Saturday, 29 September 2012




On AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final Day it's nice to kick-start the day with a fresh homemade baguette and a cup of coffee, then seek out the company of fellow football tragics (otherwise known as friends), have a slightly burned sausage from the barbecue, drink too much champagne, wear colours that don't flatter your complexion in the form of football scarves and cheer on a team you normally wouldn't support... or is that just me?

from Paul Allam and David McGuinness's Bourke Street Bakery
Makes 7

540g sourgdough starter
680 plain flour
10g fresh yeast
275ml water
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt

Put the starter in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add the flour, yeast, water and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).

Divide the dough into seven even-sized portions, each weighing about 200g each. Shape into balls, place on a floured tray and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

Working with one ball of dough at a time, flatten it out to a thin rectangle and then fold it onto itself, into thirds (like a business letter). Turn the dough so that the folded seem is facing you and start to crimp the dough by pulling the dough over towards you and inwards, rolling it up to make a cylinder.

Roll the dough by lightly resting the palms of your hands in the middle of the cylinder. Push down and roll out with your hands to elongate the cylinder until it's about 30cm long and 5cm wide.

Make the pointy ends by rolling the ends firmly with your palms, moving your hands outwards and off the dough, pressing firmly as you go.

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

Put the rolled baguettes onto a well-floured tea towel, seam side up, making sure you lift the tea towel up between each baguette to create a barrier to they don't touch and stick to each other while resting. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and leave to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.

To check if the baguettes are ready to cook, press one gently - it should bounce back. Gently place each baguette on a baking paper lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Slash the baguettes with a sharp knife. Five or six slashes along the middle of the baguette at regular intervals.

Place the baguettes in the oven and spray the oven with a water. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


  1. Your breads looks awesome!!! Fresh yeast is the life. Honestly, I cannot love without it now. I always have some in the fridge + in the freezer and I always use this one. Always make the subsitution. I'll have to try your dough/bread because it looks good. With some homemade jam..yum :)

  2. Thanks Gabrielle. Homemade jam on a baguette - you can't beat it :)

  3. Beautiful! I took a bread making class in Paris earlier this year but still haven't attempted it here at home. Will surely give it a go this winter.

  4. Looks delicious! One question though, when you say at the 'highest temperature', does that mean on broil? Thanks.

  5. Thanks so much. Bread making classes in Paris is the stuff of my dreams. Lucky you. :)

  6. Hey Jessica, thanks for your comment. I used the "conventional" setting on my oven and turned it right up to 250 degrees C. - the highest my oven will go. You don't want to use the broiler or grill setting, as this gives direct, uneven heat. I hope this helps.

  7. wow! looks perfect, i can almost smell the freshness of it....yum

  8. Ok, I am completely and utterly jealous.. You see, I have a fear of yeast. Yes, I know, it's very sad. It just strikes fear in my heart when I think about using it. I suppose I've watched too many cooking shows where they have talked about the water having to be the "PERFECT" temp in order for the yeast to bloom?? Goodness...So, how much do you think it would cost to ship me some of your beautiful baguettes?? ;))

  9. Hey Leah. Bread making is technical and I understand your fears. Some bread recipes are overly convoluted and can be off-putting, but I really do think this is an easy recipe. I think if you get too anxious, it can transfer into the food - that goes with any part of cooking. Just relax, take a deep breath and roll up yours sleeves... it's the only way to go.

  10. those look fantastic! I'm a huge fan of baguettes, so will need to give your recipe a go!

  11. Thanks for your comment labymorgiana :)