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Crusty Baguettes By King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Artisan Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Instructions

1. Stir together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Gently knead everything together for 1 to 2 minutes to make a slightly sticky, rough dough.

2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rest for 2 hours, folding the dough over on itself several times after the first hour, and then after the second hour; this will deflate the dough, redistributing the yeast and oxygen.

3. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate the dough overnight.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, divide it into three pieces, and shape each piece into a 10" x 4" oval.

5. Fold each oval in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten slightly, then fold and seal from the opposite side. Gently roll each piece of dough, seam-side down, into a 13" log.

6. Generously grease the wells of an Emile Henry stoneware baguette baker, and sprinkle them with cornmeal or semolina, for best release. Place the logs, seam-side down, into the prepared baker.

7. Cover the baker with the lid, and let the baguettes rise until very puffy, about 90 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Just before baking, remove the lid of the baker, slash the tops of the baguettes several times, and spritz with water. Return the lid to the baker.

9. Bake the baguettes for 20 minutes. Remove the lid of the baker, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until deep golden brown.

10. Turn the baguettes out onto a rack to cool. 11. Yield: three 14" baguettes.