This is a happy moment!
From basic white bread to artisan bread that bakes in a pot, I’ve been trying to search for the recipe to make the kind of crusty bread that I like to be my daily staple. It was until I chance upon a 6 part video posted by King Arthur’s flour baking factory (click here for the first video) demonstrating French Baguette and Batard using the traditional way. It seems time consuming but the result is amazing and just the way I like it.
The overall preparation time takes 5 hours but I realized it is not a trouble at all as I normally spend Sundays tidying up my home and explore new recipes so I can still carry on with my activities while the dough is rising.
The little drama came during my second attempt when my dough was in the final rising stage. During pre-heating, my oven decides to retire after a 10 good years of partnership.
In that split moment, I was lost. Don’t know what to do with the dough. Throwing it away is my last option. Purchasing a new oven won’t make it in time. Then Mr Raju appears in my mind. He is the helpful neighbor who brings us nice food during Deepavali. When I approach him for help, he stopped whatever he is doing and lends me his oven without a slight hesitation.
The over rising time and the transferring flattened the dough. My hard earned French Batard came out a little flat but it was good just the way I like it.
This recipe makes one small loaf.
1/4 tsp dry instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
All-purpose flour (enough to mix until it sticks together and away from the bowl)
My Sunday routine
8:00 am- Mixing and Kneading
In a bowl, mix two cups of flour with salt and sugar. Mix yeast into water. Pour yeast with water into flour and start mixing. Add in more flour and mix until the dough sticks together into a ball and away from the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on table and knead dough for 10 minutes. Sprinkle more flour when dough gets sticky during the kneading process. Place it back to the bowl and cover with moist towel to rise for 2 hours.
8:20am – Morning run
10:00 am – Folding
Sprinkle some flour on table. Spread dough on table and stretch out on 4 sides. Fold all sides inwards like wrapping a present and place dough seam side down back into bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.
10:05 am – Breakfast and grocery shopping at the local market
11:00 am – Pre-shaping
Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Fold the sides to the centre and shape it into a ball. Place dough seam side down back to bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.
11:05 am – Tidy up home
12:00 noon – Final shaping
Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Shape it into a Batard and place dough seam side down on baking dish. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.
12:05 pm – Rest and relax
1:00 pm – Baking
Pre-heat your oven to 425F. After slitting the dough, spray with water and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
I am now baking with my new oven that produces great results.