Baguettes are very popular French breads that resemble a log. Baguettes have a wonderful texture. They are crispy from outside but should be equally soft and porous from inside. The more liquid you add to these breads, the more will be the softness and porousness.
Although it requires quite a bit of practice and efforts to make perfect French baguette, you must not refrain from trying it as the results are always worthwhile. Just make sure that you don’t add too much liquid or else the baguettes with come out mushy and they will flatten out on slicing.
Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes- 1 hour 20 minutes
Baking Time: 20-30 minutes
3 cups + 2/3rd cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup + 4 tablespoons of warm water
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon of instant dry yeast
Method Of Preparation
1. Warm up required amounts of water in a saucepan and then pour it in a heatproof bowl. Add the instant yeast to the warm water and stir it lightly to combine. Let the yeast sit for 3-4 minutes or until it becomes frothy. Once that happens, tip the flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the yeast solution to it. Mix the mixture on low speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then test the dough.
2. Tear off a small piece of dough and then pull it slowly. If the dough tears easily then place it back in the bowl and mix for another 1-2 minutes. Test the dough again in the same way to test its elasticity and continue processing it until it turns very smooth and elastic. The dough should not rip off on stretching it and you should be able to see through it when stretched. Once ready, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a sufficiently floured surface.
3. Cover up the dough with a moist cloth and then cover it up with a plastic. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes or until it doubles up in size. Once that happens, remove the plastic and damp cloth to test the dough. For that, press down the dough with the tip of your pointer finger. If the dough holds on to the shape for some time then it is ready to be used. Once ready, flour your counter nicely and place the dough on it.
4. Knead the dough for 1 minute by folding and pressing it down against itself to pop out the air bubbles. Cut the dough into three equal parts. Once done, take one of the dough balls and fold its every side over itself to get a smooth surface. Pinch the base of the dough by rolling it between the heels of your hands and then set it aside. Repeat the same process with the other two dough balls and then place them in lightly greased bowls. Cover each bowl with a plastic film and let the dough balls rest for 15 minutes or until they double up in volume.
5. While the dough balls rise up, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Once ready with the dough balls, take them out of the bowls and place them on a floured surface. Now take one of the balls and roll it out into a circle. Pick up one of the sides of the dough and press it down at the middle of the circle. Picking up that side of the dough, roll it towards the other side. Once the log is formed, place it in a greased baguette pan and then repeat the same process of rolling for the other two dough balls.
6. Once done, place the baguettes in microwave and place a bowl of hot water beside them. Shut the door of the microwave and let the baguettes proof for 35-50 minutes or until they rise. After that, remove the baguettes from the microwave and slit them diagonally 3-4 times with a sharp knife or blade. Once done, place the baguette pan in the oven and bake them for 20-30 minutes or until they turn tough and golden brown from outside. Once done, cool them before slicing and storing.