Saturday, January 15, 2011

French Baguette

Ever since Ho started working from home, he has more time to stay home. Recently he started to make dinner for us sometimes too. Me and our kids are happy enough to see daddy at dinner time, now he even cooks for us! That’s too good to be true. I remember the days when we could only have dinner with him once or twice in weeknights, maybe once in the weekends, plus he had to work during the day on weekends too. I really felt like a single mom at that time. Now I have my husband back.

Tonight Auntie D is coming over for dinner. Ho took the head chef role again. He made Carrot Butter Squash soup (from the can), Smoke Salmon Pizzettes (Food Network Chef Giada recipe), beef tenderloin with crispy prosciutto (French Food At Home recipe), and Avocado Salad with self created dressing. Livie tried to help by rolling out the pizza dough with me. I turned around to do some cleaning and when I went back to the counter, this was what I saw. Thanks for helping, Livie…

Since it was late when the food was ready, we were all so hungry that the food went in our stomach before I had a chance to take pictures. I did make the effort to take picture of my French baguette though. The steam from the freshly baked bread got me so excited but the camera couldn’t catch the steam in the photo at all.

Here's the recipe.  I have added a few more steps to produce a baguette with a crunchier crust:

Homemade Crusty French Baguette (Adapted from my favourite All Recipes site)


* 1 cup water
* 2 1/2 cups bread flour
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
* 1 egg white

  1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into mixer bowl and mix for 10 mins.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with an empty cake/pie pan at bottom rack.
  5. Put shaped dough on top of pizza stone.
  6. Brush egg white over tops of loaves and slide it on centre rack.
  7. Pour 1/4 cup of hot water into the empty cake pan and close oven door quickly. (Be careful with your hand and face, the steam will rise instantly)
  8. In process of baking, once the water in cake pan is dried up, add another 1/4 cup of hot water again or simply spray water in the oven.  If you choose to spray, you may need to spray again before the bread is ready.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
I forgot to brush the dough with egg white so they look more like bread stick, but the crust was very crispy already.

You can put the completely cooled baguettes in the freezer and reheat it in the oven at 350F for 5-7 minutes.  Fresh baguette in the morning!


  1. oh my! you made baguette from scratch! how's the crust? I love crusty baguettes! Recipe please?

  2. Crust was a little thin but crunchy enough. i actually forgot to brush the dough with egg white. otherwise it should be even crunchier. will add link to recipe in post after i have posted this reply.

  3. What is the difference of quick rise yeast and active dry yeast?

    Cos i saw you using these two types of yeast in different recipes. Can either one be substituted?

  4. Hi asumi! Yes, quick rise yeast and active dry yeast can be substituted with each other. Quick rise yeast takes less time to rise and can be added to all ingredients together, including salt. Active dry yeast will give better flavour and texture to the bread, but you'll have to let it sit in warm water and a little sugar/flour for some time before adding to other ingredients. I use quick rise yeast more often now because being a working mom, I don't have much time to proof the dough. Luckily all bread recipes I followed turned out pretty well even when I used quick rise yeast. Happy baking! Thank you for visiting!