The French colonists brought baguettes to Vietnam during their colonization of the country in the 1800’s. The long, thin, hard-crusted bread was eventually adapted by locals to Vietnamese tastes. The Vietnamese version of the French baguette differs substantially in taste, texture, and size. It is a lot lighter and airier on the inside, while the outside is slightly and crispier in texture. Rather than a long, thin loaf, the Vietnamese baguette is much shorter and fatter, more like a submarine sandwich roll. Banh Mi Viet Nam is essential to making the incredible sandwich of the same name, Banh Mi.
Vietnamese Baguettes – Banh Mi Viet Nam
- Stand Mixer with mixing and dough hook attachments
- Small baking pan
- Large bowl, plastic wrap, kitchen towel
- Spray bottle filled with water.
- 500 gr Bread flour
- 7 gr Kosher salt
- 4 gr Sugar
- 8 gr Instant rise yeast
- 335 ml Water at room temperature
- One hour before beginning, turn on internal oven lights to warm it slightly for proofing.Make Dough – Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in water with a wooden spoon. Attach dough hook. Set motor at lowest speed and mix everything for 1 minute. Turn speed setting to #2 and knead for 5 minutes. Dough shouldn't stick to your finger and stretch-not-tear when pulled. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Turn speed up a notch and knead for another 5 minutes. Dough should not be sticking to the bowl or your finger and pass the stretch-no-tear test. Knead a little longer if it's still sticking to the bowl.
- Proof Dough – Oil hands and form dough into a completely smooth ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and then kitchen towel. Proof for 60 minutes in oven. Dough ball should double in size. Deflate air by pulling dough up from the sides, oil bowl again, put dough ball smooth-side up. Cover and place back in oven to proof for 30 minutes. Test to see if it's ready by pressing finger into dough. If it leaves an indentation, your good to go. If it bounces back flat, rest it a little longer.
- Shape Dough – Lightly oil your work surface. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into equal pieces by cutting dough in half then dividing halves into equal triangles. Flatten each dough piece by grabbing the bottom edge and slapping it on the counter 3-4 times to stretch in a long, thin rectangle. Shape dough by starting at the top, begin rolling the dough from the edges and leaving the middle fatter. When done, roll the dough a few times to seal it. Rolled dough should look like the final baguette, full middle and tapered ends. Place on a baking tray and rest uncovered for 35 minutes on the counter.
- Bake Baguettes – Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C) and place a pan with 1-inch water on bottom shelf. Spray rolls with water. Dip a razor blade or the tip of a very sharp knife in oil and make a strong, 45 degree angled deep slit from end-to-end down the middle of each roll. Spray dough again and place baking tray on the middle rack and spray the oven all over with water. Quickly shut door and bake for 22-23 minutes. After 11 minutes, remove pan with water from the oven and rotate baking pan so bread cooks evenly. Remove from oven, cool, and devour.
- To ensure the exact measurements needed are accurate, weigh ingredients carefully.