Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Time-Out: French Baguettes

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Today is a multipost day!  This French baguette wasn't hard to make, and it's going to go perfectly with our romantic appetizer later in the day.  I can't say enough good things about this recipe.  Yes, it takes four hours to rise; however, the amount of time I actually spent with this dough bordered on 30 minutes.  I've never made French Baguette before, and I know it seems like I'm on a little French kick.  Maybe I am!  Paris, love, Valentine's Day, maybe that is my subconscious thought process.  But really, whenever I think of a "romantic recipe", I think of things that John and I have had whether at a fancy restaurant or at home that we really enjoy.  One of them, besides fresh bread, is the recipes I will be posting later this afternoon.  Yes, two recipes, one post, in just a few short hours!

To me, there is just nothing more "romantic" than feeding one another or having a quiet dinner that is really luxurious feeling.  And that is whatever it means to you.  A good family friend of ours, they have lobster every New Year's Eve instead of going out.  To them, that is their indulgent luxury.  I think it's important to figure out what that means to you, and, figure out how to do it in a time-saving, money-saving manner.

Of course if you don't need to save money then by all means go buy the luxurious dinner at the Top of the Hub and really go all out!  I don't have that kind of money :) so it's important to even make another day at home, feel like something special!
French Baguettes
Serves:  3 baguettes (6-8 people)
4 cups Flour
2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Dry Active Yeast
2 cups Warm Water

Combine the flour and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and half of the flour, salt mixture.  Reserve the other half.  Using your hands, or a wooden spoon, mix the yeast mixture until it forms a very wet dough.  Cover it with a cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 3 hours; it should triple in size.  Then, slowly knead in the remaining flour and salt mixture.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead constantly for 8-10 minutes until the dough is elastic.  Place in a well-oiled bowl and set aside at room temperature for another hour.  The dough will double in size.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Knead the dough again and split into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each into a baguette shape (about 12-18 inches long) and place them on a baking sheet (I put them on a large 15x15 baking sheet so they wouldn't be in danger of touching.  Wait twenty minutes.  Then, score the tops of each.  Place them in the preheated oven on the top rack.  On the bottom rack, place a large bowl of water.  Bake the baguettes for 25 minutes, remove the water bowl after 15 minutes. 

To "test" that they are done, use your hand towel and pick one up.  Thump it on the table.  It should sound like a hollow thump!  Also, I know bread recipes sound hard, and take a long time, but this bread was so delicious and the recipe calls for 4 ingredients.  These are the things that I can enjoy making because I usually have all of this stuff in the house!  No grocery trips in the cold makes this girl very happy!

Stay tuned to see how these baguettes are going to play an integral part of my appetizers!

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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