adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice By Rick GL from VIC
Rustic breadsticks with crunchy crust and large airholes in the crumb
The breadsticks we made at the cooking class were actually skinny versions of the real thing, this gives instructions for fatter ‘baguettes’
420g plain bakers flour
1 sachet of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
500ml ice cold water
Add your flour yeast and salt to the TM bowl with 300ml of the iced water
Mix for 3 seconds on speed 5
Knead on interval speed for four minutes
Gradually add iced water allowing each addition to incorporate into the dough
You are looking for a sticky consistency where the dough adheres to the bottom of the Thermomix bowl, but releases from the sides of the bowl
Scrape the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with gladwrap and place in the fridge immediately for 8 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and leave at warm room temperature for at least two hours or until the dough has expanded to double its original size. You should see large bubbles forming in the dough and rising to the surface.
Preheat your oven to 250˚C for at least half an hour, more if necessary with a heavy pan in the bottom to hold water (to make steam). It’s important to have the oven really hot, don’t be tempted to put this bread in a cold oven or a partially heated oven.
Lay out a large sheet of silicone baking paper on your benchtop, sprinkle liberally with about a quarter cup of flour, coat your hands with flour and gently turn your dough out onto the bench and sprinkle another quarter cup of flour on top.
Chop the dough in half with a scraper, then chop those halves in half working with a pressing action rather than a sawing motion. Treat your dough gently so you don’t degas it.
Arrange your pieces of dough on the baking paper and stretch them to form strips as long as your baking tray. Cover loosely with gladwrap and put the kettle on.
At this point you can wait for 30 minutes if you want and let the bread proof a little more or continue on straight away if time is precious
Open the oven and pour the contents of the kettle into the heavy pan that has been heating in the bottom of the oven. This will create a cloud of steam; close the door quickly so it doesn’t escape.
Take the gladwrap off the bread and place in the middle shelf of the oven, for about 20 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown. Rotate the tray 180˚ after 10 minutes if the bread is cooking unevenly
If everything has gone according to plan the crust should be crunchy and the inside crumb full of holes. Enjoy!