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Homemade Crispy French-Style Baguettes

Author:

Lemonkerdz was once a baker by profession. Now she enjoys baking at home for family and friends.

The beautiful thing about baguette is that you can easily make it at home.

The beautiful thing about baguette is that you can easily make it at home.

Make Your Own Crispy Baguettes

I've always loved spending time in the kitchen, but now that I'm obligated to stay at home I have even more time to be where I always wanted to be—in the kitchen.

Since my wife is gluten intolerant, she has not eaten bread for a long time. Artisan bread with a great crust is such a temptation, though. Watching programs on Netflix about long fermentation and how this has so many health benefits and gives your stomach a helping hand digesting food gave us the push to revisit the world of traditional bread making.

I have made bread for many years but it has always been a quick ferment and bake, which is ok since you can have a warm loaf made at home within two hours, but I wanted to see if it was true that maybe people don't have to be classed as gluten-free rather intolerant and therefore just need a longer fermentation to be able to still enjoy life and have a warm bread to accompany a homemade soup.

It worked! And as long as she doesn’t overindulge she can still enjoy bread without the inflammation and pain.

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Ingredients

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 5 grams instant yeast
  • 10 grams salt
  • 350 grams water, slightly warmed

Step 1: Make, Rest, and Fold the Dough

  1. Put the flour, yeast, and salt into a bowl and mix together well. Add the slightly warm water and mix to combine all ingredients. You can use a stand mixer with a dough attachment, but I prefer to mix by hand just using my fingers. You should have a wet, sticky dough.
  2. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 40 mins. Note: The resting will allow the dough to hydrate on its own and make the dough easier to work with.
  3. Every 30 minutes, fold the dough (do not knead). To fold: Wet your fingers and slide them from the side under the dough lifting one side folding over to the other. Twist the bowl quarter turn and do the same again. Repeat until you have done it on 4 sides.
  4. Repeat the folding action for the next 2 to 3 hours (you choose). The longer it ferments the better the stretch and taste of your bread. You should see you are able to lift and stretch the dough higher each time without tearing it. Look at your dough and you should see large air bubbles forming.

Step 2: Shape and Bake

  1. Empty the dough onto a floured work surface.
  2. Grab one side of the dough and pull it over itself to the other side and repeat for all four sides.
  3. Cut the dough into 6 equal portions and gently roll into a ball and rest for 5 minutes.
  4. With each of the 6 balls, stretch them to a rectangle about 6 inches long.
  5. Fold over halfway, pinch, and then fold over again and pinch.
  6. With both palms in the middle, roll back and forth working towards the ends. Note: Try to roll the bread dough using the cloth trying not to handle the dough.
  7. Place the rolled dough onto a heavily floured cloth, cover and rest until doubled in size. When ready transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with a silicone sheet and sprinkled lightly with flour or cornmeal.
  8. Make a clean slash on top using a razor blade or very sharp knife. Spray with water and bake in a preheated oven at 450 F for 25 minutes.

Photo Guide

Stretch each ball to a rectangle 6 inches long.

Stretch each ball to a rectangle 6 inches long.

Fold over to halfway and pinch to seal

Fold over to halfway and pinch to seal

Fold over half again and pinch to seal.

Fold over half again and pinch to seal.

With both palms starting in the middle working out, roll back and forth, stretching as you go.

With both palms starting in the middle working out, roll back and forth, stretching as you go.

Place on a floured cloth, cover, and leave until doubled in size. Before baking, slash with a razor or very sharp knife, spray with water, and bake.

Place on a floured cloth, cover, and leave until doubled in size. Before baking, slash with a razor or very sharp knife, spray with water, and bake.

Baguette Baking Tips

  • Place the baguette-shaped dough in the refrigerator or top of a chest freezer for 30 minutes. The cold dough will make it easier to slash.
  • To help the baguette rise up instead of spreading, put rolled-up cloth napkins or tea towels between the breads but under the floured cloth for support.
  • For extra crispy bread, put baking sheet in the oven as it warms up on a lower shelf. When you put the dough in to bake pour about a cup of boiling water onto the baking sheet to create a steam oven effect.
crispy-baguettes