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Baguette Bread Question

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,226
edited 6:46AM in EggHead Forum
Spring Hen cooked some sauce and meatballs for spaghetti yesterday, so I thought I would like some fresh bread to go with it.

I had a craving for some baguette bread like I saw in Sams Club the day before so I decided to look up a recipe and make my own.

The recipe didn't look complicated at all, and I had the advantage of owning a Big Green Egg. Here's the recipe:

Baguette Bread

Preparation Time: about 25 minutes
Cooking Time: about 25 minutes
Resting Time: about 4 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients for French bread baguette recipes:

4 cups Flour
1 tbsp. Dry Active Yeast
1-2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Warm Water
Oil for bowl

How to make it:

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and the salt.
2. In another bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and half of the flour/salt mixture. Using your hands, mix until it forms a dough. Then, cover with a dish cloth and let sit at room temperature for 3 hours. It should triple in size.
3. Gently incorporate the rest of the flour/salt, using your hands.
4. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. It should be supple and elastic when you stop kneading.
5. Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 1 hour. It should double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Knead again. Then cut dough into 3 parts and form each part into a long baguette. Place on a baking sheet. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
7. Place a bowl of water in the oven. Bake baguettes for about 25 minutes (maybe less). Remove the bowl of water after 15 minutes of baking.
Voilà!

Tip for French Bread Baguette Recipes:

Baguettes are particularly crusty and light because they are cooked at extremely high temperatures and are vaporized. Even though domestic ovens can't go as high as real French bakery ovens, you can still make an excellent baguette, by remembering to put a bowl of water in the oven. And, of course by baking at a very high temperature.


I followed the recipe to the letter but the bread was tasteless and hard. Tossed most of it.

So what do you think I did wrong?

Spring "Man Cannot Live On Bread Alone, He Must Have Peanut Butter" Chicken
Spring Texas USA

Comments

  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    You did'nt buy the bread at Sam's while you were there. :laugh: ;)
  • That's gotta be it. The Sam's bread was just out of the oven and smelled so good I could have eaten half of it before getting to check-out. Just needed some butter.

    Spring "Tag'it And Bag'uette" Chicken
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    ;) Butta makes it betta!
  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    Don't know what you did wrong. I love baguette bread, too. But my experience is that you have to eat it on the way home from the store or it will be hard enough to use as a brick bat by the time you get home. :laugh: Even then it's really good to sop up spaghetti!

    LR
  • You just gave me an idea... I can put a stick of butter in my truck, head out to Sam's and wait until they bring a load of fresh baguettes out. Grab one, check-out and then go sit in the truck in the parking lot, spread on the butter and eat it right there while it's still hot. I won't even care if the butter is driping off my chin. That's why they make shirt sleeves.

    Thanks.

    Spring "Off To Buy A Bag Of Uettes" Chicken
  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    Bingo!
  • With bread, flavor is a product of time. The best baguettes (to my taste) are made with a "poolish", or a pre-fermented dough mixture which is added to the "main" dough. Don't beat yourself up over this one--baking a truly excellent baguette is a life's work.

    Simpler than a "poolish" baguette is the "lean bread" recipe from Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day". It makes a pretty good, baguette-style loaf or tasty small rolls. It's mixed on day 1, then sits in the fridge for up to 4 days before shaping & baking. Nice to have around, if you plan ahead and want a larger window for baking. You can pull out a hunk of it and bake over several days. Sorry I don't have the book at hand, or I'd summarize the recipe. The book is an excellent one, loaded with good info & is a great way to explore delayed fermentation in bread-baking.

    Hamelman's "Bread" also has a simple, six-fold, straight dough baguette. Not much work in the way of kneading, except you have to stretch & fold the dough every so often to develop the gluten.
  • Maybe it's just the snow but that made me laugh Hoss...Thanks
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    To bake a decent flavored baguette I have found that I have to have a starter or a poolish that has developed overnight at a minimum. The rest of the poolish helps develop flavor, and longer rises help the yeast develop flavor as well. Quick bread recipes often leave a lot to be desired. It may look and feel like an artisan loaf, but the taste just isn't there.

    This is significantly more work and more complicated, but makes a darn fine loaf of bread:

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/baguettes-recipe

    Most of the recipes at KA will put you in the right direction.
  • Thanks... I really thought I had done something wrong without realizing it. But I guess having a 'white thumb' is just as important in baking bread as a 'green thumb' is when planting a garden.

    It's increasingly obvious to me that my thumbs are the wrong color for everything but holding a menu.

    Spring "Sumtimes Eye Makes Mystakes Witout Even Noing It" Chicken
  • Thanks. I'll try again one of these days. One time is not really a challenge, it's more like an experiment. The challenge comes when you don't give up when the experiment fails.

    I'm patient, I can wait for new inspiration.

    Spring "Not Until I'm Good And Ready" Chicken
  • Try adding spices to the dough, it makes for a wonderful flavor in the bread.
  • The last time I made bread it turned out pretty good. Even mixed in some flavor in a couple of them.

    BreadfromtheEgg18-23-10.jpg

    For baguette bread I prefer it to be 'bread flavored' because I like to make buttered toast with it.

    But this time those baguettes were hard enough to be a weapon.

    Spring "Deadhead Bread" Chicken
  • Spring Chicken - I have a tub of this in the fridge at all times. http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2010/2/26/amazing-artisan-bread-for-40-cents-a-loaf-no-kneading-no-fus.html

    I try and run it with as little yeast as possible though, I'm down to about 1/2 tsp, but then you have to leave on the counter longer before putting in fridge. Leads to a less yeasty flavor.

    It lasts 2 weeks, and makes tremendous bread. Takes no time at all. The only modification I make is I follow Jim Leahy's NY Times article advice and cook in a dutch oven for 30 minutes (covered) then remove for DO and return to Egg or oven for another 10-20 minutes. That's all for loaves. For baguettes I'd do on a pizza stone and watch it for doneness.
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