Baked Baguettes

Baked Baguettes

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This classic French bread can be quite tricky and bread bakers worldwide strive for the perfect loaf. Try your hand at this intricate recipe.

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Time needed

2 hour preparation + 40 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

4 baguettes

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 C. bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • Cornmeal, for dusting
  • Milk, for brushing

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Directions

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir to blend. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until most of the flour has been incorporated and the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix at the lowest speed until the dough has become a sticky ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl; about 4-5 minutes.

Dust the counter lightly with flour. Knead the dough by hand for a minute and form into a ball. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 hours to rise.

To form the baguettes, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Press each piece of dough into a rectangle and fold the long sides up into the middle. Roll each into a log, taking care to close the seam. Taper the ends by gently rolling it back and forth. Lay the baguettes on a sheet pan that is dusted with cornmeal and cover with a towel. Let the baguettes rise for another 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With sharp knife, make 4 or 5 diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk. Bake for 40 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 4 baguettes 

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