Friday, 11 November 2011

Baguette with no Bread Maker

If you were in Auckland today, you would have seen that the weather was absolutely gorgeous and for a day it really felt like Summer was here (again). My husband and I talked about having a BBQ all day. He got us some wonderful garlic and honey marinated steaks from our local butcher and I was in charge of the rest. At first I wasn't sure what I should make so I thought "Bread".

2 cups of warm water
2 tsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 and 1/4 tsp of active dried yeast
2 and half tsp of olive oil
2 and half cup of self raising flour
Some cornmeal for the baking sheet and the top of the bread
A little bit of milk to brush the bread

Preheat your oven to 200 Degree C.

Add the brown sugar, salt and yeast to the warm water, stir a little and leave in a warm place to "bubble". I put mine on my window seal in the sun so it really didn't take that long at all.

Put the flour into a large bowl, add the olive oil and then the above mixture. Mix everything well. On the lightly floured bench work the dough. It should not stick to the bench anymore. Make a ball and place it in a bowl sprayed with oil. Cover with a plastic wrap slightly covered with oil as well, place it in a warm place and let it rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Shape it in a log, make some cuts on the top (like in a store bought baguette).

Prepare the baking sheet by coating it with cornmeal. Place the bread on it and loosely cover with plastic wrap covered with oil. Let it rise again.

Brush with the milk and sprinkle some more cornmeal over the bread. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. I find with bread that you know when it's cooked because your whole house (mine being very small) smells like freshly baked bread.

We ate half of it for dinner despite having some couscous to go with our steaks.
I also find that there is something very therapeutic about doing your bread yourself as opposed to the bread maker (although sometimes I could let technology take over and enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the sun :))

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