These are typical baguettes – crusty, pointy at the ends, soft, airy interiors – delicious. The perfect breakfast in France is ham and cheese on a buttered, freshly baked baguette, with café au lait on the side. Not that you would eat the whole baguette.
The recipe following is my attempt at the baguette. It works quite well.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/3 cups of room temperature water (stirring in a tablespoon of liquid honey)
Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, then add the water/honey. Mix to form a gooey mess. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (and the lid if available) and let sit for at least 12 hours.
Now, if you have one of these – a baguette baking sheet, (12 bucks at our local kitchen store) – you are all set. Remove your dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Work the dough a bit with your well-floured fingers, before cutting the dough into two equal parts. Roll each part into a long thin cylinder and place onto your baking sheet (sprayed with Pam). Cover the sheet with a towel and allow the dough to rise for at least another hour. If you don’t have a baguette baking sheet you can use a sheet pan, lightly oiled.
Put a pan of water on the top shelf of your oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Score each loaf with a utility knife (four scores), place on the rack below and bake for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown.
This is the result. Not quite Paris good, but good nonetheless.