If you stretch the dough after stiring the ingredients together, it breaks: the gluten network is weak. Kneading makes the gluten network stronger, enabling a better capture of the carbon dioxyde released during the fermentation. This is how you get a honeycombed baguette.
How to knead?
After stiring all the ingredients, kneading the dough requires to:
The whole process takes 10 minutes. Using the bowl scraper, cut the dough with the bowl in three parts every 3 minutes. Add the parts on top of each other and knead again.
If you want to add some ingredients like figs or nuts, you have to do it at the end of the kneading.
Use a working station free of flour. Slightly flatten the dough to give it a rectangular shape. Then roll-it and let the fold be directed at bottom.
Still using a working station with no flour, slightly flatten the dough to give it the width of the size of your hand. Then :
Stir in a bowl the flour with the water. Let it one hour under a wet rag.
Add in this order: dehydrated leaven, yeast, and finally salt. Stir between each addition. Knead until the dough becomes smooth.
Put the down in a bowl or in a plastic box. Cover with a wet rag. Let it rest for 90 minutes (can be 120-150 minutes if the temperature of your room is below 24°C - your dough should increase in volume).
Put the dough on your floured and divide it in two equal portions. Use the 'bowl technique' and let it rest for 30 minutes under a wet rag.
Apply the shaping technique to your dough.
Put the two baguettes on a floured rag, with the fold line on the bottom. Cover with a wet rag and let it rest for 1h20. After 1H05, pre-heat the oven at 230°C and let your pan inside.
Spread flour on top of the dough, this will make it look nicer. Then sign it using scissors or a razor. You can pick your desired cut using the video below from Christophe Noël.
Put the oven in convection mode and put your baguettes directly on the hot pan inside. Throw water (1/4th glass) in the bottom of your oven to create steam.
Let the baguettes cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, the baguettes will continue losing water. So what do they look like ? Send us your pics ! We will send you your diploma !