Mmm, I love me some homemade bread.
Yes, it’s true; I have a yeast love affair. When I was a child (seriously, a kid, not a teenager) I would bake amazing bread for my family every week. I have no idea what kind it was, only that it was from a starter that my mother received from a friend. I baked bread every week until finally I rebelled. No more bread. I needed time to torment my little sister and bread making was getting in my way!
Now my house is quiet. Other than Better Half and our cat, I have no one to torment, so I bake more frequently. Better Half adores bread, homemade pizza, etc., so I try to do something yeasty at least once a week or so.
Last night we had dear friends over for wicked card playing and Frogmore Stew (OMG-love shrimp and tators!) so I baked two trusty lovely, crunchy baguettes. My baguette pan holds two loaves, therefore, that’s the recipe I devised. Two lovely fresh loaves. Enjoy!
French Baguettes (two)
3½ cups KAF Artisan Flour (or all-purpose)
2¼ teaspooons active dry yeast
½ rounded teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup warm water
Optional for shiny crust: 1 egg white beaten w/ 2 teaspoons water
In mixer (again, I’m using my trusty KitchenAid), mix together 1 cup flour, yeast, and salt. Add water, honey, and olive oil and beat for approximately 2 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Switching to kneading blade, add remaining flour and knead on low speed for approximately 6 minutes (scraping side of bowl to incorporate flour, if needed) until the dough is stiff, smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning dough over to coat. Cover with clean towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled (approx. 2 hours).
Lightly oil baguette pan. Punch down dough and knead by hand for approximately 30 seconds. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a long rope almost the size of your baguette pan and place in pan. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour).
Preheat over to 375°. If you would like a shiny crust, brush the egg white/water mixture lightly over your dough. Using scissors or sharp knife, cut slashes into dough. Bake loaves approximately 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and does not yield to pressure. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Or in my house, remove from pan, break open loaf, slather with butter and place in pie-hole.
For more yeast love, check out the über cool blog: YeastSpotting!