French baguettes for beginners – you can do it

French Baguettes are the perfect bread to begin your bread making career. All you need is four ingredients, an oven and a bottle to spritz water. A stand mixer or food processor can make the job easier but you could absolutely do this with just a bowl and spoon.

While I social distance, I’ve been having a ball with the Live Video option on Face Book. Honestly, the first time I used it, I didn’t really know if it was recording or not. I did the whole segment thinking, I’m going to feel like such a dummy if I just stood here for 5 minutes talking to myself!

Today’s post is designed to go hand in hand with a Live Video – French Baguettes for Beginners workshop that I’m hosting on Face Book. It’ll be live at 9:30 am AST but you will be able to see it anytime once it’s over.

The photos that I’m posting here show my daughter Kaitie hand kneading hot cross bun dough. The dough looks different from the French baguette dough but the kneading technique is the same.

French baguettes for beginners l bitebymichelle.com

French baguettes for beginners l bitebymichelle.com

French baguettes for beginners l bitebymichelle.com

French baguettes for beginners l bitebymichelle.com

French Baguettes – makes 2 loaves

  • 3 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast – check expiry date
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 1/4  cups warm water

THE STEPS

  1. Place active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and allow to soften for 10 minutes.
  2. Place flour and salt in bowl of stand mixer or food processor…stir/pulse to combine. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. If using food processor, use metal blade.
  3. Add softened yeast mixture and warm water to flour mixture. Make sure to use all of the yeast mixture.
  4. Stir on low speed to blend with stand mixer. With motor running on food processor, pour all liquid through feed tube. Increase speed to medium on stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes or until  the french baguette dough has a smooth texture. This will happen more quickly in a food processor.
  5. Remove the dough and knead several times to form into a well shaped ball.
  6. Place the dough ball, seam side down, in an oiled bowl then cover with cling wrap until doubled in volume. This can take up to 3 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. Be sure to check that the plastic wrap isn’t too tight. You want to give the french baguettes lots of room to grow.
  7. Once the french baguette dough has risen, punch it down and shape into loaves.
  8. Place loaves into greased french baguettes pans or on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Allow to raise again to double in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 475*F
  10. Using a water filled spray bottle spritz oven as soon as you put them in then every 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400*F as soon as you close the oven door the first time…check at 25 minutes
  11. Loaves are done when golden and sound hollow when tapped on bottom.

THE LOVE: The most important ingredient you’ll ever need with bread making is time. You can’t rush it. Give the yeast time to work it’s magic and you will never fail.

The beautiful kitchen tools that I used in this post and live video can be found at the stunning Tuck Studio.

Stay Safe. Stay Home and Cook.

xo