My first baguettes

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I made baguettes today for the first time. They are made with a 65% hydration dough, and I used instant yeast rather than my sourdough starter because I have a big stash of instant yeast that needs using and I didn’t want to feel disappointed if I spent 24 hours making a dough only to mess up the shaping and scoring! Thankfully, my first attempt at shaping and scoring baguettes went much better than expected, and they taste delicious!

500g strong white bread flour

325g warm water

1 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

I made the dough then left it to rise for 1 hour. Then I punched it down, divided it in two, and preshaped the dough into two boules which I then left to rest on a wooden board under a teatowel for a further 30 minutes. Next, I shaped them and left them to rise in well floured baguette bannetons, and baked them in a cold oven set to 200C with a dish of boiling water at the bottom. I need to improvise some kind of humidity device for baking large or long loaves of bread because my bread usually cracks at the foot, indicating that the crust formed before the oven spring was complete. I only have a small cast iron dutch oven, so perhaps I’ll fashion something with a deep baking tray inverted above my bread.

Still, for a first attempt, I am very happy!

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