Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

making Baguettes or Bread sticks

I've been wanting to make Bread Sticks for ages now...as I only ever buy them if I see them marked down......I was excited when I accidentally found a link on how to keep your baguettes in shape while rising....If you scroll down a bit on the link, you will even see that someone has used a painters drop sheet to shape the bread.

I WAS looking for bread proving bowls made out of willow or cane....You know the ones that leave a lovely spiral in the crust of the bread? Yeah, they are sooo expensive, so I guess I will search for the materials and try to make them myself. 

Ok, back to the Baguettes or Bread Sticks as I know them.....The cloth you are need is called a Bakers Couche or a Couche Cloth....and they aren't cheap either....but after doing some research...all you really need is some Heavy Canvas.......the width of the baking tray you will use all the time. But don't cut the length, until you know how many rolls you can support on the chosen tray....I can tell you the measurements of my cloths though...

I looked up canvas in the phone book...and it was easy as there was only one in the book in our area....On the way home from taking mum to do some much needed clothes shopping..(DS19 had a rostered day off, so he pushed mum in the wheelchair today...It's far to far for her to walk in the shopping centres)........

Oh yeah...On the way home I went via Illawarra Canvas in Dapto....and after trying to explain on the phone what I wanted to do with a piece of canvas....the lovely gentleman there gifted me a piece of canvas................

I'm very fortunate, as I had enough canvas to make cloths for two trays both lengthways AND widthways...You'll see what I mean in a minute..(when I stop blabbing on)....

Onto the making......the fun part.
After cutting out the required length of canvas....make sure you flour it well...get in there and run it in. If you don't you run the risk of your dough sticking....a very high risk too............
To get the estimated length of the canvas...
I used my rolling pin as a guide to how big each baguette may be.
Laying the rolling pin down as I gathered up the canvas,
repeating until I ran out of room on the tray.
 To make the baguettes....you don't need to settle for store choice of either Sourdough or Plain White......BECAUSE you are making them yourself...you can use any recipe you choose to.

I made some really yummy Linseed, Soy & Almond bread rolls a while back and adapted that recipe by adding some roughly crushed sunflower seeds and also Pumpkin (Pepita) seeds..which I gave a quick bash with the mortar & pestle........

I wish I had found this website before rolling the Baguettes....I found the dough a bit hard to manage while trying to make a long roll.....but technique has never been my strong suit...so I just had a go....and the rustic look is what I was going for anyway...Honest!!

Measure each piece of dough to the same weight
This ensures you get even sized rolls at the end.

Below I am forming longer baguettes by using the length of the tray.
If you scroll down further, you will see where I also used the width of the tray for forming shorter baguettes or rolls in this case.
I was just able to fit 4 baguettes on the baking tray....to rise.
 AFter rising....look how puffy they are....by this time...I couldn't wait to see how they would turn out...
All in all, not a bad experiment so far.

see the magic..how plump they are....
and rustic! Oh...Artisan....that's the one.

Using a piece of grease proof paper...
slide the paper just beneath the dough

Gently roll the formed baguette onto the paper...
then move over to your baking tray.

Position the Paper sheet on the tray
and unroll the baguettes; back onto the tray. 
So you really roll the dough only half way...onto the paper....then back again....off the paper and onto the baking tray....be careful you leave enough room for heat to get around the baguettes......I did rise them all on the one tray...but for baking...spread them out over a few trays if the tray you use is full.
This way they bake nice and even all round.
Soy, Linseed, Almond, Sunflower seed & Pumpkin seed.
And rustic too....Ooops! Artisan...lol

4 seeded bread-sticks
and 6 rolls (short, fat bread-sticks)

Oh...the tray you rise them on needs to be a similar size to the one you bake on......No point rising a breadstick; only to find out it's too long to fit in your oven...That would make me mad. I just used the same trays.

