Jul 6, 2008

Mini Vietnamese baguette

We have a Vietnamese fast food chain in Hawaii called Ba-le. I absolutely love their Bánh mì sandwiches. Bánh mì sandwiches are made with some type of sandwich meat, pickled turnip and pickled carrots, and topped with some cilantro. The best part of a Bánh mì sandwich is the light and fluffy baguette. You would think a baguette is just a baguette, but the Vietnamese baguettes are much lighter and more airy. I searched for such a recipe and found one at Cook and Eat. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except, I shaped the baguettes like you normally would for a regular baguette.

I really like these baguettes... the outside was really thin and crisp, while the inside is light and fluffy. It was very good the first day, the second day the outside was no longer crisp, but was still tasty if you toasted it. Give them a try:

Vietnamese Mini Baguettes
adapted from Cook and eat
Makes 8 baguettes

1 cup rice flour
1 cup pastry flour or 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
2 cups warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 1/2 t sugar
1 1/2 t salt
About 4 cups of all purpose flour

1. Mix the rice flour and pastry flour along with the baking powder in a dish and set aside.

2. Combine the water and yeast and let sit to proof. Then add the sugar and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the salt and the rice flour mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon. Then, transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a dough hook and mix on low for about 1 minute. Add the 3 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour, continuing to knead with the hook for about 3 minutes until its all combined and forms a smooth dough. Then, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another minute by hand.

3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover and let sit in a warm spot for an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and carefully punch down. Cut the dough in half, and then cut each half into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a bowl, and flatten a little. Then, cover the dough balls and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Working rapidly, turn the dough upside down on a lightly floured kneading surface and pat it firmly but not too roughly into an 6 inch oval with the lightly floured palms of your hands. Deflate any gas bubbles in the dough by pinching them.

6. Fold the dough in half lengthwise by bringing the far edge down over the near edge. Being sure that the working surface is always lightly floured so the dough will not stick and tear, which would break the lightly coagulated gluten cloak that is being formed, seal the edges of the dough together, your hands extended, thumbs out at right angles and touching. Roll the dough a quarter turn forward so the seal is on top.

7. Flatten the dough again into an oval with the palms of your hands. Press a trench along the central length of the oval with the side of one hand. Fold in half again lengthwise. This time seal the edges together with the heel of one hand, and roll the dough a quarter of a turn toward you so the seal is on the bottom. Now, by rolling the dough back and forth with the palms of your hands, you will lengthen it into a sausage shape. Start in the middle, placing your right palm on the dough, and your left palm on top of your right hand.

8. Roll the dough forward and backward rapidly, gradually sliding your hands towards the two ends as the dough lengthens to about 8 inches.

9. Place the roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Repeat with remaining dough balls, and space each roll about an inch and a half a part. Cover and let them sit for another 30 minutes.

10. Preheat the oven to 425F. Slash the dough by running a razor blade or a sharp knife along the length of the baguette. Bake the bread for 20 minutes total, rotating the baking sheets after 10 minutes. The bread should be golden and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack before serving. Best eaten the same day it’s cooked, but you can freeze the bread if you don’t use them the same day.


farida said...

Your baguettes look lovely! They remind French baguettes but I believe the ingredients used here are different. They look yummy! Cute too:0

Sandra Avital said...

You perfectly shaped your mini vietnamese baguettes, they have the right look.
A 1 1/2 year ago, i choosed to bake this exact same recipe from lara's blog for the after hours party following the world bread day event:

Ivy said...

These look perfect!
Me and bread recipes don't get along though. :(

my food affair said...

Thanks Farida. They do look a lot like French baguettes, but the texture is very different.

Sandra-I just took a look at your vietnamese baguette! they look absolutely beautiful.

Ivy-you should try making bread...it's not too bad!! it's so satisfying and your home will smell wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Been looking for a good Viet baguette recipe. I'll see if my dough making is up to the task. Thanks for the post.

If you want to make Banh Mi with this recipe I've got recipes for a number of the sandwiches as well as many of the other conponents at my own site.

Giles said...

Hi. I'm a snob and only bake by weight, of course because a cup of flour can be compressed or fluffed and yield drastically different results.

110g rice flour
110g pastry flour
10g baking powder
450g water
1 T yeast (or a packet, or whatever)
6g sugar
9g salt
450g all purpose flour

Precision in the yeast isn't important, as long as it's proofed and you rise the bread till it's almost doubled in size.

kk said...

HI Giles, thanks for posting the measurements! -kk

Anonymous said...

I am not a baker, can you tell me what you mean by letting it proof? I assume it means to let the warm water and yeast rise. For how long should I let it proof? 3min ? Also when you baked it, did you spray water on it? I read somewhere that's what you do to make it fluffy. Can you also tell me what you mean by rotating the cookie sheet after ten minutes in the oven? By the way, I tried a couple of your recipes, they are wonderful. I love your site. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it. That's so generous of you to do and an inexperienced chef wannabe like me really appreciates it. KP

Anonymous said...

I would like to do this recipe as no knead. Do you think I can by allowing the dough to sit for 20 hours? Do you think I can still include the flour and yeast and sugar and baking powder except let it rise on it's own for 20-22 hours as still get the same result? C

kk said...

HI KP! Yes, you're exactly right on what proofing means. I normally let me yeast rest for about 5 minutes. I didn't spray water to the crust. I'm not sure about it making the bread fluffy, but I know it does create a nice crust when you spray water on it. good luck!

kk said...

Hi C, hm...I'm not really sure if this recipe will work as a no knead recipe. no knead breads, to me anyway, are more rustic. This baguette was light and fluffy. Please let me know what your results are if you do try it! =)

Caitlin said...

Hi, I'm new to bread making and liked the sound of your recipe but the dough that I made is incredibly tough, almost rock hard. Do you have any idea what I've done wrong?

kk said...

hm...the only thing I can think of is the flours. Did you use rice flour, pastry flour, and all purpose flour? Also, flours act differently in different climates. I would start with 2 cups of the all purpose flour and see how the dough feels. Gradually add the additional flour, about 1/2 cup at a time until you reach a non-sticky soft dough. I hope this works for you! good luck!

Caitlin said...

Here is the good news: instead of throwing the hard dough out, which was my first instinct, I left it over night and it did rise! I rolled it into 8 mini baguettes, let them sit for 45 min and baked them off. I did them for 16 minutes total, rotating halfway, at 425 and they turned out great! Surprise! And thanks!

kk said...

Yay!! i'm so glad it worked out for you!! =)


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