I will be in France when this recipe publishes, probably eating a baguette, so when I was brainstorming this month’s recipe, I definitely wanted to take a stab at a classic French bread. *Disclaimer, this was more like what we Americans would call a French loaf, as it wasn’t as crispy as a traditional baguette. You need to incorporate steam into the baking process, something I found out after the fact! So my bread isn’t crispy, but it still taste like a baguette!
You need: warm water, salt, active dry yeast, a little bit of sugar and flour.
Mix together the yeast and sugar, and pour in the water. Let it sit until it gets nice and foamy, about 5 minutes!
Mix in 2 cups of flour. Multiple recipes I looked at suggested using a wooden spoon to mix in the flour, and I see why! The dough gets pretty tough, so the wooden spoon will withstand the heavy mixing.
Add in the salt and 2 more cups of flour.
Oil up a deep bowl up, and place your dough in it to proof at room temperature until it has doubled in size. This will take about an 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Look at how much that dough ball grew in size!
Now comes the fun part. Have the remaining 1/2 cup of flour ready to mix in to your dough ball as you knead it.
It’s pretty hard taking photos of yourself kneading dough 🙂
This is what your dough should look like once it is kneaded and the remaining flour is incorporated.
Now pull and punch to shape the dough into a long loaf. If you look closely, there is a seam, which when it bakes will separate a bit. So try not to have any seams!
My loaf ended up measuring to 20 inches long and 3 inches wide, and it fit diagonally on a cookie sheet to bake.
Cut about 4 diagonal slices in the loaf.
Lightly brush the dough with cool water. This will help with the crunchy crust. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. I ended up added a few more minutes because my stove is older, but check it around 25 minutes and go from there!
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 C warm water (about 105-115 degrees)
- 4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large bowl, mix together the yeast and sugar before pouring in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of flour. Add in the salt and 2 of the remaining cups of flour.
- Lightly dust a surface with flour and knead the dough, adding in the extra 1/2 cup of flour to keep from sticking. Knead until flour is incorporated and the dough is firm.
- Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled deep bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size, or about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Form the dough into a long loaf, about 20 inches long and 3 inches wide. Place on a baking sheet, and let rise uncovered at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Cut 4 diagonal slashes in the loaf, and brush the loaf with cool water. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool.