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Web's Best Recipe Baguettes

You'll enjoy this traditional French delicacy when you prepare these tasty loaves of recipe baguettes.

Authentic artisan baguettes contain nothing more than flour, salt, yeast, and water. A baguette is typically two feet to 30 inches in length, has an open crumb, a golden brown crust and several overlapping cuts on top.

Your choice of baking equipment will affect the quality of your recipe baguettes. If you are a beginner or an occasional baker, you can make do with baking equipment purchased at your local Walmart. Serious bakers and hobbyists, as well as those who enjoy home entertaining will want quality equipment. The price is higher, but it lasts forever and the results are exemplary.

traditional baguette pan Recipe baguettes requires that you have either baquette pans such as the Chicago Metallic Professional Perforated Baguette Pan or a baking stone.

The Good Cook 14.75 Inch Pizza Stone with Rack costing about $15 will work.

And, since the crispy crust is dependent upon using the minimum amount of additional flour during kneading, you'd be wise to use a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover such as this Pastry Frame Set when you prepare your recipe baguettes.

Recipe Baguettes

1 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup very warm water
4 cups unbleached flour.

Tip: substitute 1 cup unbleached flour with 1 cup cake flour for a softer textured recipe baguettes.
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp cool water

Combine yeast and warm water, stir, and let stand for three minutes. Combine flour(s) and salt in a separate bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and the cool water. Mix with your hands. Place recipe baguette dough on floured kneading surface and knead until dough is supple but not too smooth. This will take about four minutes. (Use a minimum of additional flour).

Cover recipe baguettes dough with towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Knead for six minutes or so, until dough is smooth and stretchy. Place dough in oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with towel and let rise until doubled (about two hours).

Push the dough down gently and fold over itself. Shape into a ball; cover, and rise again until doubled. Place dough on lightly floured surface, divide into thirds, and stretch the first piece into a rectangle. Leave large bubbles in dough. Fold top down and bottom up, as if folding a letter. Roll the loaf to shape into a log. Press lightly to seal the seam. Fold the dough over by a third three times, seal the length of the loaf, then repeat. Aim at drawing the skin tight over the surface but leave some bubbles.

Seal the skin without tearing or deflating. Set aside, and shape the other two pieces of dough the same way.

Roll each recipe baguettes back and forth until each loaf is longer. Put the shaped loaves on a baguette pan if you have one, or on a lightly floured baking sheet lined with parchment paper if you don't. Cover with a floured cloth and rise for half an hour or until loaves are plump but not doubled.

While recipe baguettes dough is rising, heat oven to 500 degrees. If you are not using baguette pans, place a baking stone in the oven to preheat, and place an empty water pan under the stone.

Cut a series of slashes on the top of each baguette, running vertically. Take care not to deflate the loaves when cutting. Mist the loaves with a mister or plant sprayer.

Place the baguette pans in the oven, or gently slide the loaves onto the heated baking stone.

Pour a cup of very hot water into the water pan. Close the door. One minute later, mist the loaves and the oven walls. Close the door. Mist again in two minutes.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or longer until the loavs are golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Now, reward yourself with a serious treat. Try your recipe baguettes while it is slightly warm.

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