Using a smaller loaf recipe of just plain white..I also made some rolls using the same technique...Only this time I used the width of the tray....

weighing each roll to ensure the same sized rolls.

see how I supported the canvas...my two trays were now in the oven baking 4 baguettes...
I sure hoped they came out before these finished rising.

keeping the warmth of the oven in...
I must build a fold-down shelf  above the stove...
to prove my breads on..(good idea nellymary)
 Taa Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!

Apart from about half of my housework list, and helping mum try on clothes for most of the day....this is what I accomplished....after I got back home.

Oh....sorry for the long post...but if  you have been following along...You'll probably know by now that I ramble a whole lot.

What did you get up to today?   Will you try making baguettes with your favourite bread recipe?
I'd love to hear about it. What do you think for a first go?


  1. Oh Nelly Mary! You're amazing! I wouldn't even bother to go to that trouble. Bread's bread to me. I'm actually lucky that I've been getting free bread from a lovely couple from the local church who go around to all the bakeries in our area and pick up the day old bread. I usually get baguettes, sour dough and block loaves (plus a few sweet treats for the kids). I'd never, ever even contemplate wanting to make my own baguettes. Pizza bases and fruit loaves, yes I make them all the time.

    Well done my dear!

    Anne x

  2. I made garlic herb bread rolls yesterday and they were soooo delicious, lavished in butter of course. They went very well with the sweet potato lentil soup I made for dinner. "More!" they cried :) Making your own bread is so much fun...

  3. WOW! I don't know if I could do that...Espy

  4. Oh I will have to try that - I always find that my free form baguettes flatten out so much. Your really kept a great shape.

  5. Oooh, I like your bread proofing canvas! I made some free-form loaves the other day and had to resort to linen tea towels to stop the dough from flopping all over the place. Very nice loaves yours are, too!

  6. Anne: How great for you to have such a supply of breads....I haven't tried making my own Pizza bases yet....
    Kasia: I love making Herb and Garlic bread rolls....and yes it is fun.
    Espy: you never know unless you have a go....Go for it...I'm always up for trying out new things.
    African Aussie: this is a good way to keep them from flattening out...I am keeping my new Baker's Cloth for sure.
    Christine: Tea-Towels...good for you....I never thought of that....Thanks!, I think they look nice too..and even better they are yummy......

    It's funny these men of mine....they wouldn't dream of buying or eating a bread with all those bits in them...but If I make it...they will try it....and they are always surprised at how yummy they are....I might be brave and sprinkle some on top one day...
    I put them in the freezer yesterday after making two into herb n garlic..All you do is almost cut through them in slices and add herb n garlic butter inside each cut....Wrap in foil....ready for a warm up in the oven to add to any hearty meal.

  7. LOL the ones on the scale.. I thought 'oh look she making duck bread' then I read the caption haha talk about a idjit moment. I want to bite the end off one of those breads. Awesome job!

  8. Hey Wendy...I had to go back and have another look at this duck bread.....Your right..I can see it too..lol...but I always measure out the dough if making rolls..or even dividing a dough to make two loaves....Thanks for liking my rolls.....
    Hey I threw out my Kefir Starter...according to Doms website..it should have been ready...so I am going to start again....when I find exact instructions. Just going to start with a plain sourdough recipe first I reckon.

  9. Wow, I'm impressed! How simple is that, and I love the look of your loaves. I'm wondering what I've got in my fabric stash that would work rather than buying more fabric....

    Pizza Bases are really easy. I use this recipe http://andreasrecipes.com/2006/08/10/napoletana-pizza-dough/ and it makes three 12-14" pizza bases. (thinner is better!)

  10. Hi Melinda...maybe a heavy denim would work, but it has to be rather stiff....Thanks for the link to the Pizza base recipe...will check it out...I like that it makes 3 large bases.

  11. Gerryb London
    70 years young, hope its not too late to have a go at bread making, got the gear, will have a go after the new year, loved your way of teaching, great, will come back once I have had a crack at it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...