Baguette Ingredients:Now, I thought I had failed miserably after the firt hour, the dough hadn't risