Baguette without kneading & Pizza baguette

If you notice my blog has two new categories “My travel story” and “My foodie story”, that actually comes from my old blog, nowadays I have to close it down and move the content, one by one, to lepetitrenard blog. Hope you also enjoy it as much as my Cordon Bleu! Thank you! 

The baguette is probably one of the best that French created. I love the baguette very much, I could eat the whole freshly baked baguette without anything. And that’s also a reason I decided to study at Le Cordon Bleu Paris as baker!

French baguette is simple – flour, salt, water and yeast but how to turn them into a good baguette is another story. The first few weeks we kept kneading baguette dough by hands, we found it funny but later – it became quite stressful, especially when we kept doing that for several recipes within a day. It’s no longer fun, it’s a real hard work!

Today I’m sharing with you how to do a baguette without kneading. It takes time – around 4 and half hours as the dough needs  long time to rest, to rise! Actually without kneading but it still requires some technique like how to shape baguette, how to create  the cut on the bread before baking…everything should be fine and have fun baking!

Preparation for baguette dough 

  • Bread flour  475 gr
  • All purpose flour  65 gr
  • Dry yeast  3 gr
  • Diastatic malt powder  4gr
  • Salt  10 gr
  • Water  360 ml (cold water – 25º)

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In a large bowl combine the flours, yeast, and malt powder, salt on the other side, not in contact with yeast, especially if you use the fresh yeast, as salt can kill the yeast. Make a well in the center and pour in the water.

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With a plastic scraper gradually work the flour into the liquid and to lean of the bowl, then using metallic scraper cut a piece of the dough from the edge and then place it on top of the dough until until all the flour has been moistened.

In baking the temperature is important, and French name it “temperature de base” (or TB) it’s the combination of the temperature of the kitchen, the water and the flour. The TB varies, depends on which bread we prepare, for the baguette TB should be around 80oC.

Example : Kitchen temperature = 25ºC, the flour = 25ºC and the water should be at 30ºC (25 + 25 + 30 = 80). But to make it easy to remember, the dough should be always at around 22ºC up to 25ºC. Mine was 22ºC, by the end it reach nearly 27ºC

The first 45 minutes: right after combine all ingredients together with water. Cover with some cloth and let it rest at room temperature.

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The second 45 minutes: To stretch the dough, gently take one edge of the dough and stretch it and fold it onto the top of the dough. Turn your bowl to the opposite side and stretch the dough in the same way. Then for the other two edges of the dough do the same way. After that flip your dough so the bottom is now the top, and cover it for the second 45 minutes. 

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After stretching & folding 4 edges, then flip the dough upside down.

The third 45 minutes: do exactly the same thing as the second and let it sit for the third and the last 45 minutes. After 45 minutes the dough very fluffy, nice to touch as it soft so we need to handle it gently. After 3 times of 45 minutes, i.e 3 hours to ferment the dough, now we move to the next stage – pre-shaping and final shaping, we need another 1 and half hour.

Pre-shaping and final shaping 

Put it on the kitchen table, don’t forget to dust some flour on the surface otherwise dough sticks to it. From now on if you want to remove the dough, you need to use scraper gently, not to pull, to stretch it anymore, it will damages the dough texture.  

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Use the scraper to cut the dough into three small pieces, each weight around 310-320 gr. and do pre-shapping into small logs.

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Pre-shape the dough into 3 small logs

Use the plastic to cover these 3 small logs and let it rest for 30′ at the room temperature. After 30′ now we do the baguette shaping. Here you need to know some basic technique.

Place one log (upside down) on a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a rectangle, breaking any big air bubbles. Fold over the top third of dough and gently seal, continue with the second third  and the last one (3rd one) until you reach the other edge, seal it gently. With the palms of your hands gently roll the dough back and forth until it long enough for your oven.

Place the baguettes (seal side down) on a lightly floured cloth (preferably linen), separating the baguettes by a wrinkle in the cloth. Cover with plastic wrap, and let proof for about 45-60 minutes at room temperature.

After 45 or 60′ we move the baguettes into the baking tray with the help of the wooden paddle. Just before the oven, with a sharp knife for baguette cutter, held at 45 degree angle, score the top center of each baguette lengthwise around 6-8 cm with 5 slashes. You need to do quickly and confidently, quickly transfer to the oven and don’t forget to spray the water or put the bowl of cold ice in the oven, the water steam help creating the crunchy outer skin.

We need to pre-head the oven to 250ºC or at least 30 minutes in advance before baking. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

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Freshly baked baguettes are the best, and still at their best within the day they are made, next day you need to bake again to make it crunchy or you can do the Pizza-baguette, in France they call “tartine” and sell it at the bakery stores.

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Freshly baked baguette is one of the best

With some home-made tomato sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, olive, cherry pepper…or whatever you like for your usual pizza! Bake it at 25ºC for 15′, you will have incredibly crunchy piza-baguette that you hardly get from the traditional pizza. I love tartine very much. Good for breakfast!

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The household oven is not ideal for baking baguette, but we still can produce very good baguette, so try to do it and enjoy baking!

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