Sunday, March 11, 2012

French Baguettes

Oh how I love bread.  Let me count the ways. . .

I miss bread terribly now that we follow the Paleo diet, but I admit that it certainly makes for a wonderful treat when we decide to veer from our diet and make homemade bread!  Emilie (my 5-year-old) has had a sore tummy this weekend and she asked for bread.  As a good Paleo-wife, I don't have any bread, but I offered to make her a loaf and she was thrilled!  In fact, she and Zach (my 3-year-old) were all-too happy to help me load up the bread maker.

I was a little tired today with the time change, so I hate to admit that I had to make this recipe 3 times!  The first time, I accidentally added too much flour and the outcome was a nasty pasty ball of wet flour!  The second time, I accidentally added the egg yolk from the recipe into the bread.  I let it go through the first cycle of the bread machine and I took it out.  However, I realized that it was actually ok once I took it out and threw it in a bowl to see if it would rise.  Then, I started my last batch of dough.  I was thrilled once I saw that my second batch actually rose after an hour and half, so I was able to make 4 baguettes today!  Oddly enough, the second batch was our favorite.  It had a beautiful, crisp crunch, but they looked mangled and nasty!  But. . . the taste was sensational!  These baguettes were heavenly and I'm anxious for some french toast with the leftovers tomorrow!

The loaf on the left is my third batch and the loaf on the right is my second batch!  Funny look, but SO yummy!

French Baguette Recipe (via All Recipes)

1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
2 egg yolks, separated
1 tablespoon water

1. Place 1 cup water, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in bread maker.  I added an egg yolk to my favorite loaf as well.  Find the menu option for dough on your bread maker and select 'Start.'
2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.  (Another option is to skip this step and just leave the dough in the bread maker for 10 minutes or until first cycle is over, then continue with step #2).  
3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

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