Wednesday, January 26, 2011

French Baguettes

This is a wonderful recipe from "The Food Nanny." It is very easy to make and perfect for any meal!

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 T. active dry yeast, (2 packets)
2 tsp sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
melted butter

In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the warm water, the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Stir to combine and let mixture stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
In a large mixing bowl blend the flour, salt, the remaining teaspoon of sugar and the yeast mixture. Gradually add remaining water and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that is not too sticky to handle (if it is too sticky add a little more flour) Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly until the dough is smooth and elastic. (I mix in my Bosch on speed 1 for about 7 minutes).

Cut the dough in half and shape the halves into baguettes. Grease a baguette pan and place the loaves in the pan. Score the loaves down the middle, cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes. If desired brush the tops with melted butter halfway through the baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when they have finished baking. This is the easiest bread recipe that I have made, I use it all the time!! (I also make it with part or all fresh ground white wheat flour)

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