I love making homemade bread!There is just something about getting your hands in the dough and kneading it to a nice, smooth consistency.
The aroma of the raw dough rising, is second only to the awakening of your senses that you experience as the bread is baking.I can't tell you how many times I've almost burnt my hand as I tore off a piece of a loaf fresh out of the oven.
One of the breads I make most often is a simple French Baguette.
My 7 year old daughter loves to help me in the kitchen, and she helped me make these.
This recipe makes 2 loaves.
You can mix the ingredients in a bread machine, on the dough cycle, in the order of the manufacturer's recommendation, if you want to.
I prefer forgoing the bread machine and making these by hand. I think my daughter does, too!
(makes 2 baguettes)
What You Need:
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting (bread flour is best, but you can easily sub all purpose)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
What You Do:
- Pour the warm water, sugar, and yeast into a small bowl. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, until it is nice and frothy.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Stir well, switching to your hands when the dough is too stiff for a wooden spoon.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (10-15 minutes), adding a bit more flour if necessary.
- Oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Flip the dough ball, cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise 45 minutes- 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough, divide it into 2 equal sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pieces of dough into a rectangle. Roll up tightly, beginning with long side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Taper ends by rolling gently back and forth. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- Place the loaves 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches. Cover, and let rise again 30-40 minutes, until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush over tops of loaves.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
- Remove & put bread on a wire rack to cool.
It does keep well wrapped in a plastic bread bag for a day or 2, but really, good luck getting it to last that long!
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