I love rainy days. The clouds are plump and gray, and ready to drench us. It’s been like this most of this week.
So I try and sit down to write. Usually the rain and cold are conducive to writing, but not today. I keep thinking about a block in my world setting for my current novel, and how to expand it further, not to mention the trickle effect it will have on my entire novel. Eeeekkk I don’t want to think about it, so I’m going to bake something to clear my thoughts.
French baguettes are my choice today. They are comforting, plus sumptuous with scrambled eggs for breakfast the next day. I cheat by using a bread machine, but this is easily done by hand as well. If you’re interested, email me and I’ll send you the details.
Give it a go and you’ll be surprised how quick and simple they are to make, not to mention yummy. Let me know how your baguette turns out.
– 1 ½ cups water
– 2 cups plain white flour (bread flour)
– 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
– 1 ½ teaspoons salt
– 1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
– Extra white flour for dusting
1. Place the water into the bread-machine pan first, followed by the flour, sugar, salt and yeast, or in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Set to the dough setting, and press start.
2. Once the cycle has completed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Then divide the dough into 2. (This makes two baguettes, but you can divide the dough into four for smaller baguettes. This is perfect for each serving)
3. Roll out each portion into long a baguette. Length and thickness is up to you, but generally I base the length on the length of my baking tray.
4. Place them on a baking tray lined with a silicon matt or baking paper, then dust them lightly with the flour. Leave for 5-10 minutes. I usually cover them for this duration so they rise.
5. Fill the kettle and boil it. Pour the boiling water into a roasting tray and place it in the bottom of the cold oven.
6. With a sharp knife, place diagonal slits along each baguette, then brush them with cold water.
7. Place the baguettes in the oven, on a rack above the boiling water tray and set the temperature to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. These are best eaten warm.
Storing tip: I wrap my baguettes in a tea towel, and find this keeps them fresh for 4-5 days.