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French Baguette

French Baguette

Lovingly hand-crafted baguettes make a perfect crouton, garlic bread, or banh mi roll.

Although this may seem like a lot of work for a “simple” bread recipe, the longer proofing time allows for a rich deep flavor to develop as the yeast works its magic. Perfect for dipping in seasoned olive oil, spreading with fresh cultured butter, or slicing in for a wonderful Banh Mi sandwich using the left over Char Siu Pork.

Ingredients:

Special Equipment:

Instructions:

Weight and mix dry ingredients.

Slowly add water while stirring. If working dough by hand, use the end of a large wooden spoon to mix well. If using stand mixer, using dough hook on lowest setting until mixed well. Dough should be very wet and tacky at this point.

Cover and place in a warm place for 45 minutes. This will be the first of four proofs.

With wet hands, remove from bowl. Knead quickly, 2-5 minutes.

Proof, covered, for 45 minutes.

Repeat above steps until all four proofs have completed and dough is roughly double in size.

Turn out on floured surface. Using a bench knife, seperate dough into four equal pieces.

Lightly flour each piece. Punch down and form a rectangular boule.

Cover boules with a lightly greased cling film. Let rest 15 minutes.

Punch down each boule. Lightly flour. Shape into baguette and pinch sides/ends together.

Place on well floured couche and cover with dry tea towel. Let rest 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F. Fill a shallow bread pan with hot water and place on bottom rack. Bread will be baked on the middle rack.

Allow bread to rest 15 minutes while oven is warming.

Turn bread onto half or whole sheet. Mist well with spray bottle.

Using a very sharp knife or razor blade, make overlapping slices from the 11 o’clock to the 5 o’clock position down the length of the bread.

Mist the inside of the oven well.

Bake bread 8 minutes. Then mist and rotate to insure even cooking.

Bake until golden brown and bread makes a hollow noise when flicked.

Allow to cool thoroughly before slicing.

Recipe adapted from the brilliant John Kirkwood’s Youtube Channel


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