I was thrilled recently to receive a £10 voucher for Lakeland which is choc-a-bloc full of exciting things for dabbling bakers. After a good look around the site, I settled on a baguette tray for £9.99.
I make bread two or three times a week, usually in my rectangular loaf tin but sometimes I shape the dough into rolls. I like a nice baguette but have found that when I make them, they tend to spread out sideways, so I end up with a flattened loaf which isn’t great for our sandwiches. This product looked like it may well put a stop to that problem.
When it arrived I discovered that it was floppy rather than the rigid pan I was expecting – should read the blurb properly before ordering. I wasn’t sure how it would cope when the dough was in the grooves as when I use my silicone loaf tin, the dough tends to push the sides outwards when it expands rather than rising upwards.
It also meant I had to use a baking sheet under the tray and when I balanced it on my solid oven shelf, I came across another small problem in that the shelf is quite a bit shorter than the tray. I realised that it may well be too long for the oven.
I decided to hope for the best, laid out my 3 lumps of dough in the channels of the tray and left it sitting on the shelf above the Rayburn to rise.
When it was ready, I carefully slid it into the oven and although it was a tight fit, I managed to get the door closed. I glanced in a couple of times during the baking and I could see that because the dips in the tray aren’t very deep, as they were rising, the loaves were joining together at the sides. I had visions of getting one big flat loaf. However, when they came out of the oven and I put them on the cooling rack, they pulled apart easily into three lovely looking loaves.
The first time I used it, I shaped the bread so that the ends were tapered, which caused them to bulge outwards in the middle. With subsequent loaves I have made the dough even all the way along the length and I’ve found that the bread rises upwards and doesn’t join forces with the one next door. This way I end up with perfectly straight baguettes.
Overall I am delighted with this product, it has been a huge success with both white and wholemeal loaves and I have made some delicious garlic baguettes. This loaf tin gets my vote and 5 stars.
Milk and honey baguettes
- 500g Strong white flour
- 325g Milk
- 1 tbls Honey
- 10g Salt
- 1 1/2 tsps yeast
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Warm the milk to approx blood temperature (38C).
- Stir in the honey
- Add the yeast and leave to stand for approx 15 minutes until it starts to froth.
- Pour into bowl of food mixer and add flour and salt.
- Using dough hook mix well until a dough is formed. (Alternatively you can mix by hand).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic.
- Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it.
- Put in a warm place, cover and leave until doubled in size.
- Tip out onto a floured worktop and cut into 3 equal pieces
- Roll each piece into a sausage shape using your hands.
- Place each baguette onto the baking sheet.
- Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for around 30-40 minutes.
- When well risen, slash* the top and leave for another 10 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Move to a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy warm.