Authentic Crusty French Baguettes Recipe

Most French bread recipes you find on the Internet use a lot of oil and sugar. While this does make tasty bread, it won’t make an authentic French baguette. The recipe below uses flour, salt, water and yeast. Those are the only four ingredients you will need to make delicious baguettes.

Poolish (Starter)

  • 75 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 5 cups of cold water
  • 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour

Dough

  • The Poolish
  • 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (preferably kosher)
  • 75 cups of cold water
  • 5 teaspoons of active dry yeast

The first step to making quality French bread is making a starter, otherwise known as a poolish.

It’s best to do this the night before, and let it do its magic overnight. However, if you didn’t remember to make the starter the night before, you can start it in the morning and still have a good loaf of French bread by Dinner.

Process

Start by mixing 0.75 teaspoons of yeast with 1.5 cups of cold water. Leave it for about 5 minutes or so, just until it dissolves. Then put 1.5 cups of white or bread flour into a medium sized bowl and pour the yeast water mixture in.

With a wooden spoon, mix your starter in one direction. Right now you want to be creating long strands, so just mix it 20 or 30 times. At this point, don’t worry about clumps. After you have the water nice and mixed in to the flour, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it for at least 6 hours. When you come back to the bowl it should look alive and bubbling.

Now that your starter is ready, you can make the dough. Take 0.75 cups of cold water and mix it with 1.5 teaspoons of yeast and leave it for five minutes or so, just until it dissolves and starting foaming a little.

Then mix 2.5 cups of white or bread flour with 2 teaspoons of salt (I prefer kosher, but table salt is fine) in a medium bowl. Now, add your water yeast mixture into the starter (poolish) and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Then add your salt and flour mixture in 4 equal amounts, mixing with a wooden spoon in between.

This recipe is easy to use and makes authentic French baguettes in less than 30 minutes.

Once it gets too hard to mix with the spoon, start kneading by hand, incorporating a little flour if the dough sticks to your hands or your kneading surface. Knead the dough for about five minutes or so.

Now put your dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise for about thirty minutes. After thirty minutes is up, pick up your dough and stretch it out. Pull it carefully a little bit, then dump it back into the bowl and cover for another thirty minutes. This is called the long knead. You’ll want to do the long knead two more times, with thirty minutes of rising in between.

Next, cut the dough in half, and form into rough sausage shapes. Let it rise for another thirty minutes. Then you can shape your dough into baguettes by stretching the dough out into rectangles, and then rolling them up and carefully sealing the seams. Now let your formed baguettes rise for about half an hour or so.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Take an egg, mix with a little water, and then brush the tops of your baguettes. Now, you want to make sure your oven is steamy enough to form that nice crust. So, take some boiling water, put about an inch of it into a deep baking pan, and place it on the bottom rack of your oven.

After about five minutes you should have enough steam to bake your bread. So, place them in the oven above the water pan. You want to bake them for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After about 10 minutes, I like to spray the baguettes with water to insure a great crispy crust. Once they’re finished, take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about fifteen minutes.

Cut the bread and serve with soft butter. Enjoy!

What Does A Milk Frother Do And How Do You Use It?

The popularity of coffee has risen greatly in the last few years. To tell you the truth, a lot of this is probably due to the element of aesthetics and appearance rather the actual quality of the coffee itself. That’s why drinks like lattes are so popular and this is the reason that we often see pictures involving these drinks on social media sites. It’s all to do with how good the coffee looks rather than how it actually tastes.

Still though, you have to admit, the lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolate drinks we get from the likes of Starbucks taste creamy and delicious. But getting these drinks everyday can add a lot to your monthly bills. This is the reason that most people are trying to recreate their favourite hot drinks at home with the help of the best milk frother. What does this actually do and how are you supposed to use it?

I’m sure when you’ve bought your favourite hot drink, you’ll have notice the creamy foam at the top. This not only improves the taste but also significantly enhances the appearance of the drink. The milk frother, a very inexpensive little appliance will enable you to do this. This means that you’ll easily be able to create a Starbucks-like latte at home. It does this by introducing a lot of air into the milk. This aerated warm milk combines best with the coffee or hot chocolate to create a delicious hot drink – a perfect beverage for a cold windy day in winter.

I’ve already mentioned that these appliances are quite inexpensive but this usually depends on your budget because there are many different types available. If you’re looking for the best milk frother then the following buying guide might be helpful – Which Milk Frother to Buy for Cappuccinos? There are a lot of different types of frothers you can buy and these include the electric and handheld models. For obvious reasons, the electric models will be costlier when compared to the handheld ones though both will do the same job. However, the electric ones will do the job automatically while you’ll have to work the manual ones yourself. Electric milk frothers are a lot faster and can froth a larger volume of milk thereby making them for suitable for situations where you want to make several cups. There’s usually a lot of froth produced and this usually resembles the hot drinks bought from shops. On top of this, some of the best electric models can also warm up the milk at the same time.

