We Love Cooking! + rice

:: Leila Lindholm's Baguettes

It's not all cupcakes and pies in Leila's book, "A Piece Of Cake", she also has a fantastic chapter on savoury breads. Apart from the delicious homemade baguettes below she has a wonderful recipe for the typically Scandinavian, crisp bread, which has whole aisles dedicated to it in Swedish supermarkets. Aswell as numerous variations on the the classic Italian focaccia bread, and mouth watering options for transforming plain old scones!

The first thing you will notice when you read Leila's books, or any Swedish books for that matter, is that fresh yeast is used in many of the bread recipes. Here in Ireland and in many other countries, fresh yeast isn't readily available in the supermarkets, whereas in Sweden it is sold in little foil packs stored in the fridge. If you are going to be following Leila's bread recipes, you're going to get your hands on some fresh yeast. So, for all the Irish readers out there with no fresh yeast, I have the solution, if you go to the bakery in most supermarkets and ask one of the bakers nicely for some fresh yeast, they will generally sell it you for a really reasonable price!

Leila Lindholm's Baguettes
We associate the baguette with France, but actually the French didn't start to bake it until the 1920's. That was when Austrian journeymen brought a Polish method using sourdough to France and started to use this for baking baguettes. The approach gives the baguette its typical light structure containing large air bubbles.

Makes 4 loaves
For dough 1
5g fresh yeast
300ml cold water
300g strong bread flour
Vegetable oil for the baking sheets
Flaked salt, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or poppy seeds

Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it in the water.
Add the flour and mix to make a smooth, soft dough.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the dough to prove for at least 4 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 240oC/475oF/Gas Mark 9.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and divide it into four. Gently press each portion into a rectangle.
Tuck in one of the long sides and roll up the dough. Shape the ends into points.
Twist the baguettes slightly and put them in a greased baguette tin or an ordinary baking sheet.
Leave the baguettes to prove under a tea towel for about an 1 hour.
Brush the baguettes with water and sprinkle flaked salt and the seeds of your choice on top. Use a knife to make diagnonal cuts in the surface of each loaf and immediately put the baking sheet in the centre of the oven.
Reduce the heat when the baguettes start to colour.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool uncovered on a wire rack.

For dough 2
15g fresh yeast
300ml cold water
1 batch of dough 1 (see above)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
420-480g bread flour

To make dough 2, crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it in the water.
Add dough 1, the salt, sugar and flour and mix until the ingredients bind together. Knead the dough by hand or at a low speed in a mixer for about 15 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to prove for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Proceed as above.

baguette, baking, bread, bread flour, cake, fresh yeast, leila lindholm, and more:

:: Leila Lindholm's Baguettes + rice