This is actually one of the recipes I was asked for.
I am baking this kind of bread pretty often, it is just great having hot, fresh bread e.g. on lazy sundays and it is not much work. It takes a bit of time, mostly waiting for the dough to grow, but you will not regret it! If possible eat it still hot, maybe with a bit of butter or some seasoned olive oil as a dip. You should finish it at the same day though.
I usually do 3 or 4 baguettes, as it is the same amount of work and you could easily put the bread into the freezer. Just multiply the ingredients respectively. Hope you enjoy!
Recipe for 1 Baguette (french bread)
250g flour (wheat)
160 ml warm Water
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stuffing ideas (optional):
„Herbs and Garlic“
1 tablespoon herbs, e.g. basil, thyme, rosmary
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil - preferably the one the tomatoes were pickled in
„Bacon and Onion“
4-5 slices of bacon (fried and crumbled)
1/2 onion, fried
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm (not hot) water. Add the water/yeast mixture to the flour and mix it with a wooden spoon or your hands until no flour is visible anymore. The dough is a bit sticky now. That’s how it should be, it must not be too liquid though - add some flour in that case. Shape the dough into a kind of a ball, put it back into the bowl, spread a bit flour on it and cover the bowl with a towel. Let it grow for 1/2 hour in a warm place.
Then spread some flour on your countertop and put the dough on it. Also spread a bit of flour on the upside of the dough, so that your hands wouldn't stick to it. Press the dough gently into a small and thick rectangle and fold all 4 edges to the middle, overlapping one another.
Turn the ball around, put some flour on it and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for another 1/2 hour.
Fold and rest the dough like that 3 times in total.
Then put the dough back on the floured countertop and create a small, thick rectangle.
At this point you can stuff the baguette, e.g. with herbs, garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil. If you want to do so, spread the mixture thinly on the rectangle now leaving 1-2cm around the edges. Don’t use too much stuffing, especially oil, it will just come out and make a mess when rolling up the dough.
Roll up the dough, press the edges together and form a baguette.
Turn the baguette, so that it lays on the edges you pressed together. Cut the upside of the baguette several times diagonally with a sharp knife about 1/2 cm deep. Put the baguette on a baking tray with baking paper.
Cover the bread again with a towel and let it grow for at least 1/2 hour more. This one is really important, don't get impatient now :-) It needs to double its size, before you put it into the oven, otherwise its just turning hard.
Now spread a bit of water on the upside of the baguette to get a nice crust.
Put it into the oven for around 20 minutes at 240°C placing a bowl of water below the baguette.
The bread is ready, when it starts to smell deliciously (yes, really! That’s the best indicator :-)) and the dough is caramel brown on both sides.
My experience with a canadian oven lately was, that you could only use heat from below OR from above, not both at the same time. The baguette does not get brown like that. So after 20 minutes I turned on the heat from above (grill) and put it in for another 3 minutes each side. Careful as it gets burned quickly.
I hope, this was somehow understandable... :-D
Let me know how you liked it!!!