Thursday, February 3, 2011

French Baguettes

Oh my goodness.

We made French Baguettes tonight.

They were divine.  And SO easy.  Wanna learn how?

French Baguettes
(adapted from this recipe)

1 cup Water
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tbsp White Sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/2 tsp Yeast
A handful(ish) of Cornmeal
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 egg yolk
 Several splashes of water

Because we didn't use a bread machine, we needed to activate the yeast.  That's a scary and complicated way of saying that we need make sure the yeast is at the correct temperature.

To do this, heat your water until it is between 90 and 110 degrees.  This really is a Goldilocks moment.  It can't be too hot, it can't be too cold.

 While the water is heating, combine your flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

Whisk them together and push down a little hole in the middle of everything.

Carefully pour the perfectly heated water into the dry ingredients ...

And let your mixer do it's thing.

Let the mixer go until a dough is formed.

Drizzle a bowl with some extra virgin olive oil.

Put the dough in the bowl and rub all of the surfaces with the oil.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make yourself a killer bowl of chicken and rice soup.  Top it with some freshly shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.

And add some crushed saltines for crunch.  Savor every bite.  Mmm.

 When your timer goes off, lightly flour one of your counters.

Take the dough out of the bowl ... 

And punch it a few times on the flour.

Roll out into a 16x12 rectangle and cut in half (into two-8x12 rectangles).

Carefully roll each 8x12 rectangle - roll tightly and try to get rid of air bubbles.  Fold in the ends.


Toss some cornmeal onto a baking sheet and place the two loafs on top of it.  The cornmeal bakes into the bread and gives it a nice crunchy crust.

Cover the bread and let it rise for another 30 minutes.

Looks good!

Once the dough is risen, combine the egg yolk and water to create your glaze.

Spread the glaze on the loaves ... 

Cut several slits into the loaves (it's really helpful to sharpen your knife right before you do this!) and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown.

Okay, so we're not winning any bread-shape-contests any time soon, but what they lacked in perfect shape they made up for in taste!

Bruce thought we should wait for them to cool.  I did not. 

French Baguettes.  Straight out of the oven.  Still steaming.  Spread with butter.  That instantly melted.

We ate.  And ate.  And ate.

I don't think I've eaten this many carbs since the night before my half marathon.

I know that I uploaded 26 photos with this post, but it was actually really easy!  The most complicated part was making sure the yeast was activated - and as long as you are careful and take the water temperature, you should be okay!

I am still navigating the world of bread, so I am by no means an expert.  But I am excited to learn and to try my hand at some breads with more grains in them.  Once you have all of your baking supplies, I think it is cheaper to bake your own bread than to buy it at the store!

Night all!  Happy baking!


  1. YUM! Thanks for sharing! Bread intimidates me...but maybe I could handle this. Baguettes are worth it. :)

  2. yea!! you did it. Awesome. Yeast isn't so bad after all :)

  3. It's definitely cheaper to make. Have you tried five minute artisan bread. There is seriously no work to it and it would probably make making baguettes even easier. I'm going to have to try it with my dough I have in the fridge.

    I'm currently looking at ways to make the artisan bread healthier.

    We used to make seven grain bread in the bread maker all the time. It was good!

  4. You two amaze me. The thought of a fresh-from-the-oven-with-butter baguette is mouthwatering. And those look incredible!

  5. I have made bread once in my life and it resulted in a brick of thick inedible food! But seeing these pics makes me want to try again. I love french bread!

  6. You all will definitely have to try this! It is so easy and ridiculously tasty! xo Sarah

  7. Those baguettes look amazing!! It really makes me want to try my hand at trying them out!


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