Sunday, February 14, 2010

Once upon a time there was... Baguettes!

Today, I'll be flying solo and making some delicious French baguettes. Cornelius isn't helping because - let's put this nicely - he doesn't like to wait so long to bake good bread. He'll be back later with a recipe that I am not participating in. A nice home-baked loaf of bread is one of the best things in the world. And this recipe makes 2 loaves! The recipe comes from our Good Housekeeping cookbook. It may not be as exciting as our Beer Bread, but it still is wonderful.

2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
Cal's note: I used active yeast in a jar. Just make sure you study your conversions and any yeast will work.

1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
5 cups flour (all-purpose or bread)
1 egg white

1. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. It will look like this:

2. I used a stand mixer because stirring and kneading dough is hard for a small cow, but you can do this by hand. Add 1 tbsp salt and 3 cups flour, beat until smooth. Gradually stir in 1.5 cups flour to make a soft dough.

Then, knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
Cal's tip: you can add small amounts of flour throughout this recipe in order to keep the dough from sticking.

3. Turn out onto a floured surface (if you weren't already kneading by hand) and shape it into a ball. Place it in a greased large (must be large to let the dough grow!) bowl, turning the dough to grease the top.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.

4. Keep waiting.

5. Grease two large cookie sheets. Flour your paw/hoof/hand and punch down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half.

Roll each half into an 18" by 7" rectangle (but do this one at a time unless you have a giant countertop).

6. From a long side, with hands, roll up tightly, rolling dough back and forth to taper ends.

7. Place each loaf diagonally on a baking sheet, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about an hour.

So much waiting!

8. When the bread is almost doubled, preheat the oven to 400. Cut five 1/4-inch deep diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Beat the egg white and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt and brush over the loaves.

9. Bake until well browned, 30-35 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets between racks halfway through the cooking time. Cool on wire racks.

10. Enjoy delicious bread!

Here is the nutrition info (it is based on 16 servings, 8 per loaf):

It takes a few hours with all the rising, but baking your own bread is surprisingly easy to do. Ignore your impatient pigs - it is definitely worth the time!


No comments:

Post a Comment

comments make pigs and cows happy!