Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel
Breizh Poellrezh SF - Douarañ Santel

Bread accompanies every meal, so the quality and especially the taste are very important.

The baguette is a long thin, crusty loaf, the name of which is derived from ‘baguette magique’, the French for magic wand. A good baguette should have a crisp, golden brown crust that will break if you push it inwards. The interior crumb (or ‘mie’ in French) should be a creamy colour with large, irregular, air holes.

The diagonal slashes in the crust provide an escape route for the carbon dioxide given off during the fermentation process as the bread bakes. They should be evenly spaced and slightly darker at the edges. The baguette should smell of toasted wheat with a moist chewy texture and a nutty, buttery flavour.

In comparison a mass produced

loaf will be a paler, straw coloured.The "mie" will be pure white with tiny, regular air holes and the loaf will be tasteless and dry.

Other Types of Bread

 

Boule: A round loaf sold in various sizes.
Ficelle: A very thin version of the baguette. Ficelle means string in French.
Fougasse: A flat rectangular bread often filled with bacon, onion or herbs.
Gros pain: A large family size version of a baguette.
Pain: Peasant Bread
Pain à l'ancienne: Bread made using traditional methods
Pain de campagne
: This is usually a big rustic loaf (campagne means country) with a thick crust.
Pain complet: Loaf made from whole wheat flour.
Pain de mie: Mie means the interior. This is a soft sweet loaf mainly used for sandwiches.
Pain aux Chocolate: Bread filled with chocolate chips
Pain aux noix: Bread filled with nuts.
Pain aux raisins
: A light bread filled with raisins. A breakfast treat.
Pain d'épices; Spiced or gingerbread
Pain de siegle: Loaf with two thirds rye flour, one third wheat flour.
Pain viennois
: A baguette shape but softer and sweeter.
Pain Petit: A roll

Now it is your turn!! So give this recipe a try, it works every time for me!!!


Ingredients
4 cups Unbleached, All-purpose Flour
1 tablespoon. Dry Active Yeast
1-2 teaspoons. Sea-Salt
2 cups Warm Water (40 – 45ºC)
Oil for the bowl


Preparation
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
In a second bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and half of the flour/salt mixture. Using your hands, mix until it forms a dough. Then, cover with a dish cloth and let it rest at room temperature for 3 hours. It should triple in size.
Gently incorporate the rest of the flour/salt, using your hands.
Place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. It should be supple and elastic when you stop kneading.
Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with a tea-towel. Let it rest for 1 hour. This time it will double in size.
Preheat oven to 230ºC/450°F/ Gas Mark 8. Knead again. Then cut dough into 3 parts and form each part into a long baguette. Place on a baking sheet. Let hem rest for at least 20 minutes.
Place a bowl of water in the oven. Bake baguettes for about 25 minutes (maybe less). Remove the bowl of water after 15 minutes of baking.

Et Voilä - The perfect Baguette!!

Some Tips!!

Baguettes are particularly crusty and light because they are cooked at extremely high temperatures and are vapourized Even though most domestic ovens cannot the temperatures as my steam-assisted oven, you can still make an excellent baguette, by remembering to put a bowl of water in the oven, and, of course by baking at a very high temperature.

A glass or granite pastry board is a great help!!!


Brioche – A Simple Recipe

This subtly sweet brioche loaf is my version of the more time intensive classic recipe. The simplicity of the preparation is deceptive, though; the delicate texture and heavenly aroma rival any traditional brioche found in Paris.
Note: Dress up your brioche loaf with the addition of a teaspoon of orange flower water, eau-de-vie or a pinch of aromatic spice.

Brioche – A Simple Recipe

This subtly sweet brioche loaf is my version of the more time intensive classic recipe. The simplicity of the preparation is deceptive, though; the delicate texture and heavenly aroma rival any traditional brioche found in Paris.
Note: Dress up your brioche loaf with the addition of a teaspoon of orange flower water, eau-de-vie or a pinch of aromatic spice.

 

Ingredients:
• 400 grams strong white flour
• 3 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon sea-salt
• 50 ml milk, warm
• 250 grams unsalted butter, softened
• 4 eggs plus 3 yolks
• 50 grams castor sugar

 

 

Preparation:
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Gradually add the warm milk, butter, and 4 eggs into the flour mixture; knead until the dough is smooth. The dough is ready to rise when it is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours, or until it is doubled in size. 

Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down a few times. Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized balls. Roll each ball into a 10-inch long rope, and then braid the ropes together. Tuck the ends under and place the braid in a greased 9-inch by 5-inch baking tray. Alternately, you can punch the dough down and form it into a simple oval. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF or Gas Mark 6). Remove the dough covering, gently brush the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180ºC (350ºF or Gas Mark 4) and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the brioche is golden brown. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes on the tray then transfer it to a wire cooling rack. 

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