Bonjour friends !
Alright, it’s been a a while since a few of you, international and american friends, asked me for my baguette recipe… So here you are ! I promise, it’s not difficult and soon you will be enjoying these warm and tasty baguettes !
3 1/2 cups bread flour (all purpose flour works as well)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water
- Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. While mixing, slowly add one cup of warm water, the dry yeast, and the second cup of warm water.
3. Mix until the dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet (you may not need all of the water). If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. If needed, knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Form the dough into a ball and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest in a warm environment until doubled in size, 3 to 6 hours.
3 to 6 hours later :
5. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
7. Shape into 3 baguettes by making a flat cylinder out of your dough, then folding the top towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, until it’s the shape your want.
8. Place on a sheet pan or baguette pan that has been dusted with flour.
(Optionnal : You can cover with a dishcloth and let rise a second time in a warm environment for 30min)
10. Bake the baguettes until golden brown, 20 minutes. Now, it should smell pretty good !
A few tips to cook great baguettes :
– « salt kills yeast » : make sure you mix the flour and the salt BEFORE adding the yeast
– « hot water kills yeast » : A small amount of room-temperature or slightly warm water works best.
– If your yeast is thick, mix it first with a bit of warm water and stir it with a spoon or a fork until the yeast is completely dissolved. It should be smooth and silky.
– if you want, you can add a bowl of water in your oven while baking or spray your bread with water ; it helps to get a good crust.
– You can add a bit of olive oil, and use this dough as a pizza dough. Just devide it in two or three pieces and then roll it !
– Bread tastes better the day it has been baked. If you don’t want it to dry, put it in a dishcloth for the next day or just cut several pieces and put them in your freezer. You’ll be happy to find some bread in a few days that you just have to defrost in your oven or toaster !
For those who would like to go a little bit further away in their bakery skills, you can make your own starter from your first baguettes. Using this starter instead of indrustrial yeast will give a unique flavor to your bread ! Yummy !
- Go back to step 6 : Before dividing your bread into 3 pieces, take a small piece of dough and put it apart in a jar.
2. Add flour and water and mix together. I’ll be honest, I do it completely randomly, until I get a pancake-batter-like consistency.
3. Now, you can let your starter in a corner… If the starter is in good shape, it will bubble up and rise in the jar to double in volume after a few hours (how many hours depends on the vitality of the starter and the temperature).
4. You can then use this starter instead of your dry yeast in the previous recipe (step 2). The flavor will be even better ! You might need less water though.
Be careful, if you decide to make your own starter, you will have to bake bread the next day ! You can repeat the process as much as you want, or stop it when you are fed up with baking/eating bread (but is that possible ?!).
And VOILA ! You’re all set, Bon appétit !
I would be happy to answer your comments below if you have any questions, suggestions of other french recipes, or just want to say « hi » !
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