Depending on the taste you are looking for, the baguette can be made with the basic MASTER RECIPE
or several others, such as the EUROPEAN PEASANT BREAD MASTER RECIPE
. The steps are to flour your hands and the top of the dough in your dough pail. Then you measure off 1 1/2 pounds of dough per loaf needed. You form the dough into a ball and stretch it by pulling the top of the dough around to the bottom. You turn it 1/4 turn and repeat, all the while keeping it in a ball shape. This stretching takes under a minute. You then roll the dough out on a floured work surface to form the classic baguette shape and place it on a floured pizza peel, or in my case I use a pan made for baking baguettes which has been sprayed with oil. It rests for about 20 minutes and you preheat the oven to 450 degrees during this time. The baguette’s top surface gets brushed with water and them slashed with a knife. The bread gets transferred from the pizza peel to a pizza stone or flat sheet pan. With the baguette pan I use, I simply put the pan in the oven onto my pizza stone, no corn meal required. You immediately add 1 cup of water to a tray at the bottom of the oven to help make a crackling crisp crust. You bake it for 35 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool to room temperature. You have a wonderful golden brown baguette with great flavor and a crispy, but not too crispy crust. To learn more about this great book be sure to click on the blog links above.