So, Saturday is the big day! I make my first official big girl move – to Nashville! My roommate is already there and just finished getting settled, and she’s sent me some photos of our [super cute] humble abode. I can’t wait to get to nesting! That’s really all that’s new and worthy-of-note in my life… except that I’ve been cooking some pretty tasty treats recently.
One of my most recent successes was this no-knead baguette recipe. It yielded 4 mini-baguettes, and they were out of control. We nommed on them with some olive oil I brought back from Paris, and the combo did not disappoint. I know bread baking sounds kind of daunting, but this recipe is super easy [I promise]. The only part that’s even the slightest bit annoying is that it takes quite a few hours for all the rising and whatnot – it’s definitely an exercise in delayed gratification. However, it’s so worth it it’s not even funny.
- 3 cups white bread flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp instant/active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cups water [cool]
- additional flour – for dusting
- olive oil
- additional kosher salt
In a mixing bowl, combine your flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and sugar. Then [slowly] pour in your H2O, using your hands to combine everything until it makes a gooey mess of goodness. Then, sprinkle your yeast over the top of the bread/water/salt/sugar concoction and work it again with your hands – only about 30 seconds:
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it sit [at room temp] for at least 10 hours, but ideally more like 24. You want it more than doubled in size by the time this first rise is complete.
When that first rise is done, dust a work surface [liberally] with flour and, using a rubber spatula – or something like it – scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl in one piece. Flatten the dough a tad and then fold it over itself 2 to 3 times. Then shape it into a flat-ish ball. Brush your “ball” with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Brush the inside of a pretty large mixing bowl [or large pot] with olive oil and place your dough-ball into it. Cover it with a dish towel, and let it rise for another 1 to 2 hours – it’s ready when it has about doubled in size. [Tip: if you poke your dough with your finger and the impression holds, it’s ready. If it springs back, let it rise some more.]
During this second rise, pre-heat the oven to 500F [about 30 minutes before the end of this rise] and oil 1 or 2 baking sheets [depending on how large they are]. When your rise is complete, remove your dough and cut it into quarters. Stretch all 4 pieces [gently] into long “baguette” shapes that are about the length of your pan(s). [Make sure there is at least 1 inch between each loaf.] Drizzle some olive oil over each loaf and top [lightly] with some salt. Now throw those babies into the oven!
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the crust is pretty and golden brown! Let them cool for a few minutes before serving. These are best served piping hot! [If you don’t eat them all the same night you bake them – it’ll be hard to do… – they might become kind of soggy. Just throw them back in the oven to (re)toast them!]
Aaaaand voilà! Look how beautiful they are! [my mouth is watering]
Recipe adapted from Jim Lahey’s No Knead Baguette recipe.