Whether its spread with salted butter or served with a dollop of jam, you really can’t beat the French baguette. Here’s how to make your own
The traditional baguette is as familiar a French icon as the Eiffel Tower, a beret and a bicycle. While its recipe may be simple, the technique involved in achieving the ideal taste and texture can take years to perfect, but the effort is worth it, says Parisian baker Mickaël Reydellet, of Boulangerie La Parisienne, Paris. “The waiting time is important, and the way of cooking it. There are lots of little details in making it that, at the end, can completely change the result,” he adds.
1kg/2¼lb flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1. Place all the ingredients in a food mixer with a dough hook, and knead for ten minutes until it is a smooth and well-combined paste.
2. Leave to stand for five hours.
3. Divide the dough into three 350g/12?oz pieces and shape into a long baguette shape.
4. Let stand for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F.
6. Sprinkle with flour and make five diagonal scores with a knife down the length of each baguette.
7. Bake the baguettes in the oven for 20 minutes. Best served within three hours of baking.
This recipe is reproduced with permission from France – From the Source, written by Carolyn Boyd, published by Lonely Planet, priced £19.99.
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