Ian’s Basic Baguette Recipe

As part of our AGM and volunteer celebration, Our resident Sourdough baker, Ian, shares their recipe for making a basic baguette. Check it out:

baguettes

Basic Baguette Recipe
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s French-Style Baguettes Recipe)

 

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp instant or quick rise yeast

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together, then add water. If necessary, add extra water a few tablespoons at a time until dough forms a rough ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
2. Knead the dough for 15 minutes or until the dough forms a smooth ball. Place in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise until about double in size with a marshmallow-like puffiness, about 1.5 hours.
3. In the bowl, gently fold the dough over on itself several times, deflating it slightly. Cover again and let rise for another 1.5 hours.
4. On a lightly greased surface, cut (don’t tear) the dough into three even pieces. If uneven, simply cut off dough from largest piece and add to smaller ones. Shape into balls.
5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a cake pan or similar dish on the lower rack and fill halfway with boiling water.
6. Fold dough balls in half, then seal the open edge by pressing the heels of your palms on it. The seam will open up again, but that’s fine; you just want the ball to become elongated. Don’t press on the ends of the folded dough, just one side. Repeat three times per loaf.
7. With slightly cupped hands, roll each loaf into a sausage shape, until about 16”. For full-sized loaves, the dough will shrink back to about 15”, the length of your final product. For half-sized loaves, like those from the skill-share, you’ll end up with 7-8” loaves. For best results, ensure they are about 2.5” wide.
8. Place the remaining seam along the length of the loaf face-down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pinch the ends into tapers and tuck the seams under the loaf. You should be able to fit all three full-sized loaves on one tray.
9. Score the loaf three times for a half-sized loaf, up to five times for a full-sized loaf. With a very sharp knife or razor blade, cut one inch deep into the loaf at a forty-five degree angle.
10.  Bake for 20-25 minutes for full-sized loaves, 10-12 minutes for half-sized loaves. They will be golden brown and easy to remove from the tray. If you knock on the bottom of the loaves, they should make a hollow sound.
11.  Place baguettes on a cooling rack or, for a crispier crust, place them directly on the oven racks, turn the oven off, and allow them to cool completely in the oven.
12.  Allow the loaves to cool completely before cutting. The crust will become chewy after a couple of hours. Eat within a few days, or store in the freezer in paper bags. Storing in the fridge will dry them out.