Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hamelman's French Bread

Baguettes are always a crowd pleaser and family favourite. In French they are referred to as Pain Ordinaire; regular, everyday bread. They are meant to be eaten the day they are baked, and the long, thin shaping offers great crust to crumb ratio.

From last night's conversation:
Are we having dinner soon?
Yes, as soon as we take some photos of the baguettes.
Don't you already have lots of baguettes on your site?
Yes, but these are Jeffrey Hamelman's baguettes.
Then why doesn't he take the photos?
I am surrounded by comedians.

These are great same-day loaves, easy and fun to make. Shaping can be a little difficult, there is an instructive video at the end of the post, but any lumps and odd protrusions in your baguettes just show to prove that they are hand-crafted with love.

French Bread
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread

2lb bread flour
1 lb, 6.04 oz water
.6 oz salt (1 Tbsp)
.13 oz instant yeast (1 1/4 tsp)
Semolina for dusting, optional

Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer on 1st speed for 3 minutes.
Correct flour/water if necessary.
Mix 3 more minutes on 1st speed, then 1 minute on second.

Bulk fermentation of 2.5-3 hours with two folds during that time. (To fold - take dough out, stretch each quadrant out and fold over, replace and rest seam side down.)

Divide into four, preshape into rounds and place, seam sides up, on a lightly floured work surface.
Cover and let rest 20 minutes.
Shape into baguettes (see video, below)
Let rise in a couche, covered, for 1.5 - 2 hours.
*I used a Chicago Metallic baguette form

Score three times per baguette. Bake at 460F for 24-26 minutes.

Here is a fabulous baguette shaping demonstration by Ciril Hitz, that my friend Paul came across.