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French Baguette Recipe

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5 from 1 reviews

Be sure to take the time and steps necessary and you will have a baguette worthy of a picnic on the Seine.

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Combine the active dry yeast with the warm water in the stand mixer bowl. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
  2. Add the starter, flour, and salt to yeast/water mixture and turn on mixer to speed 1. Mix until the dough comes together in a cohesive unit (it still may be a little rough on the exterior).
  3. Turn the mixer speed up to 2 and let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  4. Grease the inside of a medium sized bowl. Place the dough in it and cover the bowl letting the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place free of drafts.
  5. Gently deflate the dough and turn it over: cover again and let it rise for another 2 hours.
  6. Turn out the dough on a lightly greased surface and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a slightly flat oval which you then individually wrap in greased plastic wrap.
  7. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Take one piece of dough and fold it in half lengthwise and seal the dough edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it again, and fold and seal again.
  9. Place the dough seam-side down, and gently roll the dough into a 14-16″ log.
  10. Place the dough seam-side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  11. Repeat the procedure with the other two pieces of dough.
  12. Cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise about 1 1/2 hours. They will become very puffy.
  13. About 20 minutes before they are done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone on the middle rack and the cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.
  14. Take a sharp knife held at about a 45° angle and make three slashes on a diagonal in each baguette.
  15. Gently slide the baguettes, with the parchment paper onto the pizza stone.
  16. Put 1 cup of ice cubes in the cast iron skillet. This provides the steam to make a crispy crust on the baguettes.
  17. Bake the baguettes till they are a deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.