To help out those who love baking but don’t have a mixer, I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes where the dough can be kneaded by hand, like the ones for Slow rising ciabatta, Quick rising ciabatta, Beer bread, “Cafone” style bread, Simple home-made bread and lots of other recipes you can find on this page.
I recently wandered into Arthur King’s pages on the web and I found this recipe for easy Baguettes where the dough requires only 5 minutes hand kneading and slow leavening in the fridge. I tested it and the result was really good, so I made a video recipe.
Using these amounts you can make 2 large baguettes or 3 smaller ones, depending on your needs
Video recipe for easy Baguettes
- 340 g Water
- 480 g Flour 0
- 6 g Fresh yeast or 2 g dry yeast
- 6-8 g Sal
- Dissolve the yeast into the water, which must be at room temperature
- Put aside 30-40 g of flour and mix the rest into the water mixture
- Start stirring
- Add salt
- Keep mixing for 2 minutes
- When the flour is absorbed, sprinkle the worktop with some of the flour you had kept aside
- Rub your hands in flour
- Knead the dough by hand, adding the remaining flour a little at a time until it is all blended in (about 5 minutes)
- You’ll get a dough that’s a medium consistency and not too smooth
- Put the dough in a container with flour on the bottom
- Cover with a lid or a dishcloth
- Let dough rise for 2 hours away from drafts and, if possible, at a temperature around 25°C
- I placed it in my oven with only the light turned on
- After two hours, the dough should have more or less doubled in volume, like in this picture
- Put the lid back on and place the container in the fridge. Yes, you got it, in the fridge.
- Let the whole thing sit in the fridge all night, or up to 7 days. The longer it stays in the fridge, the more its flavor will be intense / the tastier it will get.
- Remove from the fridge
- Gently place the dough onto the worktop
- Cut it into three equal parts to get 3 smallish baguettes or into 2 parts to get 2 larger ones
- Flatten the dough and fold it onto itself twice, using your fingers to seal the top layer onto the bottom one as shown in the pictures and in the video
- The double fold will give strength to the dough and improve the final shape of the baguettes
- Using the palms of your hands, roll up the baguettes extending the dough up to 32 cm if you divided the dough into 3 parts, or 35 cm if you divided it into 2 parts.
- Place the baguettes on a baking sheet (which you previously lined with parchment paper) about 5 to 8 cm apart
- Cover with a dishcloth and let the baguettes rise for another 90 minutes (or up to 2 hours, depending on the temperature in the room)
- Using a common razor blade or a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 incisions on each baguette, without pressing too hard, so as not to compromise leavening
- Spray a little tepid water on the baguettes
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes if you’re making 3 baguettes, or 25-30 minutes if you’re making 2
- You can turn over the breads for the last 5 minutes of baking so the bottom side can dry up nicely, or lift one side up and place it on the edge of the baking sheet, just like you see in the picture
- Here are the baked baguettes
- I over baked them a little this time
- Air cells.
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Happy baking, until next time!