ingredients

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups cool water (about 78 F)
  • One .6-ounce cube compressed (fresh) yeast
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt

directions

1. Place flour into bowl of mixer with the paddle mixer. Turn on the mixer to "slow" (setting 1 on a KitchenAid) and add water. Run for about three to five minutes. Dough will be lightly sticky. Put dough on a floured board, cover with a towel, and let rest 15 minutes.
2. Flatten dough into a disk and crumble yeast over it; fold dough over on itself to mix in yeast. Change mixer to dough hook. Return dough to mixer and run for about one minute. Sprinkle on salt and knead for 7 minutes. Form into a tight ball and let rest, covered with a floured towel, for 15 minutes.
3. Turn dough over and flatten slightly. Grab dough on either side and stretch it out; fold stretched ends back to the center. Repeat with top and bottom. Work into a tight ball and put onto a floured baker's peel or floured work surface, cover with a floured towel, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled. This will take about two hours or more.
4. Turn dough out onto work surface and punch down. Divide into thirds or quarters (or halves, for boules; see below). Use a scale to ensure even quantities among the pieces so that they all bake evenly. Form into balls, cover lightly, and let rest 5 minutes. Rub flour into a large cotton towel and lay on a board or peel. Make a standing pleat at a short end of the towel and set aside.
5. To form batards, turn dough smooth side down and flatten it. Lift dough, fold into thirds, and flatten into an even rectangle. Roll and flatten two more times. Dust hands, dough, and board with flour as necessary. Put dough seam side up on work surface. Lift top edge of dough and fold it two thirds of the way down. Seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Lift, fold, and seal again. Fold top edge down to bottom edge and seal the seam. Scrape work surface and, working with one piece of dough at a time, turn the dough seam side down, cup right hand over center of dough, and place cupped left hand over right. Start rolling dough back and forth along counter, widening the space between hands as dough extends; keep hands cupped and fingertips and heels of hands touching the counter. Push dough forward with heels of hands and pull it back with fingertips. When it is about 14 inches long, press down on ends to taper them. Lift shaped dough, seam side up, onto floured towel and pull a pleat of towel up to cradle it. When pieces are shaped, fold end of towel over loaves and let rest 2 hours, or until dough has risen and barely springs back when poked.
6. Position rack in lower third of oven and line with a baking tile. Preheat oven to 425 F. Flour a baker's peel. Toss 1/2 cup water into skillet and immediately close oven door. Flip one batard onto the peel and slash 3 diagonal cuts in the top. Transfer immediately to the oven. Slash and transfer the other two batards as fast as possible. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until brown and an internal temperature of 200 F. Cool loaves at least 20 minutes before cutting.
7. To form a boule, fold dough over on itself a few times on an unfloured work surface. Work dough between hands and surface to form a smooth ball. Line a colander with a floured towel and place dough inside. Let it rise in the colander 2 hours. Position rack in lower third of oven and line with a baking tile. Place a cast-iron skillet on oven bottom. Preheat oven to 425 F. Flour a baker's peel. Toss 1/2 cup water into skillet and immediately close oven door. Roll the boule onto the floured peel and transfer to the oven. Bake 25 minutes or until brown and an internal temperature of 200 F. Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Categories

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MacGourmet downloadFrench Baguette (mixer version). To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.

source

Danielle Forestier

servings/yield

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rating