Freshly baked bread is what my crew has come to expect, but it’s not always easy to pull off on busy weeks. Simple ingredients, and a quick one-rise recipe allows me to bake bread from scratch, with no fuss.
Some of my bread recipes, such as my spelt bread, have some more unusual elements you might not have on hand, such as vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer, but this baguette recipe employs basic pantry staples. Scour your cupboards and see which interesting topping ideas you can find. For my last batch, I used oregano and coarse pink salt on one, Everything Bagel seasoning on another, and the last loaf I left plain because one daughter is less adventurous. Toppings give the baguettes a unique flavor and texture, and plus it’s cool looking.
While I’m using common ingredients, I have a couple special cooking tools for the baguettes, although they aren’t necessarily required. The first is called a bread lame, which allows nice slashes on the bread’s top. A serrated knife can be used instead.
The second is a baguette pan, which allows the loaf to brown and crisp evenly. I’m not certain you will get the true baguette result without one, but you get two of them for under $17, which is perfect to split with a friend, or use one as a Christmas gift. In my experience, it’s worth the investment.
This baguette dough is silky, and yields a soft, moist sponge. The process requires just one rise, with a bake time of 25 minutes. Baguettes are a quick way to dress up a weeknight meal, and the perfect bread baking endeavor for a beginner. This recipe is inspired by The Kneady Homesteader You Tube Channel.
1 TBSP instant yeast
2 cups warm water
1 TBSP sugar
4 to 5 cups of flour (I used bread flour)
2 tsp salt
3 TBSP olive oil
1 beaten egg for washing dough
Preheat the oven to 425. Place 4 cups of flour and all ingredients except for egg in the mixer, and blend until combined.
Add additional flour until dough is no longer sticky, adding just a couple tablespoons of flour at a time. Mix until the sides of the bowl come clean, and pinching the mixture does not leave dough on your fingers.
Knead in the mixer for 5 minutes. Turn out on your clean counter and knead by hand about 20 times. Place in a bowl coated with about 1 TBSP of olive oil, and flip over so both sides are coated. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or about doubled.
After the dough is done rising, deflate gently with your fist, and then divide dough into thirds – each dough ball should be one pound. Roll each ball into a rectangle the length you would want your baguette to measure.
Pinch sides and tuck in, and pinch length of dough closed. Roll on counter to get an even baguette shape. Place on baguette pan and make five slits in to of dough. Brush with beaten egg wash and sprinkle with desired toppings.
Bake for 25 minutes or until brown and tapping the loaf’s top creates a hollow sound. Let cool before slicing.