There are days when I want the activities to be serene and relaxing. I want to thoroughly appreciate the day, my life and enjoy the world around me. One of the best ways I find to do this is to make something that both Dearest and I will enjoy…bread. Not only bread, but French Baguettes. The French are known for appreciating beauty and life. One of the quintessential things that make us all think of France is their French Baguette. Today, well and tomorrow, I will enjoy the process of making this wonderful bread.
You see, to make it as close as possible, you need to make sure your ingredients are pure. The French actually ensure the purity of their breads and of several of those things we have come to associate with France…Making French baguettes, as close as I can in America…
The flour in France is different, the water is different and I’m sure the air that the dough rises in is different…but, I will do my best to transport myself and Dearest with this wonderful treat.
Part of the process is to not rush it. There needs to be time to allow the yeast to rest, the flour mixture to rest and the rising process to take some time. That is why when it is all mixed and ready to rise…I will place it in the refrigerator to finish the next day.
What makes French baguettes so wonderful. It is their flavor, the beautiful crust and the spongy bread center…Oh, I can just imagine sitting at a cafe in Paris with a lovely cup of coffee and taking a bite of an authentic French baguette…some day, some day.
Until then, I’ll do my best to bring the essence of France to our home. This is truly only an homage to this wonderful bread, the years and decades the French have taken to perfect this simple, yet very delicious bread…am I making you want some!Making your own French baguettes and homemade butter is so wonderful...as close as you can get to an authentic French cafe experienceClick To Tweet
Homemade French Baguette
This is not authentic, but it is as close as I can get...French baguettes made at my home
- 1 1/2 tsp. active yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour I used King Arthur
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups ice water
In a clear measuring cup combine the warm water (110 degrees) with the yeast. Gently stir together and set aside approximately 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt - set in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. When the yeast has foamed add this and the iced water to the flour mixture. On low speed combine these ingredients for one minute and allow the dough to rest up to 5 minutes. Repeat this step one more time. Prepare your counter or surface lightly with olive oil. Turn out the dough onto the surface and stretch out one side. Fold this side back over, rotate the dough stretch that side out and repeat two more times. Place the dough folded side down in a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. On the next day set out the dough to allow it to rise and come to room temperature - about an hour. Very carefully remove the dough from the bowl to a greased surface so that you do not disturb the bubbles created by the dough rising. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle. With a sharp knife cut the dough into three equal pieces lengthwise and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 475 degrees for from 15 to 20 minutes. To replicate a humid environment - to attain the lovely crust - from time to time spritz water into the oven. You can also place an oven safe dish to the side on the rack below. Remove from the oven and allow to cool just a bit - enjoy your homemade French baguette!
I followed these steps to make the Homemade Butter!