Yes, I love bread. ALL kinds!!! This bread is so traditional, has been around forever and I think everyone loves it as much as I do.
Makes 3 Baguettes
4 Cups/500 grams of strong bread making flour, a little extra for dusting
1 heaping tablespoon of dry active yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 Cup/115 ml of warm water
1 Cup/235ml of extra water
In a medium bowl, combine the warm water with the salt, sugar and yeast. Stir well and leave it until it becomes active. This usually takes 5 minutes or so and you will notice it starts to foam when it is ready. Make sure the water you are using is luke warm and not hot. If the water is too hot, you will instantly kill your yeast.
In a very large mixing bowl, add your flour. Make a well in the middle and when the yeast mixture it ready add it all at once. With your fingers, start pulling in the flour to the yeast mixture in the middle. Continue doing this until all the flour is incorporated into the yeast mixture. Now start to add the extra cup of water that you have. Add little bits at a time and knead as you go. You want to end up with a soft dough like consistency, not too sticky. So, you may or may not need all the water. Which is why I say, add it as you go. Once you have incorporated all of the water and you have a dough like consistency, turn the dough out to a floured surface and stretch it out a little and fold it in on each other. Kind of like folding up and envelope or a sheep of paper. Turn it over and repeat these steps a few times. Continue to knead for a few more minutes until the dough is elastic and springs back when touched.
Now you are ready to leave the dough to rise. Form it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm room to rise. The rising time will depend on how warm the space is where you have your dough rising. It will take anywhere from 1/2 hour to one hour. Basically, you are looking for it to have doubled in size. Once it has done this, it is ready to shape into your baguettes.
With your risen ball of dough, gently punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface once again. Shape it into 3 baguettes (or two if you want bigger ones). Do this by stretching one of the balls length ways and fold the dough into the middle. Continue doing this until you have a elongated baguette shaped dough roll. It should be about 12 inches long. Repeat this for the other one or two that you are making. With a sharp knife score or make slits in the top of your dough. I like to make about 4 to 6 diagonal slits in the bread. Now place all the baguettes on a greased baking tray, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm space. Again, this will take about 1/2 hour to one hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. When baguettes are risen, place them in the oven and stray the oven with water. This creates steam with helps give them a crunchy outside texture. Bake the bread for about 15 minutes or until golden and sounds kind of hollow when tapped.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. These baguettes can be eaten straight away or stored in a zip lock bag and frozen for a few months. If they will last that long!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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