I enjoyed following the steps and tips from the Idiot's Guide Baking book to make these baguettes, which gave me wonderful results. These two loaves of fresh homemade bread was enjoyed by everyone in my family. It was perfect to serve with the homemade stew. This recipe for the bread is from the book.
1 1/2 cups warm 110F water
1 1/2 tbsp dry active yeast
2 tbsp sugar or honey
3 1/2 to 4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
nonstick cooking spray
Pour 1/2 cup warm water in a bowl add the yeast and sugar then stir with a silicone spatula to combine. Set aside to let the yeast activate for about 5 minutes and the mixture foams.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the activated yeast liquid, stirring with the spatula. Gradually add the 1 cup warm water and mix till the dough comes together. Don't add all the water if not necessary as the dough should not be too wet.
Use your hands and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. When you poke the dough and it bounces back then it is kneaded well and is ready. Form the dough into a ball and spray the top and bottom of the dough with nonstick cooking spray and let it rest covered with a plastic wrap in a warm place until doubled in size for about half an hour.
Cut the dough in half and pat it into a rectangle about 3/4" thick. Roll up the dough tightly and tuck the seams to disappear into the dough and make a log. Each roll should be about 12 to 14" long and 2" wide. I found my Trudeau pastry mat useful during this process, as I did not have to use lots of flour on the board. Flip the seam side down and place on the prepared baking sheet 3" apart. Use a sharp knife score the tops of the loaves to make diagonal slits 1/2" deep and loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size about 1/2 an hour.
Place one oven rack on the bottom and the other in the middle position. Put a baking pan on the bottom rack, preheat the oven to 450F. Bring about 1 litre of water to boil in a saucepan.
Remove the plastic wrap from the loaves, working quickly fill the baking pan 1/2 full with water and place the baking sheet with the loaves on the middle rack in the oven.
The steam produced by the boiling water gives the bread a crispy crust, so make sure to close the oven quickly once you put the bread dough to avoid any steam escaping.
Bake the baguettes until golden brown, about 15 minutes. To check if the loaves are ready tap the bottom of the loaves to see if they make a hollow sound. Let the loaves cool for about 5 minutes on a cooling rack and serve on the same day. Baguettes can be double wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to two weeks.
I really like how detailed and helpful this Idiot's Guide Baking book for us to get the perfect results. There are lots of recipes separated into different parts such as cookies (sheet and bar cookies, dropped and piped cookies, rolled out and ice box cookies, decorating cookies), Eggs (meringues, custards and mousses, soufflés), Pies, Tarts and Cakes, and Breads. If you enjoy baking then this book is useful and as lots of information and colourful pictures. This book and other colourful Idiot's Guide books are now 30% off.
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2014 unless mentioned. Please Ask First