To make perfect baguettes at home, with a light interior and perfectly browned crust, it's essential to use a baguette pan, which cradles the dough in the bread's characteristic long, narrow shape and has perforations that help maintain the proper moisture level and air flow. This recipe was developed for Emile Henry’s ceramic baguette baker, which re-creates the conditions that you find in a traditional bread oven, so even novice bakers can turn out bakery-worthy bread.
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3 Tbs. warm water (105°F/40°C)
- 3 cups (15 oz./475 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water until dissolved. Add the flour, salt and 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) room temperature water. Stir until combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it forms a smooth, elastic ball, about 5 minutes.
Put the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until the dough is more than doubled in bulk and small bubbles appear on the surface, 3 to 4 hours. Punch the dough down to remove any air bubbles. Re-cover the bowl and set aside to rise for 1 hour more.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 3 pieces of equal size. Roll out each piece of dough into a thin cylinder slightly longer than the wells of your baguette baker. Dust the inside of each well of your baguette maker generously with flour. Transfer each dough cylinder to a well of the baguette maker. Cover the baguette baker with the lid and set aside in a warm place until the dough has increased in size by about half, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
While the bread proofs, preheat an oven to 475°F (250°C).
Using a wet pastry brush, brush the top of each baguette to moisten, making sure that the water doesn’t come between the dough and the baguette baker, which will cause the dough to stick while cooking. Using a sharp serrated knife or razor blade, make 3 or 4 deep slashes across the top of each loaf.
Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the tops of the loaves are browned and crackled, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let cool before cutting. Makes 3 baguettes.
Recipe courtesy of from Emile Henry