Zorra over at KochtopfÂ invited me to participate in breadbakingday, which is on July 1st. The requirements are to bake some bread w/ herbs in it, preferably fresh herbs from your garden.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a type of bread that I haven’t made before (or made years ago). I decided to make baguettes because I love their crunchy and chewy textures. To meet the requirement of fresh herbs I cut the fresh chives in my yard that were just sitting there doing nothing. I love the flavor ofÂ chives and figured they would add a nice zing to the bread!
This recipe is adapted from the California Culinary Academy’s baguette recipe. It’s simple, but is time consuming, so start the day before you plan on serving the bread.
1Â 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup very warm water
4 cups bread flour
2Â 1/4 teaspoons salt
1Â 1/4 cups cool water
1/4 cupÂ fresh chives (finely chopped)
Corn meal for dusting sheet pan
1) In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 3 minutes
2) AddÂ the flour, salt, chivesÂ andÂ cool water to the bowl, mix together w/ your hand, then remove mixtureÂ from bowl and knead for 8 minutes
3) Put dough back into the bowl, cover w/ plastic wrap and bulk ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes
4) Weigh dough into 3 equal portions then shape into tight balls, cover w/ plastic wrap and let bench rest for 1 hour
5) Shape into 14 inch baguettes by rolling from the center out using the palms of your hands
6) Place baguettes on a parchment paper lined sheet pan that is lightly dusted w/ corn meal
7) Cover w/ plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight
8) Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour prior to baking
9) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
10) DockÂ baguettes w/ a very sharp knife or razorÂ – hold knife at a 30 degree angle and make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts
11) Place a pan of hot waterÂ atÂ the bottom of theÂ oven
12) Place baguettes in oven on middle rack and bakeÂ for 25 minutes – – quickly pour 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom sides of the oven right after placing baguettes in
13) After 1 minute quickly pour in another 1/2 cup of water – repeat once again 2 minutes later (the steam helps promote the “oven spring” and crust gloss)
14) Remove baguettes from oven andÂ let cool
15) Share the bread w/ your friends!
**Â yields 3 baguettes
I was happy w/ the end product except for many of my cuts not opening up on the baguettes while they baked. Next time I will experiment w/ the angle and depth of theÂ cuts as I’m docking the bread.
Happy Bread Baking Day!!