In comparison, you’ll obviously have to hold the handheld frother for a little while. On top of this, there isn’t that much froth produced with this type.

There isn’t really much to say when it comes to talking about how these devices work. As I have already mentioned, the main aim of a milk frother machine is to create froth by rapidly stirring the milk. This aerates the milk and creates bubbles, which adds a little light texture to the hot drink!

Try this Tea Latte to Get Started with your Day

A tea latte can be very refreshing if you make it correctly.It’s highly important to get the day started in the right way. Usually we all have a normal cup of coffee or tea to wake us up but sometimes it’s good to experience a different taste. Usually, the best thing to drink or eat is something that feels healthy, is quick to make and also one that is natural. The best example of this is something called a tea latte.

This is mainly based on chamomile tea, which doesn’t have any caffeine but feels extremely natural and herbaceous. It’s relatively easy to make at home so why not try it one day as a substitute for your coffee.

If you are going to try the chamomile version then you need to steep this for a perfect time. While this is happening, you need to grab a saucepan and heat some milk alongside a little drizzle of honey. Don’t overheat this either. Instead, keep it on medium heat. The honey will make sure that the tea feels little sweet, which is an essential property of this tea latte. As this mixture heats, you’re not supposed to let it come to a boil. Instead, you need to keep mixing it with a whisk until it simmers. This will form quite a bit of froth, which you’ll have to pour over the chamomile tea that you just prepared.

This recipe is quite flexible so you can experiment it with different teas and different types of milk!

What is the Best Chocolate to use for Making Desserts?

We discuss the best cooking chocolate to use for making desserts.Chocolate is an integral part of a good dessert but when you head to the baking section of a supermarket, you’re left with a huge decision to make. Which chocolate do you choose for your latest bake? You will have a huge choice between dark or milk chocolate, solid bars or nibs, bittersweet or semi-sweet and many more. It’s really tricky knowing what to buy and sometimes the confusion can make you give up. The general rule is that you should never make a dessert with chocolate that you wouldn’t like to eat on its own. By this I mean that it should be tasty enough for you to like it.

When it comes to solid bars, this form is the one that’s most commonly used. It can be melted in the microwave and sometimes can even be incorporated into cookie dough. This means that I would associate it with great versatility and you’ll be able to use it to make cookies, cakes and all sorts of baked treats. Chocolate is often sold in massive blocks and you should only buy this form if you’ll be baking on a large-scale.

Now say you’re trying to make a chocolate chip cookie, it would be hard to use a solid bar to make this. Obviously, in this case, you’ll need to buy chocolate chips. In addition to making chocolate-chip cookies, you can also use this form for various other desserts like breads. But, make sure that you buy chocolate chips from high quality brands that don’t include too many additional substances like preservatives.

Now brownies are probably one of my favourites when it comes to a chocolate dessert. While you can use melted chocolate for a runny texture in the middle, the chocolaty taste of brownies is mostly due to cocoa powder. You should always look out for cocoa powder that is unsweetened. Furthermore, never buy cocoa powder that has Dutch process written on it. This contains several ingredients that are not healthy and also will destabilise the structure of your dessert.

When it comes to the taste, you should choose the type of chocolate depending on your personal taste. Generally, dark chocolate is the healthiest but may not suit everyone’s taste. If you prefer bittersweet then look for 70% cocoa. In comparison, semisweet chocolate usually has a cocoa content of 60%. Milk chocolate is a bit sweeter and would be better when you’re trying to make sweeter desserts.

What is the Best Electric Soup Maker?

Incorporating soup into your diet can be useful for losing weight.For those that are trying to change their diet to lose weight or eat healthily in general, incorporating soup into the lifestyle is quite effective. It’s light, can taste delicious and is usually very healthy when prepared in the right way. Generally, a lot of people think about buying an electric soup maker for this purpose. However, essentially these machines are just extra-versatile blenders that can make all sorts of things.

While most simple blenders simply a few ingredients to turn them into liquids, versatile blenders can make anything ranging from smoothies to cooking hot soups.

Buying a Soup Making Machine

I've listed my favourite machine for making delicious soup.Not only do these machines have a blending feature but they also comprise a heating feature that will be able to make that soup in no time at all. This means that this type of product is multi-functional and will be able to do a wide range of jobs in your kitchen. You’ll be able to make sauces, dips, baby food, smoothies and soups amongst other meals and snacks.

