Tuesday, August 12

How I Make Bread

The day before I bake, I start with the following:

¼ teaspoon regular yeast (instead of rapid rise), mixed into
1 cup water; I add
2 cups flour and
1 teaspoon kosher salt (regular table salt may also work)

Mix together and let rise 6 hours in a warm place.

Refrigerate several hours (overnight, in my case)

To be able to eat at noon, I take it out of the refrigerator at 9 am, take the wet mix out of the bowl and let it rest on a floured board under an overturned bowl for an hour.

At 10 am I divide it into two, shape each one into a square, then fold the square down into a long rectangle that I shape into a baguette. During the previous two steps I try to handle it gently as to avoid puncturing bubbles.

Then I place the baguettes on the baguette mold (coated with bran) and cover them with a floured cloth to rise for a total of 1½ hours. For the first hour I leave them in a warm oven (on a rack that has unglazed quarry tiles arranged on it), and then take out the baguettes and preheat the oven to 450º.

I then bake them for 20 minutes.

Then eat!

This is a slight modification of this. While the crust is not a crisp as a real French baguette, the flavor is excellent.

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