forward to the weekend. Ever.
We always had weekends off and school didn’t begin till 12:30 when I was in primary school. The only thing that got me remotely excited was watching a new episode of a TV show I’m now ashamed to name (no one will ever know!), although it was an important part of my childhood.
I remember waking up, carelessly pouring milk on my chocolate cereal as I sat to watch my serial.
Now, although this , at that point, was routine for me, it became some sort of a ritual.
Flash forward to today.
Nothing’s changed all that much, really.
While I don’t wake up early to watch television now (good luck trying to get me out of bed before it’s 11), but I still have something that I look forward to.
Something, that’s become somewhat of a ritual.
Making myself a cup of tea, putting on some Young The Giant and sinking my hands in dough, ready to be shaped into logs of bread or maybe, rolls.
It’s something that gets me out of bed every weekend and sometimes, I wake up early too.
no fail authentic French baguettes.
These are hands down, the best baguettes I’ve ever made. And so so close to the real deal! They have a fantastic crust that’s crunchy and doesn’t go soft after a while. It’s also got a soft, chewy interior which I love.
These are really easy to throw together so don’t be intimated by the idea of working with yeast! It’s a friendly little fungus!
Prep – 35 minutes + rising time
Cooking time – 35-45 minutes
Makes 3 baguettes/ 6 smaller baguettes
From bread by Anne Sheasby
400 g strong plain white flour (* you can use all white flour)
115 g white flour
1.5 tsp + 1 tsp salt
7g dried active yeast
About 300ml warm water (not hot! Think bath water!)
1 tsp cornflower
– flour a large baking sheet and set aside. Sift the flours and 1.5 tsps of salt and stir gently. Now stir in the yeast. Add just enough warm water so that you form a soft dough.
– turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead till smooth. This takes me a couple of minutes (5-6). Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set in a warm corner till doubled in size.
– knock back the dough and divide it into three pieces. Shape each portion into a roll.
(Look at the pictures below to see how you shape baguettes! Don’t worry about being perfect. It’ll all work out)
– place the baguettes under a tea towel and let it rise a bit longer till doubled in size.
– meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 C/400 F/ gas mark 6.
Place a pan of water on the bottom shelf other the oven. Alternatively, you can toss a cup of ice cubes on the bottom on the oven right after you put the bread in, to create stream, which gives the bread a good crust)
– now make the glaze. Combine the remaining salt and the cornflour with a tbsp of water. Pour 125 ml of water into a saucepan. Stir in cornflour mixture and bring to a boil. Stir again, then remove from heat.
– roll the loaves onto the baking sheet.
Slash the loaves with a sharp knife, at regular intervals.Brush the loaves with some of the salt solution on the loaves.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, making sure to brush the loaves with salt solution every ten minutes. Make sure you remember this. The baguettes are ready when they’re brown, crisp and make a hollow sound when tapped underneath. Transfer to a wire rack to roll.
Serve warm or cool, with butter. (Garlic butter..mmm)
Have a great weekend!