Hey Bakers! You have been doing awesome! It totally makes my day when I see your photos of your delicious breads! You’re naturals. I mean it. If you haven’t been baking as much as you meant to this month, it’s not too late! Remember, I’m accepting any and all entries all month. So, you can still bake the overnight bread, or the 1 hour dinner rolls or bake them again and it will count as another entry! This week, we raised the bar on you, but I think you’ll do great.
This week we’re baking French Baguettes! I knew this would be a tough feat to tackle alone, so I joined forces with my cousin from ParisienneFarmgirl.com. She has had (many) baguettes in Paris and I knew she’d be able to help us out and share some charming stories along the way. So, I packed my littles up, braved the cold and headed out to Half-Way Farm where Angela, her husband and their five children live in a lovely and downright charming french inspired farm house. If you’ve done the math, that means we had seven kids there while we shot this video! So, you can see why the last clip features us with homemade lattes in hand and babies on the hip. A huge thank you to Angela and her family for helping us out with our bread baking challenge this week and for taking these perfect pictures! We had a blast and our bread turned out gorgeous!
I could go on and on about Angela, but you have to check her out for yourself. She has a cookbook coming out summer of 2015 called Today In the Kitchen with Parisienne Farmgirl and she shared a Chèvre and Dried Fruit Spread recipe from it for us to pair with our bread. Her whole blog is like eye candy. You can actually taste and smell her photography. Check it out.
We have different options for you to make beautiful foolproof french baguettes in your own home! You can either use our overnight bread recipe from week one and make three lovely and crusty baguettes or you can use the recipe at the bottom of this post and make four within a few hours! It’s all about the shaping, slashing, and baking techniques we talk about in the video. You can use a regular sheet pan but CLICK HERE to see the awesome bread pan Angela has that cut our baking time down and made a perfectly shaped baguette! I can’t wait to see yours. They are going to be so beautiful.
Remember to share this post to your page to challenge your friends to join you and tag a photo of your bread with #DearDarlaBakingChallenge to be entered into my giveaway at the end of the month! Be sure to follow me on Facebook for sneak peaks of what will be in it!
Happy baking Loves!
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 2/3 Tbs yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- cornmeal or semolina for dusting
- Combine the honey, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until the yeast is activated and begins to foam and make a little sponge…about 5 minutes
- Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook and slowly add in the yeast mixture. Gradually add an additional 1 cup warm water and mix until the dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet (you may not need all of the water). If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 2 to 6 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn't dry out. Let rest in a warm environment until doubled in size, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baguettes by making a flat rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go, until it's about 12 to 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
- Shape each end into a point. Flip seam-side down and place on a sheet pan or baguette pan that has been dusted with cornmeal. Score the tops of the loaves, making 3 deep diagonal slits 1/2-inch deep, cover with a dishcloth and let rise in a warm environment until they have doubled in size, 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and position your oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. Place an oven-safe (non-glass) bowl or pan on the bottom rack.
- When your bread has risen for the second time, remove the towel and quickly and simultaneously, slide the sheet tray with the baguettes onto the middle rack while carefully throwing the ice water into the bowl on the bottom rack. The ice water will create a burst of steam that will give you a nice crispy crust. Quickly shut the oven door so no steam escapes. Bake the baguettes until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Cook's Note: If you have a glass window on your oven, place a towel over it when throwing the ice in, hot glass can shatter if ice touches it.