This recipe won best baguette in Paris (that would be in France). it’s a simple recipe ingredient-wise but very fussy process-wise. I did not compete, i’m just using this recipe.
The first time out I got better French Baguettes than I can buy in the States.
Round 2 produced a French Baguette that is spectacular here in NY and could pass muster in France.
Besides the ingredients – I use King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour and Fleischmann’s yeast,
You need a cooche:
An oven that will go to 500 degrees and a Pizza stone or steel (after breaking too many stones in my life I went for a steel, it works better).
Don’t get the really heavy ones as they will probably break your oven. This one also has a ridge in the back that keeps you from pushing your food over the back.
A lame is also really nice to have
One last tip, do NOT measure ingredients, use a scale, that’s how the pro’s do it and for baking it’s essential.
and i’ve found a Silpat to be essential to dough working as well.
and this is the rolling pin i use (with training wheels).
These are links to the exact equipment I used. you’ll also need a pan with water and a rolled up dishtowel to put in the oven to make a steam bath. That’s on you. Don’t wash your dishtowels with a fabric softener.
for some reason when recipes get copied people do odd things to them. This recipe has a tiny bit of honey in it, which she claims credit for and is optional. I left it out. I like the recipe because she shows you the process in great detail. Follow the process and I recommend you leave out the honey. The goal in this is to handle the dough the least amount possible. Do NOT punch down the dough – she makes clear in the recipe that you don’t want to squeeze the gas out of it.