One of my favorite books is Will Clower’s The Fat Fallacy. It is smart, and makes sense, and has some really incredible (and incredible easy) recipes. One of my favorites is this super simple recipe for baguettes, which I make a few times a week. Kiddo cannot get enough of them! He likes them plain in his school lunches. I like them hot out of the oven with butter. The Yankee likes them with whatever we’re having for supper.
Peanut likes to throw them like lawn darts. Three out of four ain’t bad.
One of my favorite bread tips also came from this book: if the bread is stale or not as soft as you like (Kiddo likes it SUPER soft), just run your hands under water and then over the bread, or spritz the bread with a water-filled spray bottle, then reheat in the oven or toaster oven. Magically you have soft, warm bread, even if it’s days old.
If it’s really past it’s prime? Cut into squares and bake into croûtons, or use for French toast. But really, the chances of it hanging around to get past its prime are slim. It’s really, really good.
I make these often enough that I bought this perforated pan but you certainly don’t have to; a regular cookie sheet is fine.
- 1 teaspoon instant (bread machine) yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Mix together all ingredients until a slightly sticky dough forms (I don't proof my yeast, but you can if you want, or if you're using non-instant yeast)
- Knead the dough for about ten minutes by hand, about 1-2 minutes in a food processor or mixer, or throw it all in a bread machine and let it work its magic -- you're looking for smooth dough by the time you're done kneading
- Let the dough rise in a covered bowl until it's doubled in volume (about an hour), then deflate and form into loaves. Dr. Clower gets two long, skinny loaves out of this; I make shorter ones that are easier to pack for lunch
- Cover the loaves and let them rise another hour or so, while the oven preheats to 400F
- When you're ready to bake, spritz or sprinkle the loaves with water -- better yet, do that AND put an oven-safe pan full of hot water in the oven to steam the bread as it bakes, and make some slashes across the top so the bread can expand as it bakes
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bread is as brown as you like. Cool at least ten minutes, then dig in!
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