Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

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Indulge in the delight of freshly baked French Baguettes – homemade stick loaves with a crispy crust and a soft, chewy interior, all bathed in a golden-brown glow. Discover the art behind creating these iconic loaves that are not just bread but a culinary masterpiece.

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Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

French Baguettes Ingredients

Embark on your journey to homemade perfection with these four simple ingredients:

  1. Yeast: Opt for rapid-rise yeast for instant activation without the need for resting. If using active dry yeast, let it sit in warm water (110°F-115°F or 43°C-46°C) for about 5 minutes before adding the flour.
  2. Water: For rapid-rise yeast, use room temperature water. If using active dry yeast, ensure the water is warmed to 110°F-115°F (43°C-46°C).
  3. Salt: Two teaspoons of table salt bring out the flavors in this recipe.
  4. Flour: Choose all-purpose flour for airier baguettes.

Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

How to Store French Baguettes

Preserve the freshness of your French baguettes:

  1. Let them cool completely.
  2. Place in a bread box or wrap in aluminum foil.
  3. Avoid refrigeration; store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  4. For freezing, wrap cooled loaves in freezer wrap or aluminum foil. Label and date before storing in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

How to Soften French Baguettes

Revive the texture of your baguettes:

  1. Wet the hard loaf with water.
  2. Wrap it in aluminum foil.
  3. Place the wrapped loaf in the oven (not preheated) and set to 300°F (150°C).
  4. Heat for 12-15 minutes.

Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

Ingredients:

French Baguette Dough

  • 1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour

Instructions:

French Baguette Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, and salt.
  2. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated. The dough should be sticky.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise on the counter for 12 to 20 hours. The dough will be bubbly and sticky.
  4. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a rectangle and cut into four equal pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long and 1 1/2-inch diameter loaf.
  6. Prepare two baking pans with parchment paper. Sprinkle with flour.
  7. Transfer dough to the floured parchment paper. Place two loaves on each pan.
  8. Dust the tops with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  9. Allow the dough to rise on the counter for 1-2 hours (or until doubled).

Baking French Baguettes

Adjust oven racks to middle and bottom positions.

  1. Preheat oven to 550°F (287°C) or as high as it will go.
  2. Once preheated, fill a 9×13-inch baking dish with water and place on the bottom rack.
  3. Using a sharp knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cut 3-4 angled slashes into each loaf.
  4. Spritz loaves with water and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, spritzing and rotating every 5 minutes.
  5. When done, baguettes should be dark golden brown and sound hollow. Cool completely before serving.

Crafting Perfect French Baguettes

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