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how to make french baguettes

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total: 14 hours, 65 minutes

Servings: 3

Cost: $1.57 /serving

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

Place yeast into the bottom of a large mixing bowl and stir with water; mix in salt. Beat flour into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until dough is thick and sticky and pulls flour from the side of the bowl, 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a turned-off oven until doubled in size, 12 to 14 hours. Dough will be bubbly and very sticky.

Step 3

Place a silicone baking mat onto a baking sheet and dust generously with cornmeal.

Step 4

Use a floured spatula to scrape dough out onto a well-floured work surface and dust dough with flour. With well-floured hands, pat dough into a rectangle and cut into 4 equal-size pieces.

Step 5

Dust a piece of dough with flour and use your floured fingers to gently roll and stretch it out into a log about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches around. Gently transfer to prepared baking sheet. If desired, wipe off excess cornmeal with a damp paper towel. Repeat with another piece of dough. (Reserve remaining dough to bake later or prepare 2 baking sheets to bake all 4 at once). Dust loaves lightly with flour. Dust a large piece of plastic wrap with flour and drape plastic lightly over the baking sheet with floured side down.

Step 6

Let loaves rise, covered, until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hour.

Step 7

Move oven racks to the bottom and middle positions. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) or as high as your oven will go. Place an oven-safe baking dish full of water into bottom rack of the oven.

Step 8

Use a sharp kitchen shears to cut 4 or 5 angled slashes into the top of each loaf. Poke down the little sharp tips of dough left by the scissors. Spray loaves with water, using a spray bottle.

Step 9

Bake in the preheated oven until baguettes are browned, about 15 minutes, spraying loaves with water after 5 minutes and 10 minutes. Turn the pan around on the second spraying.

Step 10

Transfer baguettes to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing with a serrated knife.

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