Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
- I Cup Warm Water
- 1 Cup Bread Flour
- 4 – 4/12 Cups Bread Flour
- 1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
To make your starter:
- Add yeast to a mixing bowl, pour in the warm water, and mix until yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and mix until it is smooth.
- Allow the starter to proof in a warm place, covered, for an hour
After the Starter is ready:
- Dissolve honey and salt in the warm water and add to the starter, mixing it in.
- Add the remaining flour (I use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this). You may need a little more or a little less flour. Add the flour slowly, kneading for about 15 minutes or so. What you’re looking for is the dough to release from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- At this point I pull the dough from the mixing bowl, form it into a ball, oil my mixing bowl with EVOO, place the dough back in the mixing bowl and turn to coat with oil.
- Cover with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place.
- Allow to rise 1 hour or until it has doubled in size (rise time will depend on temperature).
- After the rise, punch down the dough and cut into 4 equal pieces. Form these into your baguettes and place on baking sheets covered with cornmeal dusted parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the baguettes with flour and allow to proof for about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile – Heat the oven to 450 degrees with an oven-safe bowl of water on the bottom. This will keep the baguettes from completely drying out.
- After the final proof is complete, with a sharp knife or razor, make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes across the loaves, about a half-inch deep.
- Place the baking sheets with the loaves into the oven and using a spray bottle, spray cold water into the oven to create a steam, then quickly shut the oven door.
- Leaving the oven door closed, bake for about 7 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about another 30 minutes, or until a deep, golden color.
- After removing from the oven, allow the loaves to cool on a baking rack.
* You can brush the loaves with an egg wash after the final proof, before slashing them, if you want them to have a nice shiny look and a crispier crust.
*Make sure the loaves are completely cool before storing in bags.
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