French Baguette

I’ve been on a bread-making kick recently.

After failing at my first milk loaf that sparked off the creation of this blog, I successfully made a second loaf (it really is very soft!), and modified the recipe to make a raisin milk loaf (edible, very nice when toasted, but not as soft — gotta work on that). I also attempted a French bread recipe, which, again, looked promising, but was a disappointment after I sliced into it.

Out of these four loaves, two went into bellies, and two went straight to the bin… I’d hardly say that a success rate of 50 per cent is anything to be proud of. But then again, who’s stopping me from improving that number?

C’s away for a couple of days so here I go again – the fifth loaf of my renewed bread-making adventure, my second attempt at French bread.

This recipe from My Singapore Kitchen caught my eye. I followed it as is, minus the optional wheat bran. But I found that I had to add a bit more water (despite not using the wheat bran), because my dough was so dry it was just getting pushed around the mixer bowl and not adhering to the dough hook at all.

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French Baguette (slightly adapted from My Singapore Kitchen)
Makes 2 loaves

300g all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
220ml water
10g salted butter

Mix all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer except butter.
Knead to form dough.
Add butter and knead to form smooth and elastic dough.
Let it rise for 45 minutes.
Divide the dough into two.
Flatten the dough and make them into stick shapes around 30 cm long, by rolling them up from the long end, swiss-roll style. Make sure to pinch all the seams tightly closed.
Leave them to proof for 30 minutes.
Brush or sprinkle them with water and slash the top with a sharp knife 3 or 4 times.
Bake at 220C for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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Verdict?

It turned out pretty well! I doubt that my method is in anyway authentic, but it did taste good. I used the muffin tin trick from The Kitchn to get my oven all steamed up before baking, and also spritzed water over the loaves before sliding them into the oven.

I was too excited and couldn’t wait for the bread to cool fully before slicing, so I broke one end off after about half an hour. That end went into my mouth right after I took a picture. The crust was crisp and the inside soft and slightly chewy. It was so good warm!

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One of the loaves is now wrapped tight and sitting in the freezer, waiting for the weekend when I can share it with C. Half of the other loaf got slathered with salted butter and is headed to my belly.