My boys love eating bread. Specially if the bread is served straight out of the oven. Baguette, the long delicious French Bread seems to be a family favorite. Every restaurant that served a good bread had us visiting them more often. Every time we bought French Baguette from our favorite baker, I would reheat it in the oven to make it taste fresh, which was great but not the same. And, that’s when I thought I should try making my own baguette at home. Honestly, looking at so many different recipes, I felt that Baguette wasn’t all that fancily difficult and I decided it was time I just make it.
Now, when I think of France, I think of high end fashionable people, Eifel Tower and also a girl riding a bicycle with a basket full of long loaves of French bagutte Those long loaves are called “baguettes.” (The term comes from the Latin word for “stick.”) They are iconic, and France’s reputation for incredibly crusty and delicious baguettes is known far and wide.
They say that nothing can come close the bread you can get in France. I’ve never been, so I can’t say for sure, but I think you’d stand the best possible chance if you make it yourself. I mean, how could anything be better than a freshly baked loaf of bread? That crackly crust, the tender, airy crumb inside, steamy and yeasty and just begging to be torn into.
This recipe has just 5 ingredients: water, Oil yeast, flour, and salt. But the results are magical. And it’s all because of the technique. Start by dissolving the yeast in warm water. While that is doing its magic, combine the flour and salt. Create a little well in the center, and add in the yeast. Stir it around, taking flour from the outside edge and bringing it into the well, a little at a time. Keep stirring, and adding Oil followed by water as needed, until a shaggy dough forms. You can also use a stand mixer. Now just cover it loosely, and let it rest. For this type of bread, there’s not a lot of kneading involved. It only needs a few quick folds, to become smooth. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it tightly. Allow it to proof (or rise) in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, and shape into long logs (about 15 inches long) with pointed ends. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise a second time. While the baguettes are rising, fill a baking pan with water and place it in the bottom of your oven. Preheat the oven and allow it to fill with steam from the water. This is the key to a crusty baguette. Once the loaves have finished their second rise, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle them with a little flour. Then quickly slash them with a sharp knife. This is not just decorative, but it also allows the crust to crack and the bread to expand in a more controlled way.
Place them in the oven and let them bake until deeply golden brown. They should feel light and dry on the outside, and when you tap them they should give a hollow sound.
Slice it into 1/2-inch rounds and it’s perfect as a base for bruschetta or crostini. Or it can be used as a dipper for your favorite party dip. And we love it toasted with garlic butter, for garlic bread. So good with a pasta dinner!
Or just tear into it and eat it with a hot bowl of soup. So satisfying!