French Baguette is a popular thin roll of bread that has a specially light and crispy crust with soft chewy texture inside, and requires few basic ingredients to prepare.
Hello friends, it is Wednesday again, and that means a new bread post on Cook With Kushi! My husband lovingly calls me a bread fanatic, and I gladly say touche! Deep down I am sure he knows he is the reason for me to be this way, because my experience with breads during my childhood was interesting to say the least - I will save these details for a future post. His love for bread dates back to his childhood, but after our wedding he has got me hooked onto it as well.
I bake fresh loaves of bread almost every day, because we like to pair it with most of our meals, and baking at home gives me full control on ensuring that we are eating healthy without compromising on the deliciousness. Recently as I was going through the list of breads that I have posted on this blog, I realized that I haven't yet posted a recipe for french baguette, except for the no-knead version!
At our home we love french baguettes not just because its interior is soft and airy, like a cotton ball, but mainly for its light and crispy crust. It pairs extremely well with a bowl of soup or pasta, or something as simple as a drizzle of olive oil or softened butter.
This also make awesome bruschetta for any dinner party. So here I present my kitchen's superstar bread - French Baguette. The recipe call for the use of very simple ingredients, and is very simple to prepare. My secret to giving this bread its signature crispy crust is to add about ½ cup of ice cubes to a preheated skillet while baking the bread. One may also choose to spritz the bread a fine mist of water. Get as creative as possible with the shapes & designs. Do give this recipe a try and let me know how it turned out.
Preparation time : 3 hours
Serves : 4 baguettes
Ingredients for French Baguette
Lukewarm water - 1 ½ cups
Active dry yeast - 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
All purpose flour / Maida - 3 ½ cups + ¼ cup for dusting
Oil - for greasing the bowl
Steps to prepare French Baguette
- In a large bowl add luke warm water, sugar, and a packet of active dry yeast. Let it sit until its foamy, which indicates that the yeast has activated. This should take about 10 minutes.
- To this add salt, and about 3 ½ cups of flour in increments, using your hands mix the flour mixture till it comes together as a soft ball of dough.
- Then knead the dough for about 15 mins by hand or using a stand mixer on low speed with a dough hook attachment. The dough should be elastic and smooth and soft to touch. Transfer this to a greased bowl.
- Cover and let it rest in a warm draft free space (microwave oven) until it doubles in size. This should take about 1 hour.
- Transfer the risen dough from the bowl to a well dusted working surface and lightly punch the dough to remove any air pockets.
- Divide the dough into 3 to 4 equal portions, and then roll it to form the shape of baguettes.
- Transfer the rolled baguettes to silicone lined baking sheets, and cover with a kitchen towel and let the rolls rest for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- At this stage place a cast iron skillet at the bottom rack of an oven and preheat it to 475 degree F.
- After the rolls have doubled in size, use a sharp razor or knife to score desired patterns.
- Transfer this rolls to the middle rack in the oven. Fill the cast iron skillet on the bottom rack with about ½ cup of ice cubes or water. The steam generated allows the bread to develop light and crispy crust. Bake for about 25 to 30 mins or until done.
- French baguettes are now ready. Serve it along with a side of olive oil vinaigrette or soft butter. Enjoy!
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