Delicious baguettes

Delicious baguettes: Homemade and tasty. Image: Carla Zinkfontein.

Delicious baguettes: Learn how to make your own at home

Want to try your hand at some French baking? This delicious baguettes recipe is an excellent choice to try at home.

Delicious baguettes

Delicious baguettes: Homemade and tasty. Image: Carla Zinkfontein.

If you love baguettes loaded with different types of spicy meat, crunchy greens and creamy sauces, this delicious baguette recipe is for you. With its crispy crust and soft interior, this homemade recipe will have everyone around your dining room table smacking their lips in delight. They have a delicate balance between a slightly salty interior and the thin and toasty exterior.

What makes these delicious baguettes so special?

This crusty loaf is an appetising golden-brown. Any baguette must have a crust as its crispness releases more aroma molecules when enjoying this mouth-watering French bread.

Although it is time-consuming to prepare these baguettes, the result is so amazing, that you will not mind the time you have spent in the kitchen. Most of the time goes into allowing the dough to proof. It is the slow and repeated proofing of the dough that enhances the taste and texture of this bread.

When you have some time on hand, we highly recommend that you give this recipe a try.

Delicious baguettes recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Carla Zinkfontein Course: SidesCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Moderate
Prep time

2

hours 
Cooking time

20

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • For the poolish
  • 200 g strong white bread flour

  • ½ tsp easy-bake yeast from a 7g sachet

  • For the baguettes
  • 200 g plain white flour

  • 250 g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading

  • the rest of the yeast from the 7g sachet

  • 1 ½ tsp fine salt

  • a little semolina, or more flour, for dusting

Method

  • To make the poolish, mix the flour and yeast in a medium, deep bowl. Add 200 ml room temperature water and stir to a very thick batter. Cover with cling film then chill overnight, after which time the batter will have doubled in size.
  • The next day, combine the flours, remaining yeast and the salt in a large mixing bowl. Add another 250 ml water to the poolish, then pour into the flours and mix to make a wet, sloppy dough. Let this sit for 20 minutes, which helps the dough to come together more quickly as you knead.
  • After 20 minutes, the dough will still be wet – possibly much wetter than you’re used to, but this is important for a delicious loaf. Either knead by hand for 10 minutes (see tip on kneading a very wet dough, below) or in a mixer with a dough hook for 5-8 minutes, until the dough firms up and becomes smooth and elastic. It will still feel sticky but have shape and spring.
  • Dust a clean patch of worktop and the dough with a little more flour, then fold the dough inwards on itself to make a ball. It will be dry to touch on the outside, but pleasingly wobbly and alive within. Transfer to a lightly floured large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for 1½ hours in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
  • Dust a heavy tea towel or baker’s cloth with plenty of flour, and put it onto a large kitchen tray or board. Shape three long, baguette-width ridges in the cloth. Turn the dough onto a floured worktop, then flour the sticky side lightly. Cut into 3 equal pieces using a large knife. Do not knead the dough or “knock it back”.
  • Working one at a time, press each piece of dough into a rough oval about 25cm long and 20cm deep. Fold one of the long sides to the middle and press it down well with your fingers. Fold in the other long edge in the same way, and press well again to make a long strip of dough with a groove down the centre. Now fold the dough over itself lengthways into a sausage, pressing the two sides together well in a tight seam against the worktop. Roll very lightly under your palms to seal and make the ends a little pointy. The loaf will be about 40cm long.
  • Place the dough seam-side down in your prepared cloth, then repeat. Dust all the loaves with a little flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 240°C. Put a roasting tin on a shelf towards the bottom of the oven, plus set a shelf in the top third. Scatter semolina or more flour over one or two large baking trays. Carefully roll or lift the bread onto the trays, leaving space for them to grow. If they stretch or go wonky don’t worry, just pat them back carefully into place.
  • With a very sharp craft knife or blade, slash the loaves diagonally 5 or 6 times, cutting 1-2cm in. Bake one tray at a time, adding 100ml water to the hot roasting tin and closing the oven door as quickly as you can. Bake for 20 minutes or until dark golden, risen and crisp.

Notes

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