A traditional country-style French bread, made the old-fashioned way (although you can use the bread-machine if you wish). The result is a lovely full-flavored loaf with a wonderful crust. Best eaten the same day. Makes 2 baguettes.
- Place the yeast, honey and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt and the flour. Use a wooden spoon to stir 2 cups of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture; stir in the remaining flour mixture (dough will be stiff).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead with floured hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Add a little flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary, to prevent dough from sticking.
- Place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap (or a clean kitchen towel) and leave to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Gently punch dough down to deflate it and shape into two oblong baguettes. Dust tops lightly with flour and place on a lightly greased baking sheet; let rise uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Use a serrated knife to cut 3-5 small diagonal slits across the tops of the baguettes, and lightly sprinkle with cool water.
- Bake in the middle of oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Best eaten the same day.
I love this recipe, and I make a lot of bread! Very quick and easy, and the results were fantastic! I used the bread machine to prepare the dough (French Bread Setting), and then shaped the dough into two long loaves, and placed them on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. I covered the loaves, let them rise, then baked them in a 375 oven for 24 minutes. I'll definitely make this again! Thanks!
Bec, this is one terrific recipe. I love this, and would never of expected such an amazing baguette to come from these simple 5 ingredients. I followed this exactly, except since it was a very hot day, I needed a bit more warm water (added 2 tablespoons) to mix the product completely. Instead of kneading, I mixed the ingredients into a "sponge" by setting the flour and salt mixture around a big bowl, and adding the wet ingredients to the middle and put (very lightly) the flour mixture a little bit on top. Set this outside in the warm air. Had a great sponge after 20 minutes, then kneaded the rest of the way using the "dough" setting on my bread machine. After which, I proceeded to shape, put on back porch for 25 minutes, and popped into the oven to bake away happily! Great recipe!!
WOW !!! This is by far the "BEST" bread recipe I have ever made. Great texture and wonderful flavor. I was a little skeptical of the ingredients but what great results! Thanks for posting BecR. Made and reviewed for the Tea Time Event in the Photo Forum February 2010. EDIT to say I did use bread flour and let my bread machine do all the work on dough cycle.