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Home baguette recipe

09/09/2021

This bread is as close as the traditional French baguette you can ever bake at home, quickly and easily. You will love it.

Watch the video, then read on.

Step 1 (5 minutes)
In a large bowl.
Add 500 grammes of plain white flour (17.6 Ounces or 3 cups + 2 tbsp )
Add three dessert spoons of salt
Add one dessert spoon of dry yeast.
Add 420 Cl of tap water. (4.45 US Quarts, if you insist, but be exact in your measurement.)
Mix with a spoon until you obtain a thick dough (approx. 3 minutes. Same unit of measure worldwide.)
Cover with a plate and let it rest and rise for 12 to 18 hours.
After that time the dough will have doubled in volume.

Step 2 (5 minutes)
On a damp bench top, lay a thin layer of flour and empty the dough on it.
Stretch it to the length of an arm.
Fold in 3 (like a wallet)
Turn it 45 degrees and flip it over.
Stretch it again. 
Fold it again.
Gather the excess flour around the dough.
Cover with a large bowl.
Let it rise for another 2 hours.

Step 3 (35 minutes)
You will have preheated your oven to 250C  (482F in some crazy countries but very hot anywhere.)
You will have kept an oven tray cold, out of the oven.
Cover the tray with baking paper. Sprinkle the paper with a bit of flour.
Using a large kitchen knife cut and separate the dough in three equal parts (eyeball it). It is easier with a wet blade.
Cover your hands with flour and pickup one loaf to stretch it and lay it on the tray.
Repeat
With wet scissors, make 3 cuts at 45degrees on each loaf.
Put the tray in the middle of your oven.
Add a dish filled water at the bottom of the oven. ( This will give you bread crust its nice golden colour.)
Bake at 250C for 20 minutes, fan on.
During that time, clean your kitchen bench. This is the most difficult part of the process.
After 20 minutes, turn the tray over (in case your oven is not baking uniformly)
Bake for another 10 minutes at 200C (moderately hot)
After that time, take the tray out of the oven and let things cool down.
Then you can brush any excess flour off the bread.
Done.

It works every time. (Provided you follow these exact steps, and you have an oven that can go up to 250C.)

This bread is delicious, but it will not keep more than a day. Best to enjoy it fresh.
If you bake it as a round loaf instead of three baguettes, it will keep a bit longer.

But my advice is to stick to the recipe. Don’t try to be clever and to add other stuff or use fancy flours. Master this exact recipe first, then you can play and try variations.

I have tried using the T55 type flour widely used for bread making in France and Italy but it did not work.

I have learnt this recipe in 2003 from a Canadian friend who got it from an American friend who himself got it from someone else…

 

Any questions? olivieroduhamel@gmail.com

 

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