1/2 cup (113g) water, cool
1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 cup (120g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (255g) water, lukewarm
all of the starter
3 1/2 cups (418g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
2 teaspoons (12g) salt
- To make the starter: Mix everything together to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; overnight works well. The starter should have expanded and become bubbly.
- To make the dough: Mix and knead everything together — by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead for about 4 minutes on medium-low speed (speed 2 on a KitchenAid); the finished dough should stick a bit at the bottom of the bowl.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased medium-sized bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rest and rise for 45 minutes. Gently deflate the dough and fold its edges into the center, then turn it over in the bowl before letting it rise for an additional 45 minutes, until it's noticeably puffy.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Gently deflate it, and divide it into five equal pieces.
- Round each piece of dough into a rough ball by pulling the edges into the center. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes; or for up to 1 hour.
- Working with one piece at a time, flatten the dough slightly then fold it nearly (but not quite) in half, sealing the edges with the heel of your hand. Turn the dough around, and repeat: fold, then flatten. Repeat this whole process again; the dough should have started to elongate itself.
- With the seam side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 8" log. Your goal is a 7" baguette, so 8" allows for the slight shrinkage you'll see once you're done rolling. Taper each end of the log slightly to create the baguette's typical "pointy" end.
- Lightly grease and flour the cavities of the Emile Henry Mini Baguette Baker. Place the logs seam-side down onto the pan. Cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise until they're slightly puffy. The loaves should certainly look lighter and less dense than when you first shaped them, but won't be anywhere near doubled in bulk. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature (about 68°F).
- Using a baker's lame (a special curved blade) or a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make three to five long lengthwise slashes in each baguette.
- Put the lid on and load the baguettes into the oven.
- Bake the baguettes for 22-24 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes or until they're a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack.