One of my baking goals this year is to start trying baguette recipes. It’s the one bread that we buy often, and I’ve seen enough Great British Bake Off to know that we should be able to make a reasonable baguette at home. Naturally, my first attempt involved using Paul Hollywood’s recipe, as shown in the Master Class. Here is how it went:
PBS recently ran Paul Hollywood’s baguette recipe on their website. It looked simple – too simple – deceptively simple. I had the square container for the proof. I had a bread lame for cutting the dough before baking. I attached the dough hooks to our stand mixer. I was ready.
Baguette Recipe Problems
After mixing the dough in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes, I did not have a glossy, elastic dough. It wasn’t terrible, but it was too wet. Also, it was more sticky than elastic. This is a problem I run into all the time when making bread recipes in the stand mixer rather than kneading by hand. So, next time, I think I’ll either do the entire mix by hand or put in some serious by-hand kneading time after the stand mixer.
I also failed to do the windowpane test on the dough to see if the gluten had formed properly. Next time!
The dough did double in size in the square container, but when I gently turned it out onto the floured surface, I could see that it was very wet. This made it hard to cut into four pieces – even harder to cut them into four equal parts. And you can imagine that the trouble continued after that because it was then difficult to roll the dough into the proper form.
Baguette Recipe Results
Despite the problems, I actually ended up with something relatively baguette-like with this recipe. The interior wasn’t as airy as it should have been, but the steam did the trick and created a lovely exterior crust. The taste was pleasant, particularly when it was warm or rewarmed the next day. So, it wasn’t right, but I did end up with decent baguettes that we paired with some terrific sheep and goat cheese that a friend gave us for the new year.
I feel like I have some idea now of how to improve the results, but this is how things looked as I followed Paul Hollywood’s baguette recipe for the very first time.
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