The French Baguette

William Courderot’s French Baguette (from cookingbyheart.org)

Ingredients

1 kg farine / ~7 cups flour
650 g eau / ~3 cups water
20 g sel / ~3.5 tsp salt
20 g levure / ~5 tsp yeast

Method
Mix all ingredients in kitchenaid or cuisinart mixer until smooth. Let rest for an hour and a half.

Flour prep area and separate dough into three equal pieces. Generously flour a linen cloth. Gently fold the dough over itself and roll while pushing the dough outwards until it becomes a long snake. Notice how little Courderot handles the dough as he forms it into baguettes. Don’t handle the dough more than you have to. Place the baguettes on your floured linen cloth, cradling each loaf in fabric so they don’t touch one another. Leave to rest for one hour.

Preheat oven to 550°F or 290°C (or as high as your oven will go).

Use a new razor blade or very sharp knife to score the bread with evenly distributed diagonal marks, about 4-5 scores per loaf. Fill a cast iron pan with one to two cups of ice water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven. This helps keep a good amount of moisture in the oven while the bread bakes. Place the baguettes in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are crusty and brown. When they’re done, let them cool on a rack for 10 minutes or so before you break bread.

 

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