French Cusine Post Ficelle/ Mini Baguette
I really did not mean to make this at home but I always wondered if I could pull off an authentic baguette in my home oven. I mean I could go to the bakery and buy a baguette so why make it? But to me there is something about bread making that always intrigued me so I did some research and tried my first homemade baguette and surprisingly it turned out perfect. Many people are not aware what is a good baguette from a bad one. I remember my husband sitting me down in the bakery explaining the right texture of baguette. He and many of his French counterparts rip out the meat from inside the baguette and just butter what is left of the bread the crust. If you have a baguette you should be able to rip out the meat out of the bread in almost one go and this meat should be very light and fluffy. The meat inside the bread is the best part so why would anyone want to rip it out? Anyways I am not going to try to demystify the French today. I made my baguette with Kamut flour or sometimes found here as Farine Integral. I know this flour would yield a rustic bread high in protein that is worth eating. I used this blog to start my research on baguette making and she provides great tips.
The first tip is that she says to make a Levain which I saw being called Poolish or old dough. You make this the day before and what it adds is flavour and character to your bread. A levin is equal flour to water and yeast mixed the day ahead and refrigerated. You add this back the next day in your bread in small pieces. Another thing about baguette is that they are made in ovens that can reach a high temperature and since your home oven cannot do this the author of this blog offers some tips like adding steam in the oven and closing the door quickly to aid in the development of a crispy crust.
So my tips are as follows. Kamut flour is low in gluten so I added some gluten to get the texture of my baguette right. I added a tsp of sugar in my recipe to activate my yeast. I dusted my baking tray with cornmeal to develop a really crispy baguette bottom. If it was up to my husband they would be selling baguette crust so he doesnt have to dig out the meat from the bread. Anyways we hardly consume a lot of bread at home so this was a treat. One more thing about baguette they have a short shelf life so if you made one and you cannot consume all in one day freeze it. It is good as new when u thaw it out and heat it up.
This recipe is adapted from Regal et vous: Le Blog
Levain made the day before
150 g AP flour
150 ml water
1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
260 g of Kamut flour
100 g of AP Flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
Mix your flour , water and yeast and knead and set aside for one hour. Punch down and wrap in plastic. Store in the fridge overnight.
The next day activate the yeast by taking out some water from your 200 mls and setting it aside for 10 minutes. Mix all other ingredients and add your yeast mixture. Knead for 5 minutes and set aside for 1 hour. Divide your dough in 3 equal pieces mine was 300 g each and roll shape baguette. You can google a method as I knew the method from peaking at a baker. Preheat oven to 220 C or even higher if you can go higher. Place baguettes on a cornmeal dusted pan and let it rise for about 45 minutes. Bake in for 24 minutes until you have developed a nice brown crust. Cool and serve with your favourite vegan pate. I used a store-bought one called Tartex and I like the natural flavour as it reminds me a little of a cheap foie gras. I hope I did not gross anyone out. You can have a very French Picnic by breaking the bread and serving it with pate and pickles.