Parisian Presidential Baguettes
Both bakers use the same formula and approach. No pre-dough, only a long, cold proof.
In 2012, Marie-Claude who runs the food blog Farine (click here....) visited Paris, met both bakers and, although neither would divulge their recipes, they shared enough information on quantities and approaches to reconstruct as near-to as possible an authentic recipe for Presidential Baguettes.
This recipe will make 3 decent-sized baguettes.
290 gms plain (All-Purpose) flour (see chart below)
70 gms brown flour (1050 flour or 'first clear' flour - see chart below)
240 mls filtered water (or own-brand bottled water)
7 gms sea salt
2 gms fresh yeast (see chart below)
A useful conversion chart for fresh / dried and instant yeasts...
A useful guide to comparative names for flours is here...
Mix all the ingredients together by hand until everything is incorporated. There is no need to knead the dough - but a little workout will ensure that everything is thoroughly incorporated.
|All mixed and ready for an hour at 24⁰C|
Rest the dough for 60 minutes at 24⁰C. Stretch and fold the dough every 20 minutes (i.e. 3 cycles of stretch and fold).
|After three sets of 'stretch and fold' - ready for the fridge|
Place the dough in a suitable bowl (lightly-oiled). Cover and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours at a temperature between 4⁰C and 6⁰C. This is the first proof
After 48 hours, tip the dough onto a floured worktop and divide into 3 equal portions.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
Shape each portion into a cylinder and then place it either on baker's linen or on a baguette former. Think 'baguette' so tease out the ends into points.
Needless to say, like scoring, anything that requires shaping is not my strong point. I think I must have been 'missing' when the 'artistry' lessons were on.....
Let the baguettes rise for 60 minutes at 24⁰C. This is the second proof.
Preheat your oven to 250⁰C (or as near to that temperature as your oven will allow).
Score the baguettes in the 'traditional way'.
There is a helpful YouTube video on scoring baguettes which can be seen by clicking here....
As soon as you've put the baguettes into the oven, drop the temperature to 230⁰C and bake for 25 minutes. Adding steam is very beneficial - either by using a tray of water or adding ice cubes or misting.
Cool on a rack.