I am happy to report that my studying is going well. I got sick last week and fell behind a little. It really threw me into a panic, and when I panic, I eat! I made this fabulous recipe to physically subdue my panic and called my Bar coach to quell my fears. By the end of it, I was back on track and stuffed:]
This recipe yields 2 baguettes. The baguettes have a wonderfully crisp crust and soft center. The crust is more crisp and the flavor is more rich than an American baguette. I adore this recipe because each baguette is enough for John and I to have with dinner, and not have too much left over (or any at all, depending on how little restraint I show). I like to make one baguette and save 1/2 the dough for later in the week, which is perfect because I HATE stale bread. Stale bread and soggy pasta are a hell on earth I would never willingly endure.
1 packet active yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup hot water
olive oil on hand
butter the parchment paper you line your baking sheet with
egg bath (1 egg white whisked with a splash of cold water)
Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a medium sized bowl. Make a well in the center and add your lukewarm water. Mix with a spoon, until you have a solid mass. Then, mix with your hand (pretty much kneading in the bowl) for around 20 minutes. I enjoy watching tv while doing this. After that, grease a large bowl with olive oil and place your dough in the bowl. Coat the top of your dough with olive oil and loosely place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl. Then, place a clean dish towel over the bowl and sit in a dark place for 2 hours. After the 2 hours, your dough will have risen a good bit. Smush the dough down in the middle and pull the sides into the middle. You are getting the excess air out of the dough. Next, cut the dough in half. I only use 1/2, you can put the other 1/2 in the fridge, or make it immediately. Take 1/2 the dough and roll it away from you, on a floured countertop, forming the baguette. Once your baguette is formed, sprinkle a couple paper towels with flour and cover the baguette. Put the baguette on your lined baking sheet, and cover the paper towels with your clean dish towel. Let the baguette rise again for around 40 minutes. When you are ready to bake, put a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven (if you don’t have one, don’t worry) and a pan with 1 hot cup of water in it on the bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 400°. Once the oven is preheated, score your dough and put your baking sheet onto the middle rack. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn your oven down to 350. After 25 minutes, brush your baguette with your egg bath. I couldn’t find my brush, so I used paper towels to do this. The uneven surface left streaks on the final product, but was better than nothing. Bake for 5-10 more minutes and remove.