Zac introduced me to this fun little version of the baguette. It is beautiful to look at but the crunchy crust and soft middle will make it one of your favorite breads. This would be a perfect partner to an artichoke dip!
2 teaspoons of yeast
1/12 cups of water
2 teaspoons buttermilk powder
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Combine yeast and warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until the yeast is activated and begins to foam. It will take about 5 minutes.
- Mix the flour, buttermilk powder and salt in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook and slowly add in the yeast mixture.
- Mix until the dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet. 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, 2 to 6 minutes.
- You can do a thumbprint test; press in the dough with your thumb and it should bounce back when it’s ready.
- Form the dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest in a warm spot, until it doubles in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baguettes by making a flat rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing, and stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go, until it’s about 12 to 14 inches long and 2 inches wide.
- Fold and seal either end to round. Flip seam side down and place on on sheet pan that has been dusted with cornmeal
- Just prior to baking, use scissors to make the cuts. Start about 2 1/2 inches from one of the ends, cutting down through the top of the loaf, and snip back toward the end at a 45 degree angle, cutting almost all the way through the dough.
- Turn the inside portion of the cut piece to either the right or left, facing the point away from the loaf. Move down another 2 1/2 inches and repeat, turning the next piece in the opposite direction, until you reach the end of the loaf.
- Cover with a dishcloth and let rise until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When your bread is ready to cook, remove the towel and slide the tray onto the middle rack, while carefully throwing ice cubes into a bowl on the bottom rack.
- The ice will create a burst of steam that will give you a crispy crust.
- Bake for about 15 minutes.