Recipe // the french baguette …

November 25, 2013

The French baguette has such a rich history.  It is probably one of the most famous bakery items to come out of France.  They are known for their beautiful crunchy, flaky crusts, with a soft chewy center.
The term “baguette” was not always used for bread.  The French used this word back in the day to describe objects that were long and skinny, but as the years went by, this word became linked to the long skinny loaves of bread made in France.
If you have been to France, you know that there really isn’t anything quite like the bread there.  It doesn’t seem like it could possibly be duplicated.  Some will say the secret is in the flour in France, some will say the water, some will say it is the steam ovens that create the perfect outer crust, and some will say it is years of practicing the perfect baguette making technique.  But, I gotta say, I haven’t had bread anything near as good as the bread in France, so one of the above is perhaps the secret.
I recently experimented with a few different baguette recipes, and I found several.  Some that take only a few hours, some that take overnight, and some that can take up to several days.  There are so many ways to make a baguette.
I discovered in my experiments, that I preferred recipes that started with a “dough sponge” the fermentation period really helped develop the flavor.  I also think cooking the baguettes at a very high temperature allowed the outer crust to form and kept the inside nice and soft.
Here are a few recipes I would recommend:
King Arthur Flour Baguettes (but, cooked at 500 degrees for about 12 minutes or until crunchy)
Food Plus Words Perfect Baguette (recommended if you are short on time)
Martha Stewart French Dough with the Baguette Instructions
Good Luck!
(photo by me)

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