La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Crusty Baguette

For 2 baguettes of 350 gr. each
Preheat oven to 240°C - 220°C (fan) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes
This bread should be eaten on the same day, preferably still warm with a knob of salted butter.

  • 15 gr fresh yeast (or equivalent in dried yeast)
  • 40 ml tepid water
  • 500 gr strong white flour
  • 270  ml tepid water
  • 10 gr salt
  • In a small bowl mix yeast with the 40 ml of tepid water and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • In the bowl of  your food mixer, add the flour that you bring together with some of the water (the amount of water can be rectified at a later stage as it depends on how much or little moisture your flour contains)
  • Add the yeast mixture.
  • Knead well for a couple of minutes, adding more water when needed.
  • Add the salt and knead for another 10 minutes
  • The dough should be pliable, but not stick to the hands.

  • Leave to prove, in the bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel for about 45 minutes.

  • When the dough has doubled in size, put it on the flour-dusted worktop.
  • With the ball of your hand, gently press it out into a sheet of 1 to 2 cm thickness.

      • Lift one corner and roll the dough onto itself diagonally, to a sausage or baguette shape
      • Place seam side down on a baking tray that you lined with baking paper.

      • Cover with clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour (this depends, obviously, on the room temperature)
      • Make two cuts into the bread diagonally of approx 0,5 cm deep

      • Bake for 30 minutes


      1. Ik vind die zelfgemaakte baguettes eigenlijk niet luchtig genoeg. Wij (dwz mijn man) hebben het al geprobeerd met de broodbakmachine (tot aan het bakken uiteraard), en ook al alleen gemengd met de machine en manueel gekneed, maar het blijft zwaar. Vind ik hè.

      2. This looks fabulous. I make my own bread too but it seems to spread a lot . . . I have tried to make long loaves but they end up more like something you'd use on a school sports day! How do you get it to stay long and thin?

      3. Ah, Marmaduke, your dough is too soft. Too much water or fat, or water too warm all make the dough spread. For free-shaped loaves dough needs to be firmer. Hope this helps to you make better bread than base ball batts ;-))


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