The French Baguette must be the simplest bread recipe ever.
Just 4 ingredients.
Flour. Yeast. Salt. Water.
It tastes great on its own. Or toasted with some butter. Or as bruschetta. Or with pâté. Or dipped in chicken curry. Or...
No wonder it's the most famous and most popular french bread.
260-280g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
180ml warm water
Mix everything in a bowl till a dough forms.
Then, on a lightly floured silicone mat, knead the dough till smooth and elastic, about 20 min.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl to proof for at least 1 hour or till double in size.
Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat and roll it out to a rectangle.
Starting from one of the short ends, roll the dough like a swiss roll.
Pinch all edges to seal the dough then place it seam-side down.
With a sharp knife, slash a few diagonal lines across the top of the dough.
This is what the baguette looks like at this point:
Set aside for about 30-45 min till it doubles in size, and looks like this:
Bake at 220*C for 25-30 min till the crust is golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
For first-time baguette bakers, don't worry if the baguette is hard as a rock when it's first out of the oven. That's the way it should be. Once it has completely cooled, the crust will soften slightly to a crisp, crunchy crust, just like how a baguette should be.