December 20, 2010

La Baguett

Picture to come

Good baguettes should be crusty, moist, slightly chewy, and of course, flavorful. And they are amazingly easy to make. The water content depends on the flour and the weather.

1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 Cups warm water
4-5 C nbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 egg, beaten and mixed with 1 Tab cold water

1. In a small bowl disolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir with a fork. Set aside for 10 min.

2. Combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, and stir in the remaining 11/2 cups water. Mix the dough until it is sticky enough to knead. On a lightly floured board, knead for 6-10 minuets; the dough should be  sticky and smooth. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about an hour.

3. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each into a ball and shape into a baguette. Transfer the loaves to a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise until nearly doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush the baguettes with the egg-water mixture . Score the loaves diagonally across the top with a sharp knife.

5. Pour 2 cups of hot water into a pan or oven safe dish and place in the preheated oven next to teh baguettes to provide moisture. Bake the baguettes for 15 min adn then lower the temp to 400 degrees and bake for 5-10 minuets more, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.

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