I wanted to make some large bread rolls, shaped like a French Baguette but with a slightly different crust and texture. I wanted the crust to be hard when baked but to soften a little after cooling.
Although I put my ‘baguettes’ in a small tray to bake they will bake perfectly well just on a baking tray.
The recipe is quite simple and can be done entirely by hand, though a stand mixer would work fine too. I did mine by hand, but it is necessary to persevere during kneading as the dough is very sticky and it takes a while to work into a manageable ball.
Having rested the dough it is easy enough to divide into three and then to roll out log shapes of about 10 to 12 inches. Then they just have to rest for a short while before being scored, and washed in egg yolk if desired, before being baked.
- 300g (2 cups + 2 tbsp) plain flour
- 30g(2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
- 90ml(6 tbsp) lukewarm milk
- 120ml(1/2 cup) lukewarm water
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 medium egg(large in USA)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8g(1 packet) actives dried yeast
- 1 egg yolk, if you wish to brush the top of the dough with egg before baking.
- Place the water and milk into a jug, with just a small pinch of sugar and sprinkle the active dried yeast over the top. Stir briefly and allow to activate for 10 minutes.
- When the yeast mixture has activated place the flour and salt into a large bowl and then add the yeast liquid.
- Stir with a spoon to start the combine.
- Add the softened butter and the egg and stir until everything is combined.
- Using a hand begin to lift the dough up and over itself, turning the bowl a quarter of a turn with each lift.
- Continue to do that until the dough mixture begins to get tougher.
- Tip it out onto a floured work surface and continue to pull up and over, or knead until the dough is quite smooth and can be easily formed into a tight ball.
- Place the dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and allow to prove until doubled in size.
- Knock the air out of the dough and divide into 3 equal pieces.
- Form each piece into a log about 10 to 12 inches in size and place a parchment lined baking tray.
- Cover the formed dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes as you preheat the oven to 200c/180c/400F.
- Uncover the dough and score each log with 3 diagonal slashes, using a very sharp knife.
- If desired brush the dough with beaten egg yolk.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.