If you hadn’t figured it out already or heard from one of my previous posts… I love my bread. Not like… but love.
I love bread of all types… wheat, rolls, challah, buns, you name it. I also love an easy recipe that produces a beautiful golden fluffy loaf that makes it look like it took a ton of effort and time to make. See these beautiful crusty golden baguettes I’m sharing here? They look pretty impressive and they really are but they are insanely simple and straight-forward to make! No special equipment needed… well, just a spray bottle but that’s it!
I have made these baguettes a number of times this past month and over the holidays. It’s golden crispy exterior paired with the airy and soft interior makes it perfect for dips, charcuterie boards, sandwiches, or a vessel to soak up a sauce.
One of E’s favorite snacks is spinach dip and fresh bread. It is like his crack, he can’t get enough of it and can seriously eat it all day, everyday. Fresh bread is my crack… I can eat it all day, every day… on it’s own, with a spread, cheese, meats, pate… yummm. I actually had my parents over for lunch today and made some fresh baguettes to dip in this amazing Red Thai Chicken Curry. It was delicious! Okay, enough talking because I’m sure you’d like to know how to make these bread beauties now… so onto the recipe details!
This recipe comes straight out of King Arthur Flour which you can find here. I didn’t adapt the recipe at all because it is perfect as is, however, I did end up halving the recipe to yield two medium sized baguettes, instead of four.
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, aerated (I usually use a knife or spoon to loosen my flour before measuring, to make sure it isn’t too compact)
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
- Place water into the bowl of a stand mixer or other large container.
- Add the dry ingredients to the water and stir until there are no dry spots. The dough should be fairly soft.
- Knead the dough for a 1-2 minutes in a stand mixer (or by hand). Once kneaded, the dough should feel tacky, not super sticky. (I prefer to mix with a stand mixer because it can start off a bit sticky)
- Transfer to an oiled container (at least 6qt, enough for it to rise) and allow the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight, or for up to 7 days.
- When ready to bake the bread, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Deflate the dough and cut it in half into two portions.
- Working with one portion at a time, flatten the dough into an oblong flat oval on the parchment paper, then fold the dough in half and pinch the edges together. Repeat this again and seal edges again with the palm of your hand. (Make sure the seam is sealed, as you don’t want it to pop open when baking)
- With the seam side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the of dough into a 15″ log.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise till puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Using a sharp knife or lame, slash the baguette three or four times on the diagonal.
- Spritz the baguette heavily with warm water, and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
- Once cool enough to slice, dig in!
Did I also mention that your kitchen will smell amazing after this comes out of the oven?