No-Knead Baguettes

Makes 2-3 15-inch loaves

This makes very good “American” baguettes. The proofing time is a little shorter than for a boule, and the technique is a little more demanding than for our No-Knead Bread, which yields a boule. But the formula is the same.

It’s very important to use a steam oven technique. In the boule method, we use a Dutch oven to provide the steam. For baguettes, you need to create something like a French steam oven and you will need a baking stone and possibly a baguette tray. Click here to see the video on YouTube to learn how to provide the steam oven. We use this method and it works very well although we do not use the lava rocks. We also use a Chicago Metallic baguette tray that will accommodate up to three loaves. There are other options, including baking on the stone, which requires you to turn the loaves halfway through. This recipe yields two or three loaves, to taste.

400 g white all purpose or bread flour

8 g salt

1 or 2 g yeast

330 ml water

1 large egg for an egg wash

  1. Weigh the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix well and add the water. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Cover and set aside in a warm room for 8 to 12. (The longer the proof, the better the flavor.)
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. With a dough scraper, divide the dough in two or three equal pieces. With floured hands, form the pieces into balls.
  4. Take one ball and flatten it, fold it onto itself and flatten again. Then, roll the dough into a  tube and stretch it out. Think about how you used to make snakes out of clay.
  5. Roll and stretch each loaf until it is about 15 inches long, smoothing them to present a regular surface. Place in the baguette pan or on parchment paper cut to size. Cover with a towel, plastic wrap or baker’s couche while rising through the next steps.
  6. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Set up the oven with your stone and steam arrangement. When the timer rings, reset it for 30 minutes or more (I use 45 minutes) and turn the oven on to 500 ° F.
  7. When the timer rings again, break the egg in a small bowl and beat. Add 1 tbsp. water to the egg and mix. (One half of the egg shell is about a tablespoon.) With a pastry brush, coat the baguettes liberally with the egg wash.
  8. take a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp razor blade and slit each loaf in four places.
  9. Finally, put the baguettes in the oven, using the steam-oven insertion method you prefer. Reduce oven temperature to 475° F (if at 6000 feet or above, leave the oven at 500° F.). Set the timer for 30 minutes and bake.
  10. When baguettes are done, remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy.

Source: Various sources on YouTube (artisanbreadwithsteve Channel and breadtechniques Channel). The formula is the same as used for our No-Knead Bread.

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