Baguettes
Fabulous baguettes

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.

Baguette tray
Baguette tray

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.

First batch with tapered ends
First batch with tapered ends

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.

Baguettes ready for the oven
Baguettes ready for the oven

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.

Baguette rolls
Also excellent for baguette rolls

Milk and honey baguettes

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Milk and Honey Baguettes
Ingredients
  • 500g Strong white flour
  • 325g Milk
  • 1 tbls Honey
  • 10g Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps yeast
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. Warm the milk to approx blood temperature (38C).
  3. Stir in the honey
  4. Add the yeast and leave to stand for approx 15 minutes until it starts to froth.
  5. Pour into bowl of food mixer and add flour and salt.
  6. Using dough hook mix well until a dough is formed. (Alternatively you can mix by hand).
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic.
  8. Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it.
  9. Put in a warm place, cover and leave until doubled in size.
  10. Tip out onto a floured worktop and cut into 3 equal pieces
  11. Roll each piece into a sausage shape using your hands.
  12. Place each baguette onto the baking sheet.
  13. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for around 30-40 minutes.
  14. When well risen, slash* the top and leave for another 10 minutes.
  15. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  17. Move to a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy warm.
Notes: *I use a razor blade to slash the bread as it makes a better cut than a knife.