Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Flat Bottomed Bread Tastes as Good as Round Bottomed

I started following someone new on Instagram based off a recommendation - The Food Nanny. While the recipes seemed doable and sound good - I couldn't stand the family who was behind the recipes. They scream into the camera explaining their recipes and how they do things, the one woman fouls up everything she tried to cook/bake, it got old really fast. I clicked the unfollow button pretty quick. One thing I did see her attempt to make was Baguettes. The recipe looked really easy and workable. No, I didn't have a baguette pan - but we could have flat bottomed bread.
I used my warm oven trick to get these loaves of bread to rise. Start the oven and get it up to 170 degrees - then turn it off and stick your covered rising dough inside with the door cracked open. This bread was SO good. It makes 2 loaves of bread but I could see halving the recipe easily and only make one. I can also see a baguette pan in my future, or at least on my Amazon wish list.

French Baguettes

2 Baguettes
1 1/2 cups warm (105-115 degrees) water, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons salt
Melted butter, for brushing on loaves (optional)
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the water, the yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir just to combine and cover with plastic wrap or a plate. Let the mixture stand about 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of heavy-duty mixer or food processor, blend the flour, salt, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the yeast mixture. Gradually add water, up to the remaining 1 cup, and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that is not too sticky to handle. (If the dough ends up too sticky, add a little more flour.) Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Cut the dough in half and shape the halves into baguettes. Grease a baguette pan or a cookie sheet and place the loaves in the pan. Score the loaves down the middle cover with a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.  Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes or until they have a hollow sound when tapped with a knife. If desired, brush the tops of the loaves with butter halfway through baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when they have finished baking.

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