Thursday, 14 July 2011

French Baguette-ish

This is pretty key recipe to have if you want to be eating Mediterranean style. Remember when I said there was a lot of conflicting information about the diet, depending on different resources? Wellll... here's one: there are a bunch of websites out there claiming that people in the region eat mainly whole grains and low-fat dairy. Um, no. A variety of different grains, perhaps. Definitely not low-fat dairy. I think my Greek in-laws would be sick if I ever tried to feed them whole grain pasta. And no, they are not the exception. But I digress..

By the way, why would you make baguette when you can pick one up at the store? Well... some days I tend to agree. But I have 3 reasons:
  1. It's fresher and therefore tastier.
  2. It has absolutely no chemicals in it - most baguettes at our local grocery stores do tend to have preservatives in them.
  3. It's wa-a-ay cheaper. We usually pay 3-4 dollars in Quebec for a baguette of a decent size. This recipe is certainly under 50 cents.
The recipe I use for French Baguette from this book here by Rob Wanless:

Easy Bread Machine Recipes: For 1, 1/2 & 2 Lb. Machines

I don't feel like sesame seeds are part of French Baguette... but I know greeks put them on all of their breads! Hence the term "Baguette-ish."

For the Bread Machine (could easily be adapted for hand mixing):

Run the following ingredients on the dough cycle in this order - wet, dry, make a well in flour, yeast in well:


1 C water
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 T rye flour
2 t yeast
1 1/2 t quick-rise yeast

After a few minutes you get something like this:

But then it mixes quite a bit more, and actually is a very wet dough. This is normal, and Wanless actually suggests wetting your hands when you will form the dough later on. 

On a pretty heavily floured surface, form the dough into a ball, like this:

What I did next is role it into an oblong shape that was about 4-5" wide, and 1/2" or so thick.

Roll up the dough pretty tightly to make a long baguette shape, sort of like you would a jelly-roll. My ends sort of smushed together on their own, but make sure they seal up, pinching fingers at the ready!

And then I cut it in two, because there was no way that would fit on my baking sheet. They were sprinkled with water before they went on a cornmeal covered baking sheet until they doubled, in my case I preheated my oven after maybe a half an hour, making it about 40 minutes.

There, don't they look comfy underneath that dish towel?

Then, cut 3-4 diagonal 1/4" slits in each baguette so they don't suffocate in that oven! I brushed on egg wash (1 egg yolk + 2 tsp water) and sprinkled with LOTS of sesame seeds.

And this is how they came out of the oven. Wanless says bake on 500° F for 25-30 minutes with a pan of hot water underneath, until well cooked. Here's the thing. This is time number two I make this bread. The first time it came out black. Deliciously popcorn-like, but black. This time, I ended up pulling it out after 20 minutes. As you can see still dark, but not over-done.

Tonight, I enjoyed my bread with some pasta al'arrabiata and a nice glass of Little Penguin Merlot:

Ok, but seriously though, that piece of bread is huge. In reality, I ripped the baguette in half for the picture, but then I only ate half of the half... Let's get serious people, this is a blog about weight loss!


  1. Great looking bread! I even make focaccia this way.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and following! I'm following you too, great, funny site, and nice to see another fellow Canadian teacher! Do you use pizza dough for your focaccia? I'm bread-obsessed....

  3. Your bread looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up!

  4. Hi Kim,
    I will take the homemade bread any day in the week, it is just better. Your recipe looks great and the bread looks awesome. I can almost smell it coming out of the oven. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  5. oh these look so good and gives me a reason yet again to get a bread machine come visit me at

  6. Do it! Fav kitchen tool of all time! I ran it twice today. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Love your blog. Great recipes. Wonderful pictures. Come over and visit us. We have a great recipe for this hot weather!

  8. Thanks so much for visiting. Which of your blogs has the recipe you were talking about. I'd love to stop by and check it out!