A Classic French Baguette, Recipe Number One

There is nothing like a fresh, classic french baguette!  Long and thin, eaten with cheese or just with butter, it makes this girl’s mouth water just thinking about it.  With that being said, I have decided that the French Baguette deserves more than one blog post, so this is recipe  number one.  And what a magnificent recipe it is. Taken from Saveur, it is simple and classic!

Makes:  3 baguettes

Ingredients:

1 1/2   Cups water

1   teaspoon active dry yeast

3 1/4   Cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use organic, non-GMO)

1 1/2   teaspoons fine salt (I use pink Himalayan)

oil for greasing the bowl (I use coconut oil)

1/4   teaspoon cornstarch

1/4   cup water

 

Preparing:

Combine water and yeast.  Let sit for 10 minutes until foaming

Add flour, stir with a fork until combined (I always end up using my hands).  Let sit for 20 minutes

Add salt and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and place in a cold oven for 45 minutes (I always turn the oven light on)

Here is where I veer off the instructions a bit.  At this point, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then cut into 3 equal pieces, and roll into baguettes that are about 14″ in length. Place on a baking sheet and cover.  Let rise for about 50 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees, placing a shallow dutch oven or broiler pan on the bottom rack.

When the baguettes are ready to bake, boil some water in a tea kettle, slice the top of your baguettes with a sharp knife, brush the top of the loaves with the cornstarch/water mixture.

Put the baguettes in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the dutch oven or broiler pan.  Quickly shut the oven door so that the steam does not escape.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.  I love to tap the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it’s done!

Note:  I love using a baguette baking pan!

 

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