I was pretty impressed with myself at how well these baguettes turned out. Aren’t they so cute? They look like something you would see at a bakery and are perfect for sandwiches. These are fairly simple to make (especially because you don’t have to knead the dough), but there is a 12-18 hour rise time, so plan accordingly. Since there is a long rise time, I mixed everything at night before I went to bed, let it rise overnight, and baked them the following afternoon.
The recipe is from the book, My Bread, by Jim Lahey.
Ingredients: (Makes 4 baguettes)
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp sugar
¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups cold water
extra virgin olive oil, for greasing the baking sheet and coating the bread surface
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, stir the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Add the water and give it a quick mix until the dough just comes together. It will be pretty sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size and the surface is bubbly–about 12-18 hours.
Dust your counter with flour and remove the dough from the bowl. Fold it over a few times to help shape it into a flattened ball. Brush it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay a tea towel down on your counter and dust it with flour, then place the dough on the towel. Loosely fold the towel over the dough and let it rise for another 2 hours, or until it doubles in size. (Tip: if you poke the dough with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise another 15 minutes.)
Toward the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 500° and grease a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and stretch them out to the length of the baking sheet. Place all 4 baguettes on the baking sheet with an inch or so between each one. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the curst is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.