They sound French and terribly complicated.
But they're not!
...Ok...well...they are French, but they're not complicated! At least, not if you use this recipe.
It makes 2 baguettes and take around an hour (2 max) from start to finish. 1 hour and then you have delicious, fluffy, buttery bread. Some of the best bread I've ever had (not even mentioning made). And this is such a great, simple, base recipe that you can totally play around with it. I have made these baguettes with various ratios of whole wheat and AP flour (I've done entirely whole wheat, entirely AP, and everything in between. My favorite has about 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and the rest is AP.) I bet you can also experiment with putting cheese or other add-ins as well. All that matters is that this bread is golden and crisp on the outside, and incredibly fluffy and chewy and soft inside. Michael and I are crazy about this bread. I seriously just made it a few days ago. It's so good.
We've used this bread to dip in my spinach artichoke dip (in which case I make these mostly/entirely whole wheat) or soup, as toast, warm with butter (my favorite way), in sandwiches, French toast, or any way you can imagine! A couple days ago Michael had it for breakfast with cut tomatoes on top. He was so happy, lol. This recipe is a great idea if you're a beginner at baking yeast breads. It's nearly foolproof. And it's awesome so....yeah, duh.
(Don't mind me, I speak fluent Valley Girl :P...I should probs. say something French but I am no good at it. Sooo...yah.)
Adapted slightly from The Sisters Cafe's "Baguette"
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (not hot, just a nice warm environment for yeast)
- 2 packages active dry yeast (about 4 1/2 tsp.)
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 3 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose provides fluffiest results, and a bigger rise, but you can use any ratio of all-purpose and whole wheat flours, I've even used entirely whole wheat flour and it was still good-just smaller).
- 2 tsp. salt
- Optional: 1 tbsp. butter, melted, to brush on bread.
- Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit 5 minutes until foamy. (If it does not become foamy your yeast is dead and your bread will not work).
- In a large bowl mix flour and salt.
- Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, and stop when it forms a ball. (This would be easier with a stand mixer dough hook.)
- Knead for 5 minutes, using additional flour if needed.
- Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 baguettes: to make them pretty, " ...roll each half of dough into a rectangle and roll up lengthwise. Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat) with seam down."
- Loosely cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (if using whole wheat flour you may want to give it 1 hour).
- Once risen, use a sharp knife to make a slash down the middle of each baguette.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Fill a 2nd cookie sheet with water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Once preheated, place the cookie sheet with the baguettes on the middle rack and bake 7 minutes.
- Brush the partially baked bread with butter, if desired.
- Bake an additional 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
...ok...that's like all I know.
(It's true. I do. Love you all.:D)