Homemade bread is easy!
Glorious, chewy, crusty bread is at your fingertips with these Easy Homemade Baguettes. The recipe is credited to Dan Leader’s 4-hour Baguette and I’ve done little to alter the recipe other than reducing the amount of salt and put it in my own words. Many types of bread can be made within 4 hours, so you may be wondering why this recipe is anything special. A traditional French Baguette starts with some kind of “starter” usually consisting of a partial amount of the flour, water and yeast. This starter is left to ferment for many hours and often overnight, making it a lengthy process. The benefit of using a starter is to promote more flavour and a better texture. Dan Leader’s 4-hour Baguette is a wonderful recipe because it creates a similar result in much less time.
Dan Leader does this in a couple of ways. The first being the delayed addition of the salt. The salt is added after the dough has rested and hydrated. Salt inhibits yeast growth, so by adding it at a later stage allows the yeast to develop better, creating more flavour. The second is an additional rise after folding the dough. The folding helps to stretch out the gluten strands and therefore helps to create a nice texture. The additional rise also helps with yeast development and better flavour.
Adding ice to a hot pan placed below the baking rack will ensure a lovely crust on your baguettes by allowing the dough to rise fully before a crust forms.
Food 52 calls this a genius recipe and I can see why. A few deliberate actions in the recipe saves a whole lot of time and produces wonderful results. If you love homemade bread, this recipe is a must try. Enjoy!
Author: Compelled to Cook