Artisan Baguettes: A few years back we took a trip to Paris. I love bread, however, it was in Paris that I discovered how fabulous a freshly baked Parisian Baguette is. We would fortify our day of sightseeing with a stop at a local bakery where we would purchase a baguette, warm and fresh from the oven. The next stop was a farmers market for an adventure in determining what we would eat with the baguette for lunch. Artisan cheese was the usual fare, however we did try different cured meats and spreads with varying degrees of success. If the day’s choice was a fail, at least I could eat the baguette.
Upon return to the states, I set out on a quest to bake a baguette as delicious as the ones we had in Paris. Crispy/crackly on the outside, soft and on moist on the inside with those lovely air pockets. My baguette adventure was interesting but not successful until I discovered an artisan bread baking book by Peter Rheinhart. He teaches a no knead method called stretch and fold that finally produced the perfect artisan baguette.
The artisan baguette is made from a lean dough, a dough with no fat in it. The baguette has only 4 ingredients, water, flour, yeast, and salt. That’s it!!!
SIS (simple is smart) steps to a fabulous artisan baguette:
1. Mix together all the ingredients and let them rest 15 minutes
2. Stretch and Fold 3 times with 20 minutes between each stretch and fold.
3. Let the dough rise until double and then form the baguettes.
4. Let the baguettes rise until double and then bake the baguettes.
5. Let the baguettes cool and enjoy the baguettes with my Beef Barley Soup.
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- Oven Steel or Baking Stone
- 4.5 cups bread flour 20 ounces
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 13.5 ounces water room temperature
- To adjust the portions, click on the number of serving and a slider will pop up. Adjusting the slider up or down will automatically calculate the amount needed for each ingredient.
- Mix all the ingredients together to form a rough dough.
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes
- Do three stretch and folds each 20 minutes apart as demonstrated by the video. CLICK HERE for the video on how to do the stretch and folds.
- After the last stretch and fold place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rest for about an hour until double in size.
- At the end of the hour divide the dough into two equal-size pieces. Shape the dough into the baguettes as demonstrated in the video. CLICK HERE for the video. Place the baguettes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet that doesn't have a lip.
- Cover the baguettes with plastic wrap. I lightly spray the plastic wrap with a nonstick spray to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the bread. Let the baguettes rise until about double in size again. About 45 minutes. Preheat the oven (450-degrees) with the baking steel or baking stone in the oven, while the baguettes rise. If you don't have a steel of stone, you can bake the baguette on the parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Once the baguettes have doubled in size, cut 3 shallow, nearly vertical, cuts on the top and mist with water. Slide the baguette with the parchment into the oven and onto the steel.
- Bake the baguettes for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Mist the baguettes once a minute for the first 3 minutes of baking. This helps develop a crispy crust.
- At the end of the 10 minutes decrease the heat to 400 degrees and continue to bake the baguettes for another 20 minutes or until the interior of the baguette is 112 degrees,
- If the baguette starts to over-brown loosely cover with foil.
- When the internal temperature reaches 112-degrees, remove them from the oven and let the baguettes cool on a cooling rack.
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