As is apparent from the name, a baguette pan is used to make baguettes. It looks like a regular baking pan in terms of its shape.
However, it is longer in comparison and comprises several slender half-moon shapes. Each joins together to create a space for long baguettes to form.
The pan is typically long and wide enough to bake several baguettes at a time. The dough is shaped and placed in the pan to rise for an hour. Then, it is popped into the oven to bake.
If made well, you should get long and thin baguettes.
Each one should be chewy on the inside and have a crusty layer on the outside. The bread is good enough to be enjoyed plain or with accompanying toppings.
What’s So Special about Baguette Pans?
Even though you can make baguettes without the pan, you will not get a nice enough crust with a regular pan.
Plus, you will only be able to make a single loaf at a time. If you own a bakery, this will be counterproductive, to say the least.
Plus, a baguette pan is made of either aluminum or stainless steel. Some are even a combination of these two materials.
The pan you choose may also have some small holes on the bottom. These allow hot air and steam to circulate the dough as it bakes. It also creates that crispy crust that baguettes have.
However, make sure you get the nonstick variety. Otherwise, those perforations may fuse with the dough as it cooks.
As the bread hardens, it will get stuck in the holes. Do you want to pry it loose with a knife and damage that beautiful texture?
Better yet, line the pan with parchment paper if you have the nonstick variety. Any stuck bread can be removed just by soaking the pan.
Also read: Adjusting Baking Time For Mini Loaf Pans
How To Make Fresh Baguettes Using A Baguette Pan
What is the best way to learn how to use a baguette pan?
Here is a recipe you can try out:
You need two sets of ingredients to make baguettes:
Make the Starter
- All-purpose flour (1 ½ cups and unbleached)
- Cold-water (3/4 cups)
- Instant yeast (Just a pinch).
Make the Dough
- All-purpose flour (2 ½ cups and unbleached)
- Instant yeast (1 teaspoon).
- Salt (2 teaspoons).
- Cool water (3/4 cups)
Start with the starter. Make it by mixing the water, flour, and yeast until it is well blended without any lumps.
Allow it to rise at room temperature, but make sure it is covered. The starter should form a dome and look bubbly. Don’t allow it to collapse before using it.
Use any of these methods to make the dough:
Using a Mixer
Just place the yeast, flour, and salt in a bowl and pour the water around the edges to loosen it.
Then, add the water and the starter on the starter to loosen it and pour it with water on the flour.
Mix using a flat paddle for three minutes. You can also add more flour if you think the dough needs it.
The dough should be sticky but should not stick to the bowl. Knead it for four minutes. Make sure that you clean dough stuck on the hook after two minutes.
Using a Bread Machine
Add the salt, flour, and yeast to the bread machine bucket.
Add water slowly around the edges to loosen the starter and add it and water to the flour. Press start and check the dough in 10 minutes.
You can also add more flour or water if needed.
Mix the ingredients for the dough and the starter in a large bowl.
Make your hands oily and using a scraper, knead the dough in the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl that is oiled and cover it. Allow it to rise for two hours and make sure you fold it in an hour as well. If the dough is sticky, this step will make the gluten stronger.
- Split the dough into three pieces and form each into a log shape. Allow the pieces to rest for 20 minutes and then shape them into baguettes in the baguette pan. Then, proof the bread and leave it covered for 30 to 40 minutes till they puff up.
- Preheat the oven to about 450F.
- Make some gashes on the dough before popping the baguette pan into the oven. Do not make slashes that are too deep. Half an inch will do.
- Splash some water on the dough and pop it in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven when the baguettes take on a golden or deep brown color.
- Place the bread on a rack to cool.
Tips For Making And Storing Baguettes
To ensure you can make the most of your baguettes, follow these tips:
Save Stale Baguettes
You cannot eat a whole baguette by yourself, so it may go stale. There is a simple way you can save that leftover bread even if it gets rock hard. Just soak it in water and wrap it in aluminum foil.
Then, place the bread in a cold oven at 300F. Allow the bread to heat up for 12 to 15 minutes.
Take out the baguette from the oven and unwrap it. Pop it in the oven again for 5 minutes, and it will be fresh when it comes out.
To ensure your baguettes remain fresh for days, use this simple tip. Cool the bread before placing it in a bread box. Or, wrap the bread in foil before storing it.
It should last for at least three days. Want to keep it fresh for a week? Wrap it in plastic or foil. However, the crust will not be as crusty as it used to be. Toast it to get that texture back.
Get A Crispy Crust
To get a crust that is extra crispy, introduce steam to the oven beforehand. When the oven is preheating, just place a cast iron pan right on the rack below the stone.
Make sure that it is not directly under the stone. That way, steam will reach the dough easily.
Place the baguette pan in the oven and add a cup of water to the heated pan below. If the pan is hot enough, it should generate steam as the water hits it.
The steam will cover the baking bread. Close the door of the oven quickly, so you don’t get burned.
Make it a Meal
The best thing about baguettes is that it is incredibly versatile.
Here are some of the toppings and fillings that can make it a meal:
Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer that comprises olive oil, tomato, basil, and garlic.
Serve with toasted baguettes and a salad for a light summer meal.
A baguette is just dense and thick enough to make great French toast.
Add some cinnamon or fruits on top to bring out its taste.
Any bread can be used to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
A toasted baguette can take it to the next level. Cut it up into bite-sized pieces and serve to guests at a cocktail party.
With just some garlic and olive oil, you can make baguettes into a classic appetizer.
Pair it with spaghetti or soup to add a culinary flair to any meal.
Nutella can enhance the crispy texture of a baguette in ways that will make your taste buds dance.
Pair it with tea or your favorite coffee for a simple and light snack.
These bite-sized pieces can be made using baguettes easily. In fact, you can make your own from stale baguettes. Just pop them in the oven and cut them up.
Pour some olive oil on top and pair them with your favorite soup. You can also add a few drops of balsamic vinegar on top to add some acidity to a meal.
If you have half a baguette left, you can make it go a long way. Just slice it and place some toppings on each slice without covering it. Open-faced sandwiches never disappoint.
Baguettes are a joy to make as long as you have the appropriate pan and practice. Use the tips mentioned above and recipe to make your bread.
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