Tuesday, May 31, 2011

French Baguettes

We had so much fun over the weekend. We went to a movie at a Studio Movie Grill where you literally order your meal right at your seat. I got the best coconut chicken strips and a frozen hot chocolate and I have been dreaming about them both ever since! We also went to the beach for the first time this year being in Houston and Lily absolutely loved it! She was walking up and down the beach like she owned the place.  It was pretty funny.

Alright now for the recipe. I didn't do much cooking over the weekend like I thought I would, but I did make some really yummy french bread from a great recipe book that my mother-in-law introduced me to.  It's called The Food Nanny, and I just have to say that it has become one of my favorite recipe books! She has so many helpful hints like how to purchase and plan out your meals for 2 whole weeks (which I definitely still need to work on!) and she has so many great recipes that are pretty simple to throw together too!

One of my favorite recipes from her book has definitely been her French Baguette recipe.  It is so easy to make and tastes oh so good! I don't know if many of you out there are super intimidated to make bread like I was, (kinda still am) if so, I highly suggest starting out with this recipe. I felt that it was pretty easy and the results have always been very pleasing.

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. Sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp. Salt
Couple Tbsp. of melted butter for brushing on loaves

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp. of the sugar. Stir just to combine then cover for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes bubbly or foamy.

In a large mixing bowl (I use my kitchen aid for the rest) blend the flour, salt, remaining tsp of sugar, and the yeast mixture.  Gradually add water, up to the remaining 1 cup of water, and mix till the dough forms a ball that is smooth and not too sticky. (If the dough is still just a little to sticky then mix in just a little more flour. I have never had to add more flour cause I knead in a little) 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead till the dough is smooth and elastic. Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into the shape of a baguette.  Place the dough into greased dough pans (available at kitchen stores) (if you don't have bread pans then place them side by side on a silicone lined baking sheet, you will see this in my picture).  Make a shallow cut into each loaf then cover and set aside allowing the bread to raise for 30 minutes. The loaves should double in size when done raising.

Cut the dough in half
Make shallow cuts in both loaves
Preheat the oven to *450 and place a shallow pan of water on the lowest rack in the oven to create steam. (This helps the bread to have a nice crisp crust.) Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread makes a hollow sound when tapped with a knife. Halfway through baking brush melted butter over the top of each loaf. Or if you would prefer a softer crust, brush with butter when completely done baking.

(recipe source: The Food Nanny Cookbook)


  1. This is such a great and useful recipe! Your family is so cute at the beach!

  2. Muriel I LOVE the Food Nanny Cookbook! Isnt she the best! I've made so many of her recipes.
    Glad you had a great weekend! OMG, your little Lily is too cute!!! : )


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