Classic Baguette

This bread is so easy to make and has come in handy for so many meals for us.  This is a classic recipe  with very basic ingredients:

1 TB active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TB cornmeal

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with 1/2 cup of the water.
  2. Pour the remaining water into a large mixing bowl, along with the salt and 1 cup of the flour.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and begin mixing.  Add enough flour to create a soft dough.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes
  5. Grease a bowl and add the dough, turning to coat the dough.  Cover and let rise, about 2 hours.
  6. Punch down and divide dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, knead each half several times and then roll into a snake.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet coated with cornmeal.
  8. Use a knife to make four diagonal cut marks across the top of the dough.
  9. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour.
  10. Heat the oven to 450°.  Place a small pan filled with a couple of inches of water on the bottom rack (the steam this creates will make the outside of the loaf nice and crusty). Place loaves in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

If you have French bread loaf pans, use them.  You can see in my picture that my bread isn’t very uniform in size…a loaf pan should correct that.

This bread goes well with so many meals.  I also used it recently for an appetizer at a party with a cream cheese and garlic spread and it was a huge hit.

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