There is nothing like freshly baked home-made baguettes. Easy, delicious, crusty, soft chewy baguettes are a delight for breakfast slathered with butter or jam; also makes a great accompaniment for any meal.
A simple recipe with available ingredients at home. The dough is very sticky; lightly dust your fingers with flour and use as much flour you need to keep it from sticking but stop when it does not stick to your hands any more. Overworking the dough will make it tough. Rest the dough depending upon the warmth of your room. Baking time may vary due to oven temperature variances. Traditional baguettes are very long; however, it does not fit the size of home-ovens.
yields : 2 loaves
2 cups unbleached all purpose or bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup lukewarm whole milk or water
1 egg (lightly beaten)
25 gms melted butter
Measure flour, salt and combine together nicely in a large bowl. Now, making a well at the centre, add sugar, yeast, melted butter and egg.
Using a wooden spoon, mix to combine. Gradually, add milk or water; mix until the dough comes together to form a round ball.
Rub your hands with flour as required; begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Place it in a greased bowl, cover and proof at room temperature in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Gently punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
Divide into half; roll it into a baguette shape about 10 to 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, seam side down. Repeat with the other dough ball and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Score diagonal slashes with the help of a sharp knife and place it in a baking tray. Spray warm water all over the baguette, using a spray bottle.
In the meantime, pre-heat oven 220º C/400º F and bake the baguettes for 30 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.