French Baguettes – Thermomix and Standmixer Methods

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French Baguettes – Thermomix and Conventional methods. I’m sure you’ve seen loads of quick, easy French Baguette recipes online.  If you’ve ever tasted a baguette from France, then you’d know quick doesn’t maketh the proper French Baguette.

 

Sliced baguettes showing the texture of the crumbI have a quick baguette recipe too, and even though that bread recipe tastes brilliant, it’s not a French Baguette.  This new recipe for the home baker is easy, it tastes amazing and the texture is right, but it does take time for the dough to do its thing.

While in France earlier this year we ate a lot of baguettes.   I decided when I got home I was going to work out how to make a proper French baguette in my home kitchen.  All my real baguette recipes were still written with a commercial kitchen method that requires commercial equipment and quantities.

So what should a proper French Stick be like?

I should be dark golden brown on the outside, and the texture should be crunchy.  The inside should be soft and full of flavour, there should be bubble holes like in the photo above.  This bread is best eaten within hours of it coming out of the oven although there are some tricks to bring it back to life and make it like it was just freshly baked.

French sticks on a cooling rack

 

I didn’t want to add anything to the ingredient line up to help the process along I just wanted the process to be altered so I could reproduce this wonderful bread with ease.   They take time, not your time, time for the dough to develop flavour and bubbles. You need to start the process the day before if you don’t have a sourdough starter but it’s simple.

I know the difference that commercial equipment, ovens and flour (that’s fresh) can make.  I set it as my task, even down to purchasing French flour here in Australia.   Well after testing and finding flour on the internet I have to say I’ve nailed it.  I’ve purchased 20 kg of flour to date, and there is a difference, although I think some wouldn’t be able to tell from our good quality Aussie Bread Flour.

I’ve been making these French Baguettes in the Thermomix every couple of days since we came back.  I’m confident that you’ll be able to achieve the same results as me with a little practice.  The total time it takes is around 20 hours (unless you have a sourdough starter otherwise its around 4 hours) but your time is minimal, five minutes here and there.   There’s a couple of techniques with folding and shaping that are ideal to learn for the perfect baguette, but not mandatory. Practice makes perfect.  And please prove, proof, prove.  However, you spell it in your country.  Don’t get impatient let it do its thing before you bake it.

Here’s a little video on how to form your French baguette

French Baguettes Thermomix and Conventional Methods

5 from 1 reviews
Bec's French Baguettes - Thermomix and Standmixer Methods
 
Author:
Recipe type: Yeasted Bread
: French
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Poolish Ingredients: Or make sure you'll have 300 g Sourdough starter
  • 150 grams flour
  • 150 grams water
  • 50 mg (a small pinch) instant yeast
Final Dough Ingredients:
  • 300 grams flour
  • 150 grams water
  • 1.5 grams (1/2 to 1 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 6.35 grams salt (2 heaped tsp Murray valley flaked)
  • 1.6 grams diastatic malt powder (3/4 tsp)
  • 300 g All of the poolish or 300 grams sourdough starter
Method
Stand Mixer Method
  1. If you don't have 300 g of Sourdough Starter, Combine all the poolish ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover and let ferment for 12 – 15 hours, or until the surface is creased and pebbled with bubbles. I would do this the night before you want to use it.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, combine all of the final dough ingredients except about 10% of the water. Mix on low speed to incorporate the ingredients, adjusting the water as needed to achieve a medium dough consistency. Your dough needs to be sticky but not too wet.
  3. Continue mixing to a low-medium level of gluten development. How long this takes will depend upon your mixer, but about 10 - 15 minutes in a stand mixer.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment at room temperature for about 1.5 hours.
  5. Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter. Divide into two pieces (or more depending on the size your oven will take although two should be ok). Pre-shape each piece into a cylinder, cover, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into baguettes and place them in a lightly-floured couche. (or a clean T-towel)
  7. Proof, covered, for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the indentation left by a fingertip in the dough springs back very slowly.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with a baking stone if you have one, to 230°c. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now. see tips
  9. Just before baking, score the baguettes.
  10. Add the baguettes to the oven adding steam and cook until deep golden brown. The darker, the better.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.
Thermomix Method
  1. If you don't have 300 g of Sourdough Starter, Combine all the poolish ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover and let ferment for 12 – 15 hours, or until the surface is creased and pebbled with bubbles. I would do this the night before you want to use it.
  2. Weigh all the ingredients into the TM bowl and mix on speed 6/5 seconds
  3. Knead for 8 minutes. You'll need to watch your TM because it likes to walk a bit when kneading. I trap mine in a corner but be careful.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment at room temperature for about 1.5 hours.
  5. Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter. Divide into two pieces (or more depending on the size your oven will take although two should be ok). Pre-shape each piece into a cylinder, cover, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into baguettes and place them in a lightly-floured couche.
  7. Proof, covered, for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the indentation left by a fingertip in the dough springs back very slowly.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with a baking stone if you have one, to 230°c. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now. see tips
  9. Just before baking, score the baguettes.
  10. Add the baguettes to the oven adding steam and cook until deep golden brown. The darker, the better.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.
Chef Notes
Bec's Baguette with Sour Dough or a Poolish
APPROXIMATE TIMING:
Ferment poolish: 12 – 15 hours
Mix: 10 minutes
First fermentation: 1.25 hours
Divide and preshape: 10 minutes
Bench rest: 30 minutes
Shape: 10 minutes
Final proof: 1 – 1.25 hours
Bake: 15 - 25 minutes depending on size

Tips on Steam
There are many ways to create steam in your oven if you don't have a steam function.
1. Place a tray in the bottom of the oven before you start, so it gets nice and hot. When it's time to add the loaves, add some cold water from the tap and place your baguettes in as quickly as possible.
2. Place a tray in the bottom of the oven before you start, so it gets nice and hot. Add a cup of ice cubes when popping in the baguettes.
3. Place a tray in the bottom of the oven before you start, so it gets nice and hot. When it's time to add the loaves add water to the tray (around a cup) and using a water spray the top of the baguettes generously while they're in the oven. You need to do this quickly, so you don't lose too much heat.

 

open crumb structure of the baguette

 

If you have any trouble with shaping your baguettes or want to learn more, I do a sourdough class where I show you the easiest way to do all of this as well as how to make and keep a sourdough ferment.  You’ll take home your very own starter culture that can be used straight away.  Check out if I have a class coming up. 

 

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