I’ve been meaning to make bread for a while. I just never got around to it, and now that I’m home and baking up a storm, of course bread had to be made. I started fairly simple with a basic french baguette, and I’m extremely pleased with the results. I love the process of the dough rising, rolling it, shaping it..it’s therapeutic, really. What I love is that it really takes no time at all! I made a batch of cupcakes while I waited for the dough to rise, and then I washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen (which was a MESS) during the second rise.
This recipe makes four baguettes, which is awesome because you can keep however much you need for use and then freeze the rest! Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread. This bread would be SO perfect for a bruschetta. I think I’ll definitely be making lots more bread from now on!
adapted from KAF
makes 4 baguettes
2 T active dry yeast (2 packages)
1/2 cup lukewarm (110ºF water)
1 t sugar
about 6 1/3 cups flour (plus more for rolling/shaping)
2 t salt
2 cups water (90ºF)
1 egg, beaten with 1 T water
Combine the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup water and stir until dissolved. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until frothy. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With your stand mixer running (with the dough hook), add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the two cups of water. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 2 minutes at low speed. It should form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for about 2 more minutes at low speed, adding more flour if it is too wet, or water a tablespoon at a time if it is too dry.
Place the dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Allow it to rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until it doubles in size). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into four pieces. Roll each piece out into an oval (about 15×8 inches). Roll the oval from the long side into a long cylinder. Pinch the edges to the dough.
Place dough with the seam side down onto a parchment lined baking sheet or well greased baguette pan. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for another hour or until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF about 10 minutes before you bake the bread and place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Slash each loaf diagonally with a sharp blade, and brush each baguette with the egg wash. Place the bread in the oven, and put about a cup of ice cubes into the shallow pan to make steam.
Bake the bread for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden on the outside. Cool on a wire rack so it does not get soggy.