Bonjours mes ami(e)s,
little delayed, this is my answering blog on Judith’s magnificent first post for the vegan MoFo. The recent days have been filled with cacao-working and chocolate producing and loads of stuff I have to learn about the beautiful cocoa-fruit, due to my new job at a raw-cacao-chocolate producer. Our manufacture is located a few kilometres outside of Berlin and this gives me also the chance to see twice or three times the week a little more than grey-faced buildings all around me.
So its a lot of positive stress these days and I figured it would be great to have a little decompression in my afterwork time. Thats why I decided to try a baking-recipe…this might sound a little weird, but I love the concentration and dedication you need to give to a good yeast-dough and there are few more decelerating actions for me. On the one hand I really like how you have to ‘work’ a yeast dough and how it is ‘working’ and developing itself, and on the other hand I adore the exitement it gives me everytime to wonder if the yeast would rise. And due to our latest theme for the vegan MoFo La cuisine francaise and as an addition to Judith’s caviar d’aubergines it had to be…ah oui…un baguette où trois flûtes!
Baking baguette isn’t that hard as one might think…it is a little challenging, but if you did it once or twice it gets easier – like it normally does make a difference between walking an unknown path and ambling a way you are acquainted to. And also the outcome will be a yummy and authentic and most of all vegan little piece of heaven, for the products you can buy in the stores contain most of the time, strange ingredients like milk, butter, other hydrogenated fats, sugar and/or chemical preserving agents. But you will see, none of them are needed to make a delicious baguette or if you want three scrumptious small flûtes – which are tiny cute mini-baguettes.
Un Baguette où trois Flûtes
250 gr Wheat-flour (typ 550 or you can use whole-grain as I did)
160 ml handwarm water
12 gr (half a cube) fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
- Add the flour and the salt to a mixingbowl and combine them well. In another jar, mix the handwarm water with the yeast by crumbling the yeast in and stirring well.
- Now add the yeast-mixture to the flour-bowl and combine them with a wooden spoon (as it would stick to much on your hands, but you can also use them). Don’t work the dough too much, the ingredients should just be loosely combined.
- Form a ball with the dough, put it back into the mixingbowl and wrap it into a moist kitchen-towel to let it rest for 1 hour. During this hour you will have to fold the dough three times – so every twenty minutes.
- To fold the dough, after 20 minutes you take it out of its bowl and put it on a floured surface to form it into a rectangular shape. Then you fold over every edge into the middle of the rectangle, like it’s shown in the pictures. Be careful while doing this and all the time while handling this dough – just press and form it gently, not to destroy the tiny bubbles which cause the fluffyness of your endproduct.
After you folded all edges, put back the dough with the folded side downwards into the mixing-bowl. After another 20 minutes repeat the same procedure, and also at the end – after 60 minutes.
- When the resting-and-folding-time is over and you folded your dough the last time it is the moment to undertake la faconnage – the shaping. I think there will be a million kinds of how to do the faconnage in France, but this is the way how I learnded it from my guest-mother when I visited France on an exchange as a pupil: You put the dough in front of you, the folded side lying downwards on the floured surface.
Again: please handle the dough gently and with care for the small air-bubbles the yeast produces in it – they cause the fluffyness of your baguette. Form it again into a rectangular shape and roll over the longer side of it, to cover the folded part that was underneath – it should look like a sausage now – knead the lap into the dough.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slice-in the baguette three times slantwise, spray it with lightly salted water and dust it with some flour. Cover the sheet with a moist kitchen-towel and let the dough rest a last time for twenty minutes. During that time preheat the oven to 240°Celsius.
- Insert a baking sheet filled with water to the lowest track of the oven (or if you don’t want to do that – spray your baguette every 5-7 minutes with lightly salted water).
Spray with water and dust your baguette again right before the baking starts, then insert its rack into the oven. Bake for twenty minutes and make sure the lower waterfilled baking sheet is always filled or in the other case, spray your baguette frequently: this makes sure your baguette develops the right crust!
- Remove your gorgeous smelling, yellow-golden crusted result from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for some minutes.
Enjoy your ready baguette if you like with Judith’s Caviar d’Aubergines or any kind of topping you love (I tried some olive-paste, soy-yoghurt, figs, radish, redcurrants and mini-tomatoes)!