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 teaspoon 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.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.