With Paul Hollywood’s baguettes recipe, you may never go back to buying a supermarket baguette. I find it fascinating how so many bread recipes seem to use exactly the same ingredients, yet produce such varied types of bread. When these baguettes were cooking in the oven, they literally smelled of baguettes, yet the ciabatta I made last week, which uses all the same ingredients (just different quantities and method) smelled so specifically of ciabatta in the oven!
Being the carb addict I am, I eat a lot of bread. While I have lots of favourites, I don’t think you can beat a nice simple french baguette. Make them into a big sub sandwich packed with fillings. Cover one with a layer of salty butter and dipped into soup. Soak up the juice if a beautiful slow-cooked meatWith a fluffy slice. They’re versatile, reliable, and so tasty.
This recipe from Paul Hollywood is fantastic. It is from his book Bread. It is simple and easy to follow, and yields perfectly soft airy, yet crispy crusted bread every time. Lots of people (me included) initially have a fear of bread making. There’s something a little scary about trying to transform seemingly basic ingredients into the impressive looking loaves you see in bakery windows. However, with a little faith and patience, it’s really not so hard at all. Simply follow the method carefully. You can use the picture method for more guidance, and I promise with some practice, you will master this recipe.
So be you a complete beginner or a seasoned bread maker, this is a great recipe to give you beautiful baguettes. They’ll be fit for a bakery on the streets of Paris – or your kitchen breadboard!
Paul Hollywood’s French Baguettes
- Stand up mixer
- 250 g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 5 g salt
- 5 g fast-action dried yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for oiling)
- 180 ml cool water
- Set up your mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place the flour in the bowl, then add the salt to one side of the bowl, and the yeast to the other.
- Mix on a slow speed, and slowly add the oil and the water. You might need to use a spatula to get the ingredients mixing if they are just stuck on the sides of your bowl. After five minutes of mixing, turn the speed up to medium and mix for another 5 – 10 minutes. You should have a glossy elastic dough that forms a ball around the hook and stretches when you pull it (see picture method for details).
- Lightly oil a large bowl and tip the dough in, using a spatula to get all the dough out. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Scatter a clean surface with flour. Tip the risen dough onto the surface, and knock the air out by pressing the heels of your hands into it. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
- Stretch each piece of dough into a long oblong shape, then roll with your fingers to even out the shape.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust well with flour. Place the two baguettes onto the tray, and place the whole tray into a large plastic bag that is roomey enough not to touch the dough (a bin bag works well here, even if its not pretty looking – a clean one obviously!). Leave to rise again for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C. Place another roasting tin on the bottom shelf.
- Remove the bread tray from the bag and dust the dough with a little more flour, or semolina if you have some. Create 3 diagonal slashes on the top of the dough using a very sharp knife, around 2cm deep.
- Just before putting the bread in the oven, pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven. This will create the steam that forms the classic baguette crust. Put the loaves in the oven on the middle shelf, and bake for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for another 10 minutes. The baguettes should be a nice golden brown colour.
- Remove from the oven, and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Gather all your ingredients, flour, water, salt, yeast and oil.
Put flour in the mixer bowl, add salt and yeast to opposite sides
Set the mixer on a slow setting and gradually pour in the water
Then add the olive oil
Turn to a medium speed and mix for 10 minutes
The dough should be stretchy and stringy when pulled
Lightly oil a large bowl
Tip your dough into the oiled bowl
Use a spatula to get the last of the dough from the mixer bowl
Cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel and leave for two hours.
Doubled in size
Tip the proved dough onto a well-floured surface
Scatter a few pinches of flour over the dough
Knock back the dough and divide in half
Roll each piece into approx 8 inches
Place onto a floured baking sheet on a baking tray
Put in a roomy plastic bag for an hour for further rise then score with a sharp knife
Bake for 25 minutes at 200c and then 10 mins at 180c
Allow to cool
Slice and serve and enjoy
Paul Hollywood’s Baguettes go great with…