My guys love French bread. If we get a loaf at the bakery, half of it is gone before dinner. Since I knew it would be a crowd pleaser, I have been looking at lots of recipes for classic French baguettes, trying to decide which one to try first. I decided to go with this recipe from Baker Bettie and it was a great success.
I learned a couple of things along the way as well:
1. Don't rush the process: You definitely want to let the poolish sit overnight. It made for a very delicious bread.
2. I easily adapted this recipe to use my new baguette pan and made 4 smaller loaves instead of two large ones.
3. Since French bread doesn't have any fat, it needs to be wet. As a result, it can get stuck in the holes of a pan like this so you will want to use parchment paper as well.
4. For shaping the loaves I used a baker's couche which made me feel very professional, and did a great job of letting the loaves expand but keep their shape.
5. I have just been using a sharp paring knife to score my loaves, but after seeing some of the beautiful designs that people are making on their loaves with the proper tools, I decided to step it up. I purchased this baker's lame tool and it worked great.
6. One last thing - I only needed to cook these loaves for 20 minutes and they were perfect.
I encourage you to try this one - it was an easy process and a crowd pleaser. Let me know how it goes!
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.