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Easy French Baguette Bread

French Baguette Bread


"Marie, the baguettes!!" - (Beauty & the Beast)

Is there anything better than freshly baked bread straight out of the oven?  I got a new baguette baking pan from Amazon a few weeks ago and have been dying to give it a go.  (I didn't even know there was such a thing before, did you?)  Let me tell you, it's a game changer.  I love that my loaves stay relatively straight and it cooks them perfectly because of all those little holes in it.  Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the perfect amount of chewiness - this is complete bread perfection I tell you.  If you don't have a baguette baking pan, you can definitely use two regular baking sheets, (2 loaves on each), but if it's something you are going to make a lot, you could treat yourself!

I always have good intentions of sharing these loaves of bread, but they don't last long enough for me to ever give any away.  The family LOVES them!  Just today, one ate it plain right off the cooling rack, one used it to dip in a creamy pasta dish and one made a sub sandwich with it.  It's been less than two hours and two of the four loaves are gone already!  Seriously, give this bread a try.  You are going to love it and you will never want store bought French bread again.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup very warm water
  • 2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups AP flour
  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked together with 1 Tbsp water
Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup very warm water.  Set aside and let it do it's thing!
  2. In your mixer bowl, add the 2 cups of hot water, sugar, salt, canola oil and bread flour.  Stir together till combined.  Add the yeast mixture and stir it all together.
  3. Place the mixer bowl on the mixer with the hook attachment and add the AP flour 1 cup at a time until the dough comes together and is smooth and not too sticky. (You don't have to use the full four cups though in my climate in Utah, I usually do - the dough should not stick to your hands, but it will feel a little tacky.) 
  4. Cover with a clean towel and and let sit in a warm place for an hour, using a spatula to scrape down the sides and flip it over to deflate the rise every ten minutes.
  5. After an hour, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface.  Divide the dough in to four equal pieces.  
  6. For each section of dough:  Sprinkle a little flour on it as needed to stop it from sticking to anything.  Gently roll out into a rectangle, (mine were about 10x4).  Roll along the long side as if you were making cinnamon rolls.  Pinch the ends closed, shape the loaves and place each loaf on your pan.  
  7. Score each loaf with a sharp knife 4-5 times, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for another 20-30 mins.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 with 1 rack placed in the bottom position and 1 rack in the middle position. Place a spare baking sheet on the bottom rack.
  9. Brush the loaves with the egg wash and place the pan on the middle rack.
  10. Throw 4-5 ice cubes on the spare baking sheet on the bottom rack and close the oven door immediately.
  11. Bake at 375 for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter immediately.  Cool and serve!

Here are some pictures at various stages if it helps!

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
After the dough has come off the mixer

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
Deflating the dough with a spatula every ten minutes.

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
Fully risen dough.

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
Form in to loaves - they don't have to be perfect!

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
Score the loaves with a sharp knife.

Easy French Baguette Bread Dough
Let rise another 30 minutes before baking.


Easy French Baguette Bread


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