Monday, March 28, 2011

French Baguettes

Like most of my bread recipes, this one uses a bread machine.  Though I'm sure it would be fairly easy to adapt using normal processes for bread dough.
Notice that the recipe calls for letting the dough rise twice after coming out of the machine.  If you are in a time crunch, you can eliminate the one in step three.  The flavor and texture is better if you let it rise both times, but it will still turn out great either way.

French Baguettes

1 c. water
2 3/4 c. bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. quick active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. water

1.  Measuring carefully, place all ingredients in the bread machine pan except the egg yolk and 1 Tbsp. water in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually liquid first).
2.  Select dough/manual cycle and press start.
3.  When completed, remove dough from pan.  Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until double. 
4.  Punch down dough.  Roll dough into a 16 x 12 in rectangle on a lightly floured surface.  Cut dough crosswise in half to make two 8 x 12 pieces.  Roll up each half of dough tightly beginning at 12 inch side.   Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal.  Gently roll back and forth to taper end.
5.  Place loaves a few inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Make diagonal slashes across the top of the loaves with a sharp knife.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until double.
6.  Mix egg yolk and 1 Tbsp. water, and brush mixture over the tops of the loaves.
7.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
I made these a bit skinnier than usual.  The top loaf is already sliced. 
source:  Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook

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