Friday, September 23, 2016

Homemade mini-baguettes

Yesterday, using ChowTown's recipe for Vietnamese-style baguettes as a jumping-off point, I made my very first ever batch of (mini-)baguettes! My recipe follows:

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. Fleischmann's Traditional Yeast
  • approx. 390g white bread flour (I needed a little less than ¼ cup more)
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 ½ t. salt

Dissolve the sugar into the warm water, then add the yeast. Allow to foam. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix the bread flour, vital wheat gluten and salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead — adding flour as needed to reduce stickiness — until you have a smooth, moist (not wet, sticky or shaggy) dough ball. Leave to rise in an ungreased bowl in a warm, draft-free place for ~40 minutes.

"Punch down" the dough and turn out onto a lightly-floured countertop/work surface. Cut the dough into four, approximately equal-sized, parts. Pull each dough ball into a rough rectangle, then roll tightly into log shapes. Leave to rise, well-floured, for ~20 minutes under loosely-laid plastic wrap.

Preheat oven (preferably convection) with pizza stone to 400°C. When oven has come to temperature, gently lift each loaf and place on pizza stone. Slash vents in tops of loaves, then mist liberally with water before closing oven door. Bake until your house smells like fresh-baked bread, or when loaves are a mouth-watering golden brown.

If you've got the willpower for it, allow to cool, raised on a cooling rack.

I used mine to assemble pseudo Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, made with leftover French-style braised beef, chopped red bell pepper, chopped shallots, Daiya provolone slices and Follow Your Heart Chipotle Vegenaise (which is not only soy-free, but much akin to crack cocaine, I imagine).

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