Have you seen this recipe before? I've seen it many on many sites and I finally had to try it...and it's worth documenting this recipe here too. On one of our book signing tours some of us girls had lunch together and I ordered soup with a baguette. I've been looking for a recipe that tasted like that baguette and I've found it. These crusty baguettes are made from 5 simple ingredients and in under 45 minutes will be hot and ready to serve. Slice or just pull apart....and don't forget to pass the butter! Try dipping it in your favourite balsamic vinegar and oil.
- 2 cups very hot tap water ***There have been a number of questions regarding the 'very hot tap water, so I'll try to clarify. It's the general rule that when proofing yeast warm water is used. When I say say very hot tap water I think readers are hearing so hot you can hardly stand to touch it. I like the water for this yeast to actually have some heat rather than just warm like a baby bottle. I find that since there is little rising time the warmth of the water helps with the quick rise of the bread. I've never had my yeast fail to rise from the hotter water***
- 2 tbsp sugar, OR liquid honey heated up
- 1 tbsp yeast (not instant)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3-4 cups flour
- 3 cups ice cubes
- Before you start making the dough, pre heat your oven to 425º.
- Place hot water in a metal or glass bowl.
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Sprinkle yeast over water and let sit for 8-10 minutes to proof.
- Add 3 cups of flour and the salt to a large mixing bowl.
- Once yeast has proofed, stir it down and add to flour and salt.
- Stir well until all the flour is incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of the remaining cup of flour at a time.
- Knead dough adding flour as needed to make a soft but not sticky dough.
- On a lightly floured counter press dough into an 8"x12" rectangle.
- Cut into 4 equal parts and shape each piece into a 12" long strip.
- Take two strips and twist together forming a loaf. It will be a bit random in shape which will make for a nice looking loaf once baked. Do the same with the other two strips of dough.
- Place twisted loaves onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Allow to rise for 15-30 minutes.
- Place ice cubes in shallow metal pan and place on bottom rack of oven. Place bread in oven and close oven door quickly so that you don't let the steam from the ice escape. This steam is what will give your baguettes a perfect outer crust and soft inside.
- Bake for 15 minutes before opening oven door. Check bread and bake another 5-7 minutes until bread is nicely browned.
- Remove to cooling rack.
Option: If you want a little softer crust make and bake as above but brush loaves with an egg wash just before baking. Loaves shown were egg washed before baking. I prefer them really crusty, but if you have little ones eating they might enjoy a softer crust....but it's still has a nice crust.
NOTE: There are some similar recipes out there where they suggest you toss the ice cubes right onto the floor of your oven. I recommend that you NOT do this as it may crack your oven element. Better safe than sorry!