Sunday, July 22, 2012

Homemade Baguettes

We've subscribed to Saveur magazine for some time now. It always has great articles on food around the world, along with fantastic photos and recipes.

A recent issue had a great article on breads. You couldn't help but drool over all of the breads. So, that inspired me to make the baguette recipe in the magazine. This recipe takes a while, but the end result was absolutely great. Everyone raved about how good this bread tasted.

Makes: 3 loaves
Total time: 4 hours
Printable Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups water at 115 F
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
Note: You'll need a baking stone (I used a large rectangular pizza stone).

1. Place the yeast and water in a large bowl. Whisk together and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.

2. Slowly add in the flour. Stir with a fork until just combined. Let set for 20 minutes.

3. Lightly flour a work surface.Take dough from bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour (in very small amounts) if needed to prevent sticking.

4. Wipe out the bowl you were using and lightly grease it with olive oil. Add dough to bowl and put into cold oven for an hour or until doubled in size.

5. Lightly flour your work surface again. Take the dough out and flatten it into a rectangle that is 8" x 6". Fold the sides over, then fold the other direction (like you're making a little dough packet or envelope). Put the dough back into the bowl, seam side down, and and back into the cold oven for another 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled in size. Remove from oven.

6. Heat the oven to 475 F (remember, remove the dough first!). Place your baking stone on the top rack and a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.

7. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll them out like thin rope, about 14" long. Place on parchment paper on rimless baking sheets. Pull the parchment paper up about an inch between the loaves, and place rolled up kitchen towels along the outside dough ropes. You want to support the dough on both sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise another hour.

8. Remove plastic and towels and flatten the parchment paper. Using a very sharp knife, cut 4" long slits in 4 places at 30 degree angles on the tops of the dough.

9. Place the ice into the cast iron skillet. Slide the parchment paper and dough onto the baking stone. Bake 20-30 minutes or until browned and crispy.

10. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing.

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