Friday, January 28, 2022

The Easy Way to have Baguettes Today

This is a very clean and simple recipe to have hot baguettes ready for supper. It really is this easy.

1. Combine 3 cups of flour (all purpose unbleached is what I used), 1 to 1 & 1/4 cups of lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons of yeast, and 1&1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl and mix manually until you have a shaggy dough evenly hydrated (just takes a minute or two)

2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes

3. Knead the dough by hand (about 10 mins) or mixer (about 7 mins) until smooth. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for about 90 minutes (they always say until doubled in size but I have no idea how to measure that in real life so I go by time).

4. Fold the dough over on itself several times (I actually kneaded it just for a minute or so) then return it to the bowl and let it proof for another 90 minutes. 

5. Divide the dough into three portions  (I recommend actually weighing them to get them as even weight as possible). Roll them into balls and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. 

6, Shape your baguettes. If you don't have a method already, I found this video works well  

7. Gently place your baguettes on parchment on a baking sheet or if you are using a baking stone in the oven, just on the parchment and use your peel to place them in the oven when ready. I used a baking stone and pizza peel, so just placed them on parchment. Cover the baguettes for the final rise, it takes about an hour. 

8. Preheat the over to 450F 

9. When the baguettes are ready, the dimple you make by pushing your finger into the dough, should linger afterward, then you are ready. 

10. Make 3 diagonal slices in each and slide them into the oven, give them a good spray of water just as you are closing the oven on them. 

11. Bake at 450F for about 20-25 minutes (I was closer to 25) they should be a deep golden brown on top. 

12. Now you have 2 options, you can cool them on a rack on the counter, or you can turn off the oven, take the pan out but return the baguettes to the oven directly on the rack to let them cool (with the oven door cracked open a couple inches). Either way, you should get great results. 

Try to wait until they are cooled to cut them... good luck with that :-) 

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