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Took a few minutes this weekend to attempt to make a baguette. We were out of bread, so i thought why not give it a shot. We’ve kind of got the pizza dough thing down. So next stop, bread. Learned a lot from this effort–mainly–house is too cold! Dough didn’t really rise enough. But the steam in the oven thing worked well, and as an added bonus, made the baked potatoes that were in there too turn out nice and crispy! Also learned that you can’t just leave a dough on the counter covered with a towel overnight and cook it up the next day. At some point it gets all dried out and sinks! We cooked it anyways just to see. And it made a mini dense baguette. Oh well, it’s a process, right?
This recipe from Cooking Light seemed easy enough. I read a few recipes that called for starters you make the day before. Maybe next time!
- 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup water
Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), and add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place the dough in a large bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep it from drying), roll each portion into a 16-inch rope on a floured surface. Place ropes on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Uncover dough. Cut 3 slits in top of each loaf to allow steam to escape.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Throw 1/4 cup water on the floor of oven (avoiding heating element). Place loaves in oven. Quickly close the oven door. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when they are tapped. Remove from pan, and cool on wire racks. Cut each baguette into 12 slices.
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