Pays Baquettes Francais
Country French Baquettes
2 envelopes dry active yeast
2 tbs. honey
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp salt
Canola oil (for greasing bowl)
Cornmeal for dusting pan
5-6 ice cubes
- Combine the honey, yeast and ½ cup warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until the yeast is activated and begins to foam – about 5 minutes.
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl with a dough hook and slowly add the yeast mixture. Gradually add 1 cup warm water and mix until dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet (you may not need all the water)).If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic – about 2-6 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a dish cloth. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size – about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baquettes by making a flat rectangle out of the dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle – like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers.. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go until it is about 12 to 14 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Fold and seal either end to round. Flip seam side down and place on a sheet pan that has been dusted with cornmeal. Score the tops of the baquettes, making deep diagonal slits ½ inch deep. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise in a warm place until they have doubled in size – about 25 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 450 degrees and position the oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. Place an oven safe pan on the bottom rack.
- When the baquettes have doubled, remove the towel and quickly and simultaneously, slide the sheet tray onto the middle rack and toss the ice cubes into the pan on the bottom rack. Quickly shut oven door so no steam escapes. Bake until baquettes are golden brown – about 15 minutes.