Well, I thought I would need a baguette for the weekend. Unfortunately, in all the shops I looked for them they didn't have any left (maybe I should have gone a few hours earlier). So, no chance. There is still a baguette resting in peace in the freezer. I can't exactly remember how it ended up there, but I didn't fancy that particular one so much to revive it again. From experience I know this only leads to disappointment.
So, I have this book about French baking. Just got it yesterday. I went for it and tried making baguettes for myself. As a rough calculation that I took from the book for raising times, kneading, baking and so forth, I ended up with 3.5 hours. Not too bad.
First sifting the flour (Type 550) with a bit of salt, adding the yeast and 300 ml water - kneading for ten minutes - resting for ten minutes (the dough - not me) - kneading for 20 minutes - rising for 45 minutes - pre-modelling four baguettes - rising 25 minutes - finish forming of baguettes - 45 rising again - baking for 20 minutes - cooling for 30 minutes - enjoying.
The end result was not too bad, though something seemed to have gone wrong with the rising. The taste, however, was as good as I would expect from a fresh baguette. So despite some friends telling me you can't do a baguette for yourself, it worked.
But, if you want to do it you have to be ready for some work and really need to take time for it. Thinking about what was behind making baguettes for myself ... well ... we are really spoiled and too often don't appreciate the things we buy.