Circle B Kitchen
Mr. Leader suggests that if you don't have a baking stone, you can turn a large baking sheet upside down on your rack and use that instead. I use my baking stone, but for this post I used the baking sheet method and it worked great. So no worries if you don't have a baking stone!
Any other changes I’ve made to the recipe are noted in the recipe itself. Have fun!
Oh, one more thing, some small apartment ovens don’t have a top heating element. If this is the case with yours, place your baking rack near the top of the oven which will give your bread the best chance to brown nicely. And make sure you give your oven at least 30 minutes to get up to temperature (45 minutes is even better).
1 ½ cups (12 oz.) tap water, heated to 115°
1 tsp. (⅛ oz.) active dry yeast
3 ¼ cups (14 ⅔ oz.) all–purpose flour
2 1/2 to 3 tsp. kosher salt
Canola oil, for greasing bowl (I use nonstick cooking spray)
½ cup ice cubes
(I use my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for the dough)
1. Whisk together water and yeast in a large bowl; let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add flour, and stir with a fork until dough forms and all flour is absorbed; let dough sit to allow flour to hydrate, about 20 minutes. Add salt and transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough ball to a lightly greased bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place bowl in a cold oven or draft-free place. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and shape into an 8″ x 6″ rectangle. Fold the 8″ sides toward the middle, then fold the shorter sides toward the center. Return dough, seam side down, to bowl. Cover with plastic again, and return to oven; let sit until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Remove bowl with dough from oven, and place a foil baking pan on the bottom rack of oven; position another rack above the pan, and place a baking stone or upside-down sheet pan on it.
4. Heat oven to 475°. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and cut into three equal pieces; shape each piece into a 14″ rope. Flour a sheet of parchment paper on a rimless baking sheet; place ropes, evenly spaced, on paper. Lift paper between ropes to form pleats; place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under long edges of paper, creating supports for the loaves. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let sit until it doubles in size, about 50 minutes.
5. Uncover; remove towels, and flatten paper to space out loaves. (I cut around each loaf so they can be put into the oven separately instead of on one sheet). Using a sharp razor or paring knife, slash the top of each baguette at a 30–degree angle in four spots (I only do 3), each slash should be about 4″ long. Using the corner of the parchment paper as a guide, slide the loaves, still on the parchment paper, onto the baking stone.
Place ice cubes in the foil pan (this produces steam that lets the loaves rise fully before a crust forms). (I put the ice cubes in before I put the loaves in the oven and give them a little time to create steam before baking).
Bake the baguettes until darkly browned and crisp, about 20-30 minutes; cool before slicing.