Baguette 101

Louiie Victa
Louiie Victa
October 20, 2021
Achieving a perfectly crispy, golden brown baguette with a light, open crumbed, and moist interior typically requires a combination of simple ingredients and mastery of technique. Using the Anova Precision Oven, however, takes the guesswork out of the baking process. Its steam function makes it easy to achieve a perfect oven spring before browning and crisping the crust. Note: This dough is quite high in hydration, so you may find it wetter than doughs you’ve worked with before. This is okay and typical for a baguette recipe.
Serves
6
Prep Time
03:15
Cook Time
00:15
Baguette 101
4.33 (6)
4515
Ingredients
500 g (3 1/2 cups)
bread flour
380 g (1 2/3 cups)
lukewarm water
2.5 g (3/4 tsp)
diastatic malt powder (optional)
2 g (1/2 tsp)
instant yeast
10 g (3 1/4 tsp)
kosher salt
Steps

1. Start Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, water, malt powder (if using), and yeast until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Cover the bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. The dough should have relaxed in appearance. This step is known as autolysis.

2. Knead

Add the salt to the dough. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium- to medium-high speed (speed numbers 4 to 6) until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

3. First Rise

Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down the dough, flip over, recover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 hour.
First Rise

4. Pre-Shape and Bench Rise

Punch down the dough, then turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, press down into a rectangle with a long side facing you. Fold the two short sides inward so that they meet in the middle. Press down to seal. Starting from the top edge, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Roll on the counter a few times to seal, then let rest, seam-side down and covered with plastic, for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your schedule.
Pre-Shape and Bench Rise

5. Shape Baguettes

Again, working with one piece of dough at a time, shape the baguettes. Flip the dough cylinder so that it is seam-side up and press it into a flat rectangle to remove air bubbles. With a long side facing you, fold the top edge of the dough two-thirds of the way down the rectangle, as if you were folding a letter. Press to seal. Rotate the dough 180 degrees so the folded side is facing you and repeat the letter fold on the opposite side. Use the side of your hand to create a divot lengthwise down the middle of the dough. Bring the top edge down to the bottom edge, folding the dough in half lengthwise. Use the heel of your hand or your fingers to press and seal the seam. Turn the dough so that the seam side is down, then, starting from the center and moving outwards, gently roll the dough into a 14-inch-long snake, tapering the ends to points.

6. Final Rise

Transfer the baguettes to a baguette pan or floured tea towel. (If using a towel, push up the fabric between the baguettes to provide support for the dough.) Let rise, uncovered, until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should feel like a marshmallow when properly risen.
Final Rise

7. Preheat the Oven

While the baguettes are in their final rise, turn on the oven.
Preheat the Oven
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 475°F
Heat: Rear

8. Score

Right before baking, use a sharp paring knife or a bread lame to make three or four decisive diagonal cuts along the length of the baguettes.
Score

9. Bake

Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. (If using tea towels, you will need to carefully transfer the baguettes to a baking sheet before moving to the oven.)
Bake
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 475°F
Heat: Rear
00:05 Timer

10. Let Oven Adjust for Browning Stage

Leave the baguettes in the oven as it transitions to the dry heat browning stage. Continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, about 14 minutes.
Let Oven Adjust for Browning Stage
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 475°F
Heat: Rear
00:14 Timer

11. Cool and Serve

Let cool completely before serving with generous amounts of butter and a little sprinkle of salt.
Cool and Serve
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