Too nice a day to bake so I am going to write about what I baked the other day which was a complete surprise for my family and myself. I made baguettes based on a recipe I found in a cookery book I own called “500 Fabulous Cakes and Bakes” I hadn’t planned on making baguettes but when I looked at the bread which I had left in the kitchen for the childrens’ packed lunch I knew I needed to either run to the shop or make some bread of some description. After deciding a run to the shop was not going to happen I set about looking for a recipe. At first I was going to make my standard white bread but I came upon a recipe for French Baguettes. The method seemed quite straight forward and as I had the oven on cooking tea there was an instant source of heat to help the dough to rise. I think I would leave this dough to rise overnight and bake the bread in the morning next time I make it. The recipe was so easy and there were hardly any ingredients needed which was another bonus.
The method involved a lot of proving but it was so worth it, especially when the dough came over the top of the bowl. The children thought it was hilarious when I had to scoop the dough back in to the bowl with my bare hands. As well as that, when it came to baking the baguettes, a baking tin containing boiled water has to placed in the bottom of the oven before you place the baguettes in the oven or even switch the oven on. Very strange method but so easy really. The resultant baguettes were soft in the middle but crunchy and golden on the outside. I was very impressed and I will be making these again for any picnics or day trips away which I take the children on this summer. So much better than shop bought.
The flour used was plain flour but this can be replaced by using gluten free flour to produce a gluten free baguette. The recipe is egg free, sugar free, milk free and dairy free. I am going to add this recipe to the recipe of the week page on my blog. I did change it slightly from the original recipe as I used half plain flour and half strong white flour, mainly due to the fact I didn’t have enough plain flour but you can just add plain flour. I don’t think the recipe would work if you used all strong white flour though as the baguette would probably not be as soft inside.
My children had this baguette for breakfast and lunch whilst I had some when it was still warm from the oven smothered in black cherry jam. I am going to playing about with this recipe and trying it as a sweet dough, so instead of salt I will use sugar, all plain flour and chocolate chips. There are other ideas which I have been thinking about but I will share them with you another time.
After making the tomato soup the other day this baguette would have been lovely with the soup and while thinking about this idea I got to thinking about tomatoes. Strange I know, but I didn’t realise tomatoes can cause an allergic reaction to some people and in some cases quite severe reactions. Yet another food stuff to be careful about in some circumstances. It seems the list of 14 allergens which the Food Standards Agency in the UK produce does not include tomatoes and various other foodstuffs, so I am determined to find out why? I will be going back to this subject at a later date.