Yes that title is correct: I, an amateur chef and blogger, boldly attempted to make bread, namely a baguette, and it turned out–to my surprise–pretty good. In matter of fact it made me realize that we (mostly me) are grossly overcharged for that bread at a well known-but-shall-not-be-named cafe (hint: it has the word “Bread” in its name). Heck this baguette only required four ingredients, one of which being WATER! Not even lukewarm water, just room temperature tap water.
While it was not the super amazing stuff you can find in one of those uber cool bakeries, it more than sufficed my carbohydrate craving and had all the necessary characteristics I look for in a piece of bread: chewy, crusty, and addicting. I tried it plain and with a touch a jam, but I am sure it can be perfect for any use. It is the perfect meatball marinara baguette-ish bread and is definitely a saved recipe in my book.
Speaking of which, I discovered this recipe through the YouTube mastermind Chef John of foodwishes. If you do not know who he is, you are missing out on the sassiest and most amazing man of all the food-web. The link to the recipe is here, but I will summarize for you:
1. Mix 1/4 teaspoon yeast with 1 and 1/2 cup water, 1 and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 18 oz flour until it is a moist, sticky mass.
2. Leave in a warm, dry, place to proof for 12-14 hours
3. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper and cornmeal (I did not have or use this and the baguette turned out nicely, but I highly recommend it for a even better product).Punch down dough, on a floured work surface, and shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into four pieces. Roll up each piece and shape into a baguette the size of your baking sheet. Let proof for an additional 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
4.. Place a pan or dish with water on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 550 degrees Celsius and prepare a spray bottle filled with water.
5. Place baguettes on baking sheet (s), with two per baking sheet. When the oven is done preheating either cut or slice slashes on the tops of the baguettes approximately two inches apart. Spray with water and place in the oven
6. Spay the baguettes with water after 5 minutes and then 10 minutes. Take out after 15 minutes or when a golden brown color and let cool fully. Enjoy!