French Baguettes

Recipe by HesterX
READY IN: 2hrs 10mins
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • In a small bowl dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
  • Stir with a fork.
  • Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the flour and salt.
  • Add the yeast mixture, and stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups water.
  • Mix the dough until it is sticky enough to knead.
  • On a lightly floured board, knead for 6 to 10 minutes; the dough should be sticky and smooth.
  • Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into 4 pieces.
  • Roll each into a ball and shape into a baguette.
  • Transfer the loaves to a lightly greased baking sheet or baguette pan and let rise until nearly doubled.
  • (I use 2 baking sheets, with 3 smaller loaves per sheet).
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Brush the baguettes with the egg-water mixture.
  • Score the loaves diagonally across the top with a sharp knife.
  • Pour 2 cups of hot water into a pan and place in the preheated oven next to the baguettes to provide moisture.
  • Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.
  • Occasionally I burn the bottom of the bread, in which case I scrape it off with a sharp serrated knife and it remains my secret!
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