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Easy Baguettes

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Easy Baguettes, Photo: Dennis Evans

Urbane and sleek, baguettes are almost like bread’s sophisticated younger sibling. But they are one of the easiest breads out there to make since it can be made using a standard stand mixer.

Easy Baguettes, Photo: Dennis Evans

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Hotoon

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 (875ml) cups flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp (12 ml) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup (355 ml) warm (slightly above room temperature) water

Directions:

  1. Reserve 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the water.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Add the water as well as the yeasted water to the flour. Turn the mixer onto medium-low to blend the ingredients. Once the flour and water are well blended, increase the speed to medium to knead for five minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch. Conversely, if you don’t have a standing mixer, once you have added the water to your flour, blend thoroughly until you have a somewhat firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Knead by gathering one end of the dough and turning it over onto itself. Rotate the dough one-quarter turn, and turn over again. Repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
  4. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film until the dough doubles in volume. This can take anywhere from two to three hours.
  5. Remove the dough, shaping the dough into loaves. The dough will deflate somewhat as you do this, and is normal. Cover again with cling film and allow to rise for another hour or so.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Make sure the oven stays at this temperature for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you add the bread.
  7. Place the baguettes in the oven on a baking stone or a cookie sheet that has been placed in the pre-warming oven.
  8. To help get a nice crackly crust, spritz the baguettes with water every 10 to 15 minutes using a spray bottle.
  9. The baguettes usually take between 40 to 50 minutes to bake. You know they’re ready when they are nice and golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
This recipe was featured in the article Making bread.  
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