Freshly baked warm from the oven homemade French Baguette - life is GRAND!
- 4 to 5 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
Preparation time 180mins
Cooking time 195mins
Adapted from jocooks.com
In a big bowl, add the water, powdered milk, the yeast and half the flour. You can use a wooden spoon to mix all this together, it will be a very wet and sticky dough, but I always go in there with my hands to make sure it's all mixed well.
Cover this gooey dough with a clean towel, and keep it in a warm place for a couple hours.
Mix the remaining two cups of flour with the salt and add it to the gooey dough. Mix it well and you have to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. The dough will be a bit sticky but that's how it should be. In a clean bowl, add a bit of oil and place the dough in the oiled bowl, rubbing oil over the entire dough first.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel again and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough for another 5 minutes then cut the dough into 3 equal pieces.
After you cut the dough, let it rest for a few more minute, about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, shape each piece of dough into a baguette. Now there are many techniques used to shape baguettes, but I just plainly rolled them. You can find lots of videos on youtube on how to shape baguettes, if interested.
Place the baguettes on a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for another 15 minutes. While the baguettes are resting, preheat the oven to 450°F.
On the baking sheet or stone, you can either sprinkle some flour or cornmeal.
Using a sharp knife, cut long lines going across the baguettes. Before placing them in the oven, fill a baking dish with a couple cups of water and place it on the bottom rack This will ensure the bread will get that crusty top. Bake the bread in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.