Crusty Baguettes

Crusty Baguettes

This is my go-to recipe when I need bread for dinner tonight.  (See “Dutch Oven Easy Bread” for an easier recipe that can be made the night before.)  I made these for Christmas gifts one year, giving a little jar of fancy olive oil and vinegar for dipping along with each one.  I use a mixture of grains for added texture and flavor, but you can easily leave any of them out and stick with just white flour if you wish.

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Crusty Baguettes
Course Bread
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2-3 cups white)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran (optional, or just use additional flour)
Course Bread
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2-3 cups white)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran (optional, or just use additional flour)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for ten minutes.
  2. Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky. Knead the dough until elastic.
  3. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each of them to form four long, thin ropes. Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf. Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf. Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. You can now bake the loaves right away (if you’re in a hurry) or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.
  5. Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice. Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside. (Alternately, you can use a baking stone. Have the stone in the oven preheating. Put the loaves on parchment paper and use the baking sheet to transfer them from the counter to the hot stone in the oven.) After the bread is in the oven, toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
  6. Serve fresh and hot with your favorite olive oil for dipping.
Recipe Notes
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