It is the longest bread in the EU - the French baguette. Georg Matthes bakes it in the new episode of Baking Bread and finds that even the baguette does not stick to the famous 35-hour week of the French.
In the multimedia series "Baking Bread," EU correspondent Georg Matthes bakes 28 loaves from 28 EU countries and spices his baking instructions with typical anecdotes about each land. This time, he bakes Austrian Kaiser rolls.
And here is how you make the traditional French baguette:
1. Pour the water into a mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and leave to dissolve.
2. Add flour and salt. Mix well.
3. Transfer the dough to another mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film to stop the dough drying out. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, stretching and folding the dough three times during the process.
4. Now leave the dough to rest for a further 48 hours in the fridge.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into three portions (or four depending on the size of your oven). Shape the bread into small packages by folding the sides into the middle. Let the dough rest under a tea towel for a further 20 minutes.
6. Flatten each ball of dough into a rectangle. Take one of the long sides and fold it over like an envelope, leaving a small strip of flour showing. Fold the other side in the same way. Leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
7. Flatten out the dough again. Fold it in again from both sides. Seal the seam with the ball of your hand.
8. Now turn the pieces of dough over so the seam is on the bottom, and roll out, making sure they still fit on your baking tray. Leave them to rest in a floured tea towel for 20 minutes, until the baguettes have increased significantly in size. Make a fold with the towel between each baguette. The seam should be on top this time, so the seam ends up underneath when you come to tipping out the baguettes onto the pizza paddle.
9. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 250°C. Place a cast iron pan on the oven floor.
10. Dust a pizza paddle with flour or semolina and tip the dough pieces onto it.
11. Now score the baguettes, making several diagonal cuts in a row. Wetting the blade of your knife will stop the dough sticking to it.
12. Transfer the baguettes to a hot baking tray, and pour a little water into the cast iron pan.
13. Bake the baguettes for 20 minutes. After 8 minutes, open the oven to let the steam out, and repeat a few times during the cooking process. This will ensure your baguettes come out nice and crispy.
14. Cool the baguettes on a wire rack.