Making classic French Baguettes with your bread machine is a cinch.
Bread is so easy to make if you are around the house anyway. I have to admit -I say that because I ALWAYS let my bread machine do the kneading on the dough cycle.
Some day I will have put on my Big Girl Panties and learn to do the hand kneading. I am sure it isn't difficult but there is a knack to knowing when the dough is at the right stage, I'm sure.
This recipe will make you 2 medium size baguettes. I make them a little bit wider than the classic long, thin breads that are traditional. The skinny ones are fine for hors d'oeuvres etc but if you want a sandwich you have to make it lengthwise. You can choose the width and length you like.
This recipe has an optional step of heating a skillet on the lower rack of the oven. You add hot water to the skillet when you are putting the bread in to bake. The steam makes for a nice 'crusty' crust. You can omit this if you like but you will have a softer, whiter baguette (less traditional).
A note of caution... when you pour the hot water into the pre-heated skillet it will create a cloud of steam and some sizzling droplets. Keep your face as far away as possible and get your hands out of the oven as quickly as you can.
You will get a lovely golden brown loaf after about 25 minutes.
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsps active dry yeast
- Mix water and oil together in a separate cup.
- Mix flour, sugar, and salt together.
- Add ingredients to bread machine in order recommended by your manufacturer. Mine is liquid, dry and yeast on top.
- Set machine to dough cycle.
- When dough cycle is done remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into 2 long logs about 3 inches wide. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer dough logs to the baking sheet, cover and let rest another 60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Position a cast iron skillet on the lower rack of the oven and allow it to heat up while the oven comes to temperature.
- Microwave 1 ½ cups of water to boiling point. Slash the logs diagonally about 5 times. When you place the baking sheet in the oven pour the water into the hot skillet. Close the door quickly to contain the steam.
- Bake baguettes 24-28 minutes until they are golden brown and sound a bit hollow when tapped.
- Allow baguettes to cool completely before cutting.