I am not kidding here… This is the most surprisingly easy recipe for French baguette that I have ever tried in my entire life! Now you might say that “easy” doesn’t mean “good” or “authentic” at all, but… it has been tested by the French Connection (including myself as well as the fam) here in San Diego and it was unanimously approved! Now the beauty of this super simple recipe is that there is no kneading or poolish involved! You can basically get the dough ready in the evening (in about 10 minutes), let it rise overnight and cook your bread in the morning for a delicious and typical French breakfast.
2 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour (375 grams)
1 1/2 tsp of salt (8 grams)
3 tsp of bread machine rapid rise yeast (12 grams)
1.2 cups of lukewarm water (300 ml)
In a mixing bowl, mix the yeast with a little bit of the lukewarm water to dilute it and then add the rest of the water
Add the flour and the salt and mix roughly with a wooden spoon (yep you read that right)
Cover the bowl with a cotton fabric towel and leave for about 1 hour and 1/2 until the dough has doubled in volume
Preheat the oven to 465°F (240°C) and fill the drip pan with water (the moisture released will help the crust be more crunchy during the baking process)
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured baking sheet or stone (you can line it with parchment paper), or directly into The dough will be very sticky but it is totally ok and normal. Stretch it in one long baguette, or you can separate in two or more pieces to make more baguettes (smaller ones though). Don’t work the dough too much so it doesn’t go down.
Make beveled cuts on top of each baguette with scissors or a blade (2 or 3 cuts per baguette loaf)
Place the baguettes in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes (each oven is different so cooking time may vary)
Take the baguettes out of the oven and let cool on a rack and wait about 30 minutes before cutting.
Store in a cotton fabric bag or a towel (no plastic please!). It will keep for about 2 days but I guarantee you that it will be gone way before that! You can also freeze them but do it the day you baked them and once they are cooled.