A number of things put me off baking baguettes. First, by reputation, baguettes go stale very quickly and I like my bread to last. Secondly, my initial researches suggested, the success of the baguette depends on specially-shaped baguette trays, cloth couches and baguette flipping boards.
I thought I would make a sourdough baguette and prepared a white and rye dough on a Wednesday night, putting it in a chilled box overnight. The next day, I made my own baguette tray out of a roasting dish lined with a large napkin, with a folded cardboard tube down the middle to give me the approximate shape. The dough was then proved in a chilled box (OK – my ‘chilled box’ is a polystyrene box that used to contain brocolli in which I place two freezer packs and a couple of upturned glasses to act as a trivet).
On Friday morning, I took the two loaves out of the box and left them to feel comfortable in the kitchen. When the oven was straining away at 250 degrees, I slashed both loaves and slid them inside.
Twenty minutes later … I was quite surprised.
They looked alright – although not particularly consisent in colour or shape – and the taste was wonderful. Worth another go, I think …