Let’s be honest. Besides my first love of noodles, is my number 2 love, bread. I love bread.
Give me carbs involving yeast and flour in any shape and form — bagels, buns, loaves, even doughnuts… but when it comes to baguettes, I like an airy baguette, with a crusty exterior, and with lots of holes in the interior, similar to that of ciabatta.
To obtain a bread with more holes and air pockets, you want a higher ratio of water to flour, in this case, about 80% hydration.
The crusty exterior is achieved by quickly spraying the baguettes with water and locking that steam in the oven.
The original recipe was a little cumbersome since there was a lot of waiting involved, (and people who know me know I am not very patient — I want my bread, now!)
So I streamlined and simplified this recipe and was still able to achieve a delicious, light, “holey” baguette without having to wait as long, and not having to do as many steps.
A good baguette is so versatile: eat as is — fresh out of the oven, with sliced cheese or slathered with butter, or slice lengthwise as a sandwich… the possibilities are endless.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE
Try out my simplified recipe for a light, airy baguette — you won’t want to go back to store-bought bread again. If you do, tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer so I can see your creations!
- spray bottle with water
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 450 ml filtered water
- 5 g sea salt
- 567 g (20 oz) bread flour, or all-purpose flour will work too
- 15 ml olive oil
- In a stand mixer bowl, add yeast, water, salt and flour and knead until a dough is formed.
- Let rest for 5 minutes and drizzle in olive oil and knead for another minute. Then cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, working with the dough still in the bowl, stretch and fold the dough using a spatula (fold the top of the dough over the bottom, bottom over the top, left over right, right over left) and leave it to sit for another 10 minutes.
- Repeat this process every 10 minutes for another 3 times. In total, the dough should be stretched and folded 4 times.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled container or large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 2-4 days. This begins the cold fermentation process.
On the day you're ready to bake the bread:
- Remove dough from fridge and leave at room temperature for at least 2-3 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Your dough now should have lots of air bubbles in it.
- After 2-3 hours have elapsed, lightly oil your work surface and tip the dough gently onto it. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces.
- Carefully stretch and twist each piece of dough and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a tea towel and let rest for 1 hour.
- 20 minutes before you're ready to bake your baguettes, preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C.
- Remove the tea towel, place the baguettes in the oven and quickly mist them with a spray bottle filled with water. Shut the door quickly so the steam doesn't escape.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 500°F/260°C. Lower oven temperature to 450°F/232°C and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. If your oven runs hot, place a piece of aluminum foil over top to prevent the baguettes from turning too dark.
- Enjoy the baguettes with cheese, butter, or as sandwiches.