When I gave baking classes several years ago, I invited about 10 Ladies over to bake breads and baguettes. I had prepared the dough a day before, so I did my demonstration
The house smelled heavenly while baking. Afterward we all sat down and tasted the freshly baked bread with some of my homemade French Liver Pate and Cheeses.
While preparing my German Bauernbrot I also prepare the dough for my Baguette. I know that sounds a bit much, unless you are large family. Once baked, let cool, then slice or cut the Bread and Baguettes in pieces and freeze the leftovers in a tight plastic bag. It can be thawed and toasted every morning.
Plan 24 hours ahead, you would need to prepare a “Poolish” or pre-doughthat needs to rest about 18 hours or overnight.
A Pre-Dough or Poolish, which is water and flour (1 to 1), and a dash of dry yeast, gives the yeast more time for this process. The aroma of the baked goods becomes more intense, more flavors and fermentation acids develop. Pre-doughs are used for yeast growth (up to 30%), aroma development and freshness. They also improve the texture of the dough (more elastic) and the “Krume” crumb and crust properties. The bread will stay fresh longer.
Pre-dough or Poolish:
Place 1 cup lukewarm water into the jar, add 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast and stir. Drop in slowly the flour and whisk until there are no more clumps. Cover with plastic foil and let rest at least 18 hours or overnight at room temperature.
Refrigerate Poolish up to 3 days
Baking pans will give the Baguettes their perfect shape. Spray with cooking oil, or place in parchment paper, so it does not stick.
Baguette pans keep the dough in shape and form. There is a narrow and wide form. I prefer the larger Italian bread baking form for my Baguette. You can order on Amazon here!
Diastatic malt powder is the “secret ingredient” savvy bread bakers use to promote a strong rise, great texture, and lovely brown crust
Diastatic Maltimproves the “Krume”. Savvy bread bakers use it to promote a strong rise, great texture, and lovely brown crust. Just 1 tsp for 3 cups flour, and you would see and taste the difference.
The no-knead, stretch and fold method. Watch a video here:
Other optional add-ins to the Flour:
Cranberries and Walnuts
Rosemary with Olives (or Garlic). Cover with Parmesan
Add to flour and cover with Sunflower seeds
Sundried Tomatoes and garlic, and/or Rosemary
Cover with Roasted Pumpkin seeds
Add aged Parmesan cubes to the flour (my favorite)
To make Crusty Rolls, follow the recipe, let the dough rise for a couple hours, then place it in the refrigerator up to a week covered with plastic foil. Take out in portions and form the rolls or Brötchen in the morning. Make sure to mist the rolls with water, than bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes
3 cups bread flour. (King Arthur Bread flour or Pillsbury White flour)
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
Optional: 1 tsp Diastatic Malt (“Krume” enhancer from Amazon)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
18 hours, 45 minutes
Optional: Diastatic Malt powder that can be ordered on Amazon here To make crusty rolls, follow the recipe, let the dough rise for a couple hours, then place it in the refrigerator up to a week, covered with plastic foil. Take out portions and make rolls or Brötchen in the morning. Make sure to mist the rolls with water, than bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes
Pre-dough: Plan 24 hours ahead, you would need to prepare a “Poolish” or pre-dough.
Place 1 cup lukewarm water into the tall jar, add 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast and stir. Drop in slowly the flour and whisk until there are no more clumps. Cover with plastic foil and let rest at least 18 hours or overnight in a warm place.
Make sure the jar is tall enough for the dough to rise.
Baguette Dough: In a larger bowl add 1.5 cup of lukewarm water, drop pre-dough into the bowl.
Add 3 cups of flour, yeast, diastatic malt and salt on top.
Stir everything with the Danish dough whisk.
Do not knead!
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour.
Uncover the wrap and fold dough in the bowl with a spatula, outside in.
Cover with plastic and let sit for an additional hour at room temperature.
Scoop out dough, lie on board with a little flour, turn and fold several times.
Separate in 2 to 3 pieces.
Place dough down and flatten a little.
To make the dough elastic, stretch a little and fold one side 2/3rds over.
Then press the edge a little, turn and repeat about five times.
Finally roll dough into a baguette about 14″ long and 2″ thick.
Careful not to press too hard while rolling, make nice pointy edges.
Let rest 15 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 F
Place into oiled baguette baking pan (or lay out with parchment paper).
If you have one, a heated baking stone is another option.
Make several cuts across the top of the dough immediately before baking, 3 lines overlapping, 1/4 to 1/2″ thick with a very sharp knife or razor.
Placing a small pot with boiling water into the oven, mist the baguette with warm water. It will make the Baguette crusty.
Bake at 450 F for at least 30 min, or 35 to 45 min or longer if you prefer it darker, crispier.
It should be deep golden brown with a nice crust.
Let cool, store in plastic or freeze in pieces/slices. Take out as needed and toast. You’ll be surprised of the results! An easy no knead bread people will love.