Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baguette in Less Than an Hour

I found this recipe on Pinterest (surprise!), and decided to make it to accompany Crock Pot French Onion Soup, since I needed a french bread for the cheesy bread topping. I was skeptical to say the least because every other french bread/baguette recipe I've seen is super complicated and involved, and requires bake-ware and gadgets I don't want to invest in. This recipe however, is easy. Like from start to finish you're done in less than an hour. It also doesn't require any crazy equipment and I personally always have the ingredients on hand.

I'll tell you I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing this bread is. I'm eating some warm right out of the oven (slathered in butter of course) as I type this, and it's nothing short of amazing. It's fluffy and soft, just like the baguettes you get from the bakery. This opens up limitless possibilities... You could probably make them into smaller baguettes for hoagie type sandwiches. And if you somehow have any left after a few days and it starts to go stale, you can cut it into cubes, toss with melted butter and bake for homemade croutons!

I'm just so happy that this recipe worked out! Sometimes you just want a nice bread to accompany your dinner, but you don't want to run out to the store. Or if you're like me, and plan your menu for a couple of weeks at a time, it doesn't work to buy bakery fresh bread if you're not planning on eating it that day.

One thing to mention, if you don't have a silpat make sure you spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray. I missed that step, and my bread stuck to the cookie sheet. Completely my fault. It came loose, I just had to pry at it with a metal spatula. I also forget to add the cookie sheet with water to the bottom of the oven rack when I baked mine (where the heck is my brain at today?). I don't think my bread suffered, but next time I make this I will follow that step. I somehow completely missed it this time.

In the future, I'm going to experiment with using whole wheat flour in this recipe. We'll see what happens, but if I have good results I'll share that recipe with you too! In the meantime, try this recipe! It's the easiest and most delicious baguette recipe I've come across, and who doesn't like fresh out of the oven bread?

Baguette from Frosted Bake Shop

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs. (2 packages) dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes – foam should form on the top.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough becomes a smooth ball and knead for 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook)

Cut in half and then shape into 2 baguettes. To make them smooth and pretty, roll each half of dough into rectangle and roll up lengthwise. Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat) with seam down. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a very sharp knife (I like to use a serrated blade) gently make a slash down the length of each baguette. This will give it that authentic look.

Pour water in a cookie sheet and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Half way through, brush the bread with melted butter. **I tried it with olive oil too… it was less crispy and salty. We liked the butter a lot more!

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