Homemade French Baguettes

We are a bread loving family so trying to keep bread in the house while avoiding the supermarket is no easy task.

With time on my hands, I have tried repeatedly to make a nice loaf of bread with little to no success. But I did not give up and finally have a winner!

A ham bone in the freezer and beans in the pantry calls for a good hearty bowl of soup with a slab of warm crusty bread. Turning to the experts at Food Network I discovered a recipe with step-by-step videos. How can I go wrong?

Recipe on FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients

2 envelopes dry active yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups warm water (divided)
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
Canola oil, for greasing bowl
Cornmeal, for dusting pan
3 to 4 ice cubes

After mixing it up and putting the ball of dough into a bowl, I let it rise.

After about an hour it was ready to form into loaves, no kneading needed.

Here are the loaves shaped and ready for the second rise.

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Dough shaped and ready for second rise

Covered then left them to sit for 45 minutes, until double in size, and they are ready for the oven.

Bake in a 450 degree oven about 25 minutes. This is where the ice cubes come in. Putting the ice cubes in the preheated oven creates the steam to make the nice crust. I have heard that a pan of water will have a similar effect.

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After a few minutes, I brushed the tops with melted butter to give them a delicious shine. Pretty impressive don’t you think?

These came out amazing. While a nice crusty loaf of french bread might be better for soup, these baguettes work great for appetizers or split lengthwise for a sandwich or toasted garlic bread.

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