This is a recipe that I wanted to post in here since a long time ago, and today I’m finally able to bring it to you, not just in a casual way, but taking advantage of World’s Bread Day that is celebrated today. That is why I wanted to represent Chile, my home country, with such a popular bread that is so longed for those of us who live far from our homeland. Since I am a native of the city of Valparaiso in Chile, we call this type of bread “Pan Batido” (i.e. Whipped Bread), but in other regions of Chile it is known as “Marraqueta”, and also as “Pan Francés” (i.e. French Bread).
I first need to give you some tips before even explaining the recipe here, because while it’s not difficult to make this bread in a homemade way, the problem is often because of the type of flour that’s utilized, but also mainly in the baking temperature and the oven itself. If you can’t make these tips happen, you’ll hardly get a crispy crust with a light crumb inside.
You would ideally want to use a bread flour, as usually found in the United States, where in some other countries it’s found as 00 flour. These flours have a high proteing content, which enables the formation of gluten and therefore a good leavening is achieved (i.e. that small gas pockets are created inside the bread, giving it a spongy texture).
It is very important that you can properly measure the temperature, as you need to use a very hot oven at 425°F (220°C). But above all, that you can bake with steam… but how? Simply by placing a pan of hot water at the base of the oven, or on a rack as low as possible in the oven. It is also good to have a spray bottle, in order to spray some water on the bread, thereby achieving a with a gold color and with some shine on the crust, without the need to use eggs.
The dough should be easy to work with, as well as wet.
Finally, I should also mention that with this recipe I participated in the challenge in October of Chilean sandwiches and breads of BRBC, where you can find more recipes.
- 1 kg of flour (about 8 cups of flour)
- 600 cc of water at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of salt (14 g)
- 15 g of granulated yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- In a cup put some warm water, dissolve the yeast along with the sugar.
- Let the mix rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the flour and salt.
- Add the yeast and water mixture.
- Form a uniform and semi-soft dough. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes.
- Place the dough into a large bowl, previously sprayed with a little bit of cooking spray (you can alternatively use butter instead).
- Allow to ferment for 30 minutes.
- Then, divide the dough into portions of 100 grams (3.5 oz) each. You may use your own hand to calculate and extract equally-sized portions.
- Wind each portion, which refers to forming evenly-shaped dough balls with the palm of the hand, in a circular motion.
- Let the dough rest again for 20 minutes.
- Join the dough balls by two portions together at a time, and knead slightly to make them more elongated. Then with an accessory (I used my knife sharpener, because it was the perfect thickness) divide the dough in the middle, as shown in the photos.
- Then place the shaped pieces of dough on a baking tray with parchment paper. Another way is to place the bread on top of a buttered baking tray.
- Ideally, let the bread rest for about 20 minutes at least.
- Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top.