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Newest Video Recipe - French Baguettes


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A French Baguette is my bread of choice. This long thin bread has a crisp outer crust with a wonderfully soft and chewy interior. Freshly baked I often just tear off a chunk and eat it unadorned or with a slathering of butter. Other times I like to dip small pieces of the bread in a good olive oil that is laced with pesto. It's also great with soups or stews, or to make a delicious sandwich. You can use day old baguettes to make garlic bread or even croutons


I went to the San Francisco Baking Institute (SFBI) to learn how to make baguettes. It was a five day bread making class that taught us theory with lots of hands-on bread making, especially baguettes. It was a terrific class and if you're ever in the Bay area I highly recommend this baking school.

First, let me say that there is quite a bit of technique involved in making Baguettes so I recommend watching the video. Now, baguettes are made with the most basic of ingredients - flour, yeast, malt powder, salt, and water. First, the flour. I have seen recipes for baguettes using just bread flour, some using just all purpose (plain) flour, and some with a combination of the two. For this recipe I use mainly bread flour with just a small amount of all purpose flour. For the yeast, I like to use SAF Gold instant yeast. This type of yeast is normally used by professionals as it gives a good rise, especially when making breads with long fermentation periods. An added bonus is that since the grain particles are so small, it doesn't need proofed. We also add some dry malt (diastatic) powder which breaks down the starch and gives sugar for the yeast to feed on. This is especially good for doughs, like this, that have a long fermentation period. Malt powder also aids in browning. For the salt I like to use kosher salt. And lastly we need water. I like to use filtered water. The temperature of the water is very important when making baguettes as it determines the temperature of the dough, which affects the rate of fermentation (proofing).

There are many different ways to make baguettes, some use a machine and some are made by hand. Also the amount of time you knead the dough can vary by recipe. Typically the more you knead the dough, the shorter the fermentation period. For this baguette recipe we use what is called a "Hand Mix". This means we make the dough by hand and there isn't any kneading involved. So this means the dough needs a long fermentation period (three hours). This produces a baguette with excellent flavor and texture. Lastly, once baked there is always a temptation to eat the bread while it's still hot. Resist this urge, baguettes need to cool down to room temperature for maximum flavor and texture.

Continue to the French Baguettes recipe page.......

Let's get baking!

Stephanie Jaworski

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