Tuesday, July 16, 2013

French Baguettes

We tried this Pinterest recipe last night, and Wayne said to be sure to pass it along to all our daughters because he knows his sons will love it.  So, here you go!
Easy French Baguettes

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon (or package) yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3-4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Dissolve the yeast and sugar into the warm water.  Stir in the flour and salt and knead briefly. Divide into four pieces and roll into thick ropes.  Twist two together and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the other two pieces of dough.  Let rise for 30 minutes, if desired. Place in oven preheated to 425°.

Pour 3-4 cups of ice cubes in the bottom of the oven and immediately close the door. (Apparently, this is the "secret" ingredient!) Bake for 15-18 minutes.
See the ice cubes at the bottom of the oven?
The original recipe called for 2 cups of water, but I knew with only 4 cups of Florida flour that would not be a bread dough, so rather than add more flour, I started with less water.  When I tossed in the ice cubes, half of them fell down the hinge area and I couldn't close the door, so I need some practice with that.  I wonder if it would work with the ice cubes placed in a cake pan? Anyway, this bread was delicious, and we won't mind experimenting with it some more. The original recipe said to serve it with olive oil for dipping; we used butter and jam last night, but the olive oil would be scrumptious and we're looking forward to trying that soon. Even though the original recipe had "crusty" in the title, one of the things we loved about our version was that it wasn't hard and crusty at all; it was soft! So, we hope you have fun trying this out some time.

11/29/2016 - Tried half recipe (so one loaf) with basically 3/4 cup wheat flour, 3/4 cup white flour, and 1/2 cup oat flour. Put the ice cubes in a cake pan.

2 comments:

  1. Those look so good!

    I've done a lot of research/experimenting to get artisan bread baking just right. A lot of recipes call for the ice cubes, but I read in my master bread book that they're a bad idea because they lower the oven temperature too drastically ad a high heat is essential for that perfect crust and color. So I've modified his suggestion of pouring water into a hot steam pan placed in the oven, and instead I just pour about 1/2 a cup of water straight onto the floor of the oven. I get the results that I'm looking for every time.

    Also, one time when I was still doing the ice cube method, I heated a glass cake pan while the oven was preheating to throw the ice cubes into since that's what the recipe suggested. When I threw in the ice, the whole thing shattered. In retrospect, it was a really stupid idea and I should've guessed that would happen, but that's what the recipe said!

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  2. I forgot to say pour water in the oven twice. Pour half a cup in right when you put the bread in, close the door, and wait 30 seconds. Then quickly pour in another 1/2 cup of water on the floor, close the door, and bake for the specified time. This gives you the maximum steam you need for a nice crust without making your oven too cool.

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