Sunday, 15 August 2010

Rosemary Flax Baguettes - HBinFive

This is the month for baguettes, or so it seems.  One of our assigned breads for August in the HBinFive Baking Group is Rosemary Flaxseed Baguettes.  In addition, the Mellow Baker's Group random recipe picker chose Baguettes - either Poolish or Patê Fermenteé.

I'm not a big fan of baguettes - yet. I think I just haven't met one that I really like.  I keep searching and trying new methods hoping someday I'll find my baguette love. With that in mind, I decided to have a baguette-making weekend.

First up on the agenda was the Rosemary Flax Baguettes.  This is not your typical baguette. The combination of grains -- whole wheat flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ and all-purpose flour-- gives it a very unique texture and flavor.  And, the addition of fresh rosemary enhances the flavor and gives it a wonderful aroma.  My herb garden is overflowing right now so I always like it when I can use fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Flax Baguettes

This recipe is found on page 89 of the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. You can also find a copy here, but you'll want to get the book so you can refer to all the great tips and techniques.

This dough smelled and looked wonderful, but since it's a no knead dough, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to shape the baguettes.  I was pleasantly surprised. The overnight fermentation in the refrigerator really helps to make the dough easy to work with.

I halved the recipe so I made four loaves instead of eight.  That was plenty. 

To begin the shaping process, I shaped the dough into four round balls about 1/2 pound each.  This makes a small baguette, but that ended up being a good thing.

Cover the balls with plastic wrap while they are resting so they didn't develop a crust on the surface.

Once the balls have relaxed sufficiently, shape them into baguettes by flattening the dough into an rough rectangle.

Then fold the top of the dough down and seal it with you fingers to degas it somewhat.

Then fold the lower section of the dough up and seal it with your fingers. Then roll it from the middle out to get the shape you want. 

Here is the baguette seam-side up.

Repeat this process with each of the balls, then place the baguettes seam-side down on parchment paper.

Cover the baguettes with plastic wrap and let them proof for 45 minutes.

After the loaves have finished proofing, brush them with eggwash.

Then slash them using a serrated knife or a lame.  I used a lame. Since these loaves are small, it was easier to work with than a serrated knife.

Place the loaves (parchment and all) on a baking stone that has been preheated in the oven with a steam pan underneath. I used an aluminum pie pan for the steam pan this time and it worked really well.

About two-thirds of the way through baking, I removed the parchment paper so the loaves would bake on the bottom and not be soggy. As you can see, all four loaves fit very nicely on my baking stone. They ended up being the perfect size. 

Here are the finished loaves. They were a beautiful golden brown color.

I like these baguettes.  They are very pretty and are good as a dipping bread or as cheese toast.  I'm still on my quest to find the perfect baguette, but these baguettes are a good start.

I was very proud of the scoring on these loaves so I decided to send them to be YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

Look! all four loaves fit perfectly in my Turtle Bamboo Bread Bag. And here I thought the loaves were going to be too small.

This bag makes it really easy to store them for a few days.  You can even hang it up out of the way if you like.

I had seen these bags when Michele did the give away at the beginning of the year and I finally decided to try some for myself. I really like them so I decided to offer them in my store. There are three different bamboo bags and I like them all.

Thanks for joining me in the bread-baking blog.  Check out BigBlackDog to see all of the breads in the August 1st Bread Braid roundup. 

Happy Baking!

About the HBinFive Baking Group

The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the HBinFive baking group, check out BigBlackDog.

Here are some additional bread-making resources:

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