Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Who doesn't love to eat a slice or the entire baguette? I can honestly live off of bread 🤣 no joke. I am very obsessed with bread, and for longest time I had a longing to learn how to bake these amazing breads. My biggest challenge was the baking of a baguette. Some would turn out great, while others would end up flat.😩 After multiple attempts and tweaking of the recipe, I knew I had to figure out a better technique for the baking component. Long story short..... I found the right tool to use in order to get a the right amount of steam for the beginning stages of baking. My secret weapon the wonderful cast iron pan. It is the perfect tool for achieving the amount of steam needed to bake the baguettes just right!
340g All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp instant dry yeast
Dough Recipe :
4g instant dry yeast
160g All purpose flour
500g Bread Flour
20g kosher salt
Tools: Kitchen aid mixer, cast iron pan, baking stone, baking sheets, kitchen towels, cookie sheets (the ones that do not have sides, parchment paper, razor
Additional things needed for final shaping of baguette and baking process:
Rice flour for the dusting of your kitchen towels
hot water for the steam
1) start with gathering all your ingredients and placing it in your kitchen aid mixer bowl. Mix with the paddle attachment until all of the flour is hydrated and there no dry bits of flour left. Cover the bowl with seran wrap and place a towel on top.
2) allow the poolish to ferment at room temp for about 10-16 hours. The longer you let it sit the better it gets and the more flavorful your baguette will be.
Final Dough Recipe:
1) Add the final dough ingredients to the ripe poolish. Go in the order I have given them in. This way you have your wet ingredients in the bottom and dry on top. This makes the mixing process go a lot smoother.
2) Using the dough hook and on low speed start the final mixing process.
3)When the dough has come together, you may need to adjust with the water as necessary to be able to form a good textured dough. Add only 1TBS at a time. THIS IS NOT A STICKY DOUGH, BE VERY CAUTIOUS AT THIS POINT.
4) Continue mixing on medium speed for about 4-5 min or until your dough becomes smooth and elastic. A lot of gluten has been developed at this point.
5) Take the mixer bowl off of your mixer and cover with a kitchen towel and let it bulk ferment for 2 hours. At the half point marker (1 hour mark) do a stretch and fold. You will grab each corner one at a time, stretch a bit and gently press into the center of the dough. Do not be super rough, you are not trying to deflate the dough.Cover again with the kitchen towel and let it rise for another 1 hour.
6)Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. divide the dough into 225g pieces for small baguettes (quantity 7) and 350g for a larger baguette (quantity 5). Shape each piece of dough into a moderately tight ball. Place each ball aside and cover with kitchen towel for 20 min ( this is to give the dough a chance to relax a bit ).
7)Flatten each ball and stretch it out a bit, fold the third of the dough closest to you over to middle third. Now holding the ends of the dough, stretch it out horizontally, now you take the third that farthest from you and bring it into the middle third. this closes the envelope now using the palms of your hand and fingers, roll the dough toward you (roll the dough into itself, this creates the tension needed) with each roll you are creating tension in your dough. You should end up with a cylinder shape. Continue to gently roll it back and forth to stretch it out further. Keep in mind the size of your baking stone, you do not want it longer than your baking stone.
8)Now place the baguettes onto your prepared floured towel (you should put a good amount of rice flower on your towel) with the seam side facing up. You will separate each baguette by creating folds with your towel. This way the baguettes are next to each other but they are kept separate with the towel. Place a clean kitchen towel on top of the baguette to protect them from drying out.
9) Let it rise for about 2 hours depending on the room temp.
10)1-1.5 hours before the bake, place a baking stone in middle racks your oven, make sure there is space below it for your cast iron pan to be placed as well. this is very crucial, they both need to get super hop. Preheat your oven to 500 F (260 C). also keep in mind that you will need the hot water for the baking process. I typically boil my kettle on the stove and it pretty much keeps temp (30 min before baking should good).
11)Prepare the cookie sheet with parchment paper. When ready to bake, dust more rice flour on the baguettes (on the seam), then very gently try to move them one at a time onto the prepared tray. Place them seam side down.
12) With a double edged razor start scoring each loaf down the center with a series of slightly overlapping lines.
13) Slide the baguettes with the parchment paper carefully onto the baking stone and pour a good amount of the hot water into the cast iron to create. This part really depends on you, I usually let it go longer for a darker crust.
14) When you are done with the first batch, raise the oven temp back up and let it get super hot for about 15-20 min. After 15-20 min repeat the steps above for your next batch of baguettes. I typically get done with my baking into batches.