Bread…my ultimate weakness. I love the smell of bread baking in the oven, it makes the whole house smell wonderful! Baguettes take a little preparation, but are fairly simple to make. With four basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast you can bake your own bread I’ve tried several different baguette recipes and this one is by far the best!
To make authentic french bread you need to make a poolish starter. A poolish starter is made from the same ingredients as the dough, but is allowed to develop for a period of time. You can develop a starter for as little as 6 hours and up to 24 hours. Using this starter will produce a bread that has a the wonderful smell of yeast. My daughter came into the kitchen and said whatever you are baking smells really good…this was just when the dough was rising.
Yeast breads are made without any fat. This produces a desired crust and crumb that will be slightly hard and crisp. Yeast fermentation causes the production of carbon dioxide. This provides for very effective leavening.
Salt plays an important factor in how the yeast will ferment. A small percent (1.2-2 %) salt will allow time for flavor and gluten development in the dough. Too much salt hinders the fermentation process and produces a firm and compact bread. To little salt will cause the fermentation to happen very quickly. This will produce a bread that is very coarse.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- ⅛ tsp quick rise yeast
- ½ cup cool water
- 3½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp quick rise yeast
- All of the starter
- 1 cup lukewarm water (90-100 F)
- In a medium bowl add flour and yeast, stir to combine.
- Whisk in water to create a smooth batter.
- Cover at leave at room temperature for 6-12 hrs.
- In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt and yeast. Add the starter to the mixture and combine with a wooden spoon. Gradually, add the water while stirring the mixture. When dough comes together into a ball pour out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough about 10 times; dough will still be sticky but well formed.
- Coat a large bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil. Transfer dough to bowl, roll around bowl to coat.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, deflate the dough with a gentle punch. Gather dough in bowl to form a ball. Roll around bowl to re-coat, then recover and let rise for 2 hours.
- After the second rising, transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and form two ovals. Let the dough rest covered for 15 minutes. Fold the long end together to make a seam. Gently roll out to form the baguette, about 15 inches long.
- Gently place dough on parchment lined pan or baguette pan. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Gently cut several slits on the baguette with a sharp knife.
- Thoroughly spray dough with warm water. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Remove baguettes from pan and let cool on wire rack.
These baguettes are delicious! They are a moist, chewy, and have a beautiful open-holed texture. The are the perfect complement to any meal or delicious enjoyed with a little balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.