I am so thankful God created us with a sense of SMELL, especially when there is a fresh baked French Baguette in the kitchen!
Sometimes I think the world would be a lot more “black and white” if we did not have access to a sense of smell, “coloring” the world around us. Spring is here, and with it comes the smells of this season of renewal…freshly mowed lawns, the outside air right after a good, long rain, BBQ grills being fired up once again, etc. I love it!
One of my all-time favorite smells, regardless of the season, is FRESH BAKED BREAD! Yum! There’s just nothing quite like the smell in our kitchen when a fresh loaf of homemade bread is baking…it beckons us to gather round (with the butter, of course!) and slather up a warm piece, as soon as it cools down enough to cut a slice.
I love to bake bread; I found this easy recipe on Pinterest and decided my life would be more complete if I could make learn to make these cute baguettes (ha ha!). The recipe has very few ingredients, and is super quick and easy to make. From start to finish, it only took an hour…that’s right…you heard me… you just mix everything up, let the dough rise for 30 minutes, throw it in the oven for 15 minutes…adore the aromas…and bam! Bread is done! I hope you will give it a try…it’s really quite delicious!
Recipe Source: http://www.thesisterscafe.com/2010/04/baguette-2
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1½ Tablespoons (2 pkgs.) dry active yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3-4 Tablespoons butter, melted (to brush on baguettes halfway through baking time)
- Mix the warm water, yeast and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit (for approximately 5 minutes) until bubbles form on the top (this means the yeast is alive).
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add in the yeast/water mixture. Mix this together, then knead (on a lightly floured work surface) for approximately 5 minutes, until the dough becomes a smooth ball. (You can also use a stand mixer with the dough hook for this step).
- Remove dough from bowl. Divide into 2 equal halves.
- Place dough halves on lightly floured work surface. Form each section into a baguette shape. To make your baguette shapes, do this: Roll each half of the dough into a rectangle (about 8-10 inches long); roll the rectangle up lengthwise. Pinch the end edges of the dough to seal.
- Place the baguettes on a lightly greased baking sheet, with seam side down. Cover with a dish towel; let rise for 30 minutes.
- When dough is near the end of the "rising" time, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Using a very sharp knife (a serrated knife blade works great!), gently make a slash lengthwise down the middle of each baguette.
- Pour a bit of water (about ¾ cup) onto a separate cookie sheet (with edges, of course!).
- Place the water-filled cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven (this will generate steam while baguette bakes).
- Bake the baguettes at 450 degrees for 15 minutes on the medium rack.
- Halfway through the baking time, brush the tops of the baguettes with melted butter. Bread will be golden brown when done.
- Remove baguettes to a wire rack. When slightly cooled, grab some butter, cut a big slice... and go for it! Enjoy!