Home Oven Baked French Bread -- Baguette

Home baking baguette is very doable. There is nothing more difficult than baking any other bread. It is just a little bit different process. The baguette uses the simplest ingredients ever. Flour (half all-purpose and half bread flour), salt, yeast and water. The long fermentation process develop its unique flavor. The sauna baking method creates its crunchy crust.

french bread baguette


Cut the baguette open. We can see the big bubbles and small bubbles. This unique structure was created by the different stages of the fermentation process. 

french bread baguette


The original recipe is from  The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
To make four medium loaves

 Pâte Fermentée
1 1/8  cups (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/8  cups (5 ounces) unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounce) salt
1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounce) instant yeast
3/4  cup to 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6-7 ounces) water, at room temperature

Dough:
All Pâte Fermentée from above (3 cups 16 ounces)
1 1/4  cups (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4  cups (5 ounces) unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounce) salt
1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounce) instant yeast
flour for dusting


Day one
1. Mix all ingredients for Pâte Fermentée. Make a dough. Knead the dough about 5 minutes until it is not sticky. 
2. Ferment the dough for about one and half hour or until the it is 1.5 times of its original size.
3. Gently knead the dough to degas it, and return it back to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight. 

The second day.
4. Take out all the Pâte Fermentée one hour before make the dough. Cut it into 10 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.
5. Mix all the rest ingredient with the Pâte Fermentée. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and not sticky. 
6. Ferment the dough at room temperature for 2 hours. If the dough doubles in size before 2 hours and have elapsed, knead the dough lightly to degas and let it rise again, covered , until it doubles from the original size. 
5. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Shape them into long logs as baguettes. 
6. Proof at room temperature for 45 to 75 minutes, or until the loaves have grown to about 1.5 times their original size. 
7. Preheat the oven to 500 °F. Leave an additional baking pan with boiling water inside the oven.
8. Dust the baguettes with flour and score them. 
9. Transfer the baguettes to the hot oven. I bake two baguettes at a time.
10. Splash half cup of hot water onto the heating wires at the bottom of the oven. Close the oven. Wait 30 seconds and splash another half cup of hot water. Repeat after another 30 seconds. All together 3 times. Close the oven door, and 5 minutes later reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake for additional 20-25 minutes.
11. When done, transfer them to a cooling rack.

french bread baguette

Anadama Bread--Molasses and Cornmeal Sandwich Bread

This bread recipe does not require any sugar. However when it is done, it tastes sweet. The corn contents lot of complicated sugar molecules. After long time soaking in the water, fermenting and baking. The complicated sugar molecules are breaking down into simple sugar, which can be tasted by our tongue. Together with molasses, it more tastes like a brown sugar bread. Since the sugar is coming from the corn, it adds another depth of flavor to the bread.

Anadama Bread--Molasses and Cornmeal Sandwich Bread


The original recipe is from  The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
To make two medium loaves
Soaker
1 cup (6 ounces) cornmeal, preferably coarse grind
1 cup (8 ounces) water, at room temperature

Dough
4.5 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons (.22 ounces) instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) water, lukewarm
1.5 teaspoons (.38 ounces) salt
6 tablespoons (4 ounces) molasses
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature



Anadama Bread--Molasses and Cornmeal Sandwich Bread

1. The day before make the bread. Mix cornmeal and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight at room temperature.
2. The next day to make the dough. Stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, soaker, and water in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour, or until the sponge begins to bubble.
3. Add remaining flour, the salt, molasses and butter to make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough should pass the windowpane test.
4. First fermentation for one and half hour or till it doubles in size.
5. Degas, separate the dough into 2 pieces. Shape the dough into loaves.
6. Covered with plastic wrap and let it rise until 85% full.
7. 350F middle rack, 30 minutes. Rotate the pan if necessary.
8. Take the bread out from the baking pan as soon as it is baked. Let it cool at least 2 hours before slicing.


Anadama Bread--Molasses and Cornmeal Sandwich Bread




Check out more bread recipes:



 

 

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread









Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands





 

 

 

 

 

White Sandwich Bread Made with Milk

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread

 It seems everything becomes festive when added some cranberries. This is perfect Thanksgiving celebration bread. It looks stunning when comes out from the oven. It definitely adds holiday atmosphere to the dinner table.

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread
 The original recipe is from  The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Ingredients: Makes 1 large braided loaf
3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounces) salt
3.5 teaspoons (.39 ounces) instant yeast
1.5 tablespoons (.75 ounces) orange or lemon exract
2 larger (3.3 ounces) eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) buttermilk or any kind of milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup (2 to 4 ounces) of water, at room temperature
1.5 cups (9 ounces) dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup (3 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread


1. Mix everything in a mixing bow and make a soft dough.
2. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Add cranberries continue to knead the dough for 2 more minutes. Then add walnut, knead the dough till walnut evenly distrusted.
3. First fermentation at room temperature till double in size.
4. Transfer the dough to the counter. Divide dough into 6 pieces, 3 big pieces and 3 small pieces. Roll out all 6 pieces into strands. Braid the large strands using the 3-braid technique, and then braid the small strands in the same pattern. Then center the small braid on the larger one. Brush the entire bread with egg wash.
5. Proof at room temperature uncovered for 2 hours, until it nearly doubles in size. Brush the bread with egg wash again.
6. 325F, middle rack, bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan if necessary.
7. Cool the bread on a cooling rack at least an hour before severing.



Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread
Enjoy!

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

Every time I came across a recipe, the first thing I did was to see how I could adjust the recipe to. Maybe sometimes, I didn't  have all the ingredients, or I just simplified the complicated process. I don't remember even one time that I absolutely follow the recipe 100%. This is not a good way to learn how to make bread, since I am so close minded to my own cooking habit.

Last year, I purchased the book: The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It has tons of classic bread recipes including this classic challah. My plan is to make every single bread from the book. I will go extra miles to gather all the ingredients and follow all the detailed steps. This is the best way to learn. I believe after making all the classic breads, I will have the knowledge of how flour works.

So the classic challah is my first pick.

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

The classic challah uses 2 whole eggs with 2 egg yolks. The 4 yolks together give it beautiful yellow color through out the challah bread.
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands


Ingredients: 2 medium size braided loaves
4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (.25 ounces) salt
4/3 teaspoons (.15 ounces) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) vegetable oil
2 large (3.3 ounces) eggs, slightly beaten
2 large (1.25 ounces) egg yolks, slightly beaten
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon to 9/8 cups ( 7-9 ounces) water at room temperature
2 egg whites, whisked until frothy, for egg wash
sesame or poppy seeds for garnish

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands


1. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and yolks and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix all the ingredients and form a ball with a spoon. Add water if needed.

2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a flour dusted counter. Add flour if needed to make a soft , supple, but not sticky dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test.

3. Form the dough into rough shape, coat the dough with oil, and let it ferment for an hour.

4. Degas the dough, and reform it into a ball, ferment for an additional hour. It should be at least 1.5 times its original size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces, and further divide each piece into 6 pieces in order to make two 6-strand loaves. Round up each piece, and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

6. Roll out the pieces into strands. Then braid them using the 6-braid method. The best way to learn how to braid is the video, check out the YouTube. After watching many videos, this is my favorite tutorial. Looks like it is demonstrated by a pastry chef.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DXi-MzBqgk

7. Proof at the room temperature for 60-75 minutes, or until the dough has grown to 1.5 times its original size.
8. Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush with egg wash and  sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. When done, transfer the bread to a rack, and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.



Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Thanks for visiting, enjoy!

30% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread---Food Photography and Retouch

I took these whole wheat sandwich bread pictures a while ago, just never had chance to post them here. Finally I can manage to get few free times during the day. So, grab the camera  and start shooting and posting again.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread




Please take a look at the structure inside this whole wheat bread. It is so soft.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread



Cut some slices, and make a whole wheat sandwich or a whole wheat french toast.

Ingredients and steps
350g bread flour
150g whole wheat flour
325g water
6g yeast
7g salt
15g sugar
25g salted butter

1. Mix everything except butter, and knead it to make a soft but not sticky dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test. Add butter and  knead the dough until all the butter is evenly absorbed by the dough.
2. First fermentation.
3. Double in size, 1-2 hours
4. Degas, separate dough into 4 and shape them into round. Let them rest for 15min
5 Roll the dough to oval shape
6 Fold the sides, use a rolling pin, spread the dough.
7 Roll it up.
8 Put it into the baking pan
9 Let the dough grow in the baking pan till 85% full.
350F 30 min. After baking, put the bread on a cooling rack for 2 hours


Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread



The picture below shows how I took the pictures. The nature sun light is coming from the back as the arrows in the picture. It is best way to take the bread slice picture. The starch membrane is transparent and make it so beautiful.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

 After taking the picture, it is Photoshop retouch. The picture below shows the different before and after. These are the steps how I did it.

1. brightness 15

2. Curves
input 190 output 176
input 72 output 83

3. color level 10 0 5

My kitchen wall is yellow, and it reflects on the food. I use color level fix it.

4.  select the area for sharpening
feather 100
unsharp mask
100 1.5 1

 Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

 Thanks for visiting. Good day.