It sounds good doesn’t it? For me, the best part about is that you will no longer need to carry out any manual work in a saucepan or kettle. This will not only make your job a lot easier, but will also make very little mess, which will further ease your workload in the kitchen. But, how can you find a versatile blender that can double up as a good quality soup maker?

Well, you can look in your local supermarket. Visiting Tesco or even checking out products at Argos could be a good start. But don’t forget that picking the right product isn’t exactly as easy as pie.

You’ll need to shortlist a lot of different products and compare their features and their prices before you’re able to decide which one to go for. Take me for example; I spent ages before I found the Cuisinart SSB1U.

Finding the Best Product for Delicious Soups

I looked at many different models, some of which were expensive and some that were cheaper but this one just seemed like the best soup maker for my budget and my requirements.

The Cuisinart SSB1U soup maker is efficient to use and makes delicious soups.After using this for a while, I felt like my decision was completely justified. The Cuisinart SSB1U doubles up perfectly as a blender and performed almost every job fantastically well. I have been able to make fresh, homemade soup within 20 minutes due to a rapid heating element that you can turn off whenever you like.

I have been able to make a wide range of hot and cold sauces with ease. The blender function of the product has really impressed me too. This is because the quality seems to be great and the blender seems to smoothen out the ingredients quite well.

There is the odd chunky bit here and there but I don’t have many complaints about this. The glass of this product has a non-stick bottom and the temperature can be adjusted to simmer or high/low and again, these features will be extremely useful in the kitchen.

Despite the performance and excellent functions of the Cuisinart SSB1U, it won’t cost you too much. In fact, if you ask me, it’s the combination of all of these things that make this the best soup maker I have ever owned.

Final Point

As I said before, there are lots of different products available and to find the best one for your own needs, you’ll need to use lots of different resources.

The most important thing is to be patient and weigh all the pros against the cons before making the purchase!

Here are Some Healthy Alternatives to Potato Chips

When it comes to vegetables, here in the UK, we all love our potatoes. Unfortunately, it’s the fried potatoes and crisps that we really love. In fact, the snacks industry is worth a lot of money and crisps are a major part of that. If you’re trying to eat healthily, crisps won’t hurt you too much if eaten in moderation. However, if you’re strict about it then you’ll want to find alternatives to this tasty yet processed and unhealthy snack.

Tyrrells vegetable crisps taste nice and are actually not bad for your diet.The first alternative is eating vegetable crisps. These aren’t widely available as normal crisps but they are healthier. Tyrrells Veg crisps are one such product that you can order in the UK. These are bound to be expensive so if you’re not willing to buy them then you can make vegetable crisps at home. These will provide you with lower calories and more fibre.

Kale crisps are another alternative for normal crisps. Kale is all the rage these days and is being used in a wide variety of foods like smoothies. It has a lot more protein and fibre when compared to potato crisps.

Quinoa crisps are another terrific alternative to normal crisps. This is because quinoa has a complete protein profile as it contains all the essential amino acids. These are essential for the body to function properly and for the proper growth of the body.

Protein crisps are also excellent as they use lentils as the main ingredient due to its protein content. Of course all of these different crisps will also contain some ingredients that aren’t any good for your health. These include things like salt. However, you can try your best to get gluten-free organic crisps that are free of these types of things. Of course you can have potato crisps in moderation or as a cheat snack every once in a while.

Is it Worth Trying a Soup and Salad Diet?

We all know that men and women are using salad to stay lean. This not only provides a quick snack that has very low calories but the fruit and vegetables in the salad also provide essential nutrients that the body needs but rarely gets these days. In recent years, we also seem to be adding soup to our diets for a similar effect but with a different taste.

The soup and salad diet can be very helpful in losing weight.It’s definitely worth trying a diet like this as long as you try to put in as many ingredients as possible. Usually diets focus on low calories and very little carbohydrates, which provide the body with very little energy. When trying a soup and salad diet, the good thing is that you can use meat, fresh fruits and vegetables and even nuts in a bid to obtain as many essential nutrients as possible. Soups and salads also have lots of water and fibre, two nutrients that are essential for the normal function of the body.

If you’ll be trying this diet, make sure you prepare at least three meals per day. These will ensure that you’ll have plenty of energy throughout the day. Obviously, just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you can stuff yourself. The ideal thing to do is to stick to a reasonable portion size. This can be said for both soups and salads.

It’s also essential to use as many different fruits and vegetables to get as many different nutrients as possible. You should make sure that only fresh produce is bought and you should even try your best to buy organic fruits and vegetables. Altering the ingredients will also help to ensure that you don’t get bored of the diet too quickly. If you stick to the diet and carry out the preparation properly then there’s no reason for the diet to not work!