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2 tspactive dry yeast
1 clukewarm water (between 105-110ºf)
2 1/2 cbread flour
1 tspground himalayan sea salt
·olive oil, for bowl
·unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed, for work surface
·egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1/2 tbsp. water)
·cornmeal, for dusting (as needed if not using a baguette pan)
How to Make French Baguettes
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, water and honey’ stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, especially during cold months, preheat oven to 350ºF for 2 minutes then shut off.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt; whisk until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- When time is up and yeast is alive, add dry ingredients to it. With the dough hook attachment, process on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Increase to speed 3 and process until dough forms a ball around the hook. If it’s not sticky enough, add ½ tbsp. water. To find out if dough is done is when it bounces back when pressing down on it.
- Remove dough and pull under to form a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and swirl dough around to coat it. Cover with a clean dish towel and transfer to a warm, draft-free area such as the oven. Let rise for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
- Later on, remove from oven and punch down to deflate the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and fold the dough under to form a ball. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 2 and then form 2 balls by folding under.
- Taking one ball at a time gently spread to form a rectangular shape to about 3 X 6 inches. Fold it like an envelope by taking a 1/3 of the long side and fold it over then take the other side and fold it over (like an envelope). If dough is not supple, let the gluten relax for a few minutes before working with it again.
- Place dough on a baguette pan, cover and transfer back to the oven for another rise of 45 minutes.
- When proofing is done, remove from the oven and place a pan on the bottom rack; fill it with water. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Slash each dough 4 times at a 45º angle with a sharp knife. Brush with the egg wash. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove baguettes and transfer them to a wire rack to cool off and prevent from getting soggy.