How to Make Baguettes
Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, baguettes are the perfect addition to your meal. Follow these three steps and learn how easy they are to make.
A high baking temperature, a high ratio of water to solids, and allowing the mixture of flour, yeast, and water to rest 15 minutes (a process called autolyse) produce the baguette's airy interior and crunchy crust. Autolyse allows the flour to absorb water so the dough is less sticky when you knead it, which helps keep the texture light. Don't add too much flour when kneading and shaping the dough.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each on a floured surface into a 12-inch rope with slightly tapered ends.
Place the ropes on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat the dough with cooking spray. Cover, and let rise until the dough has doubled in size.
Uncover the dough, and cut 3 (1/4-inch deep) diagonal slits across top of each loaf. Bake until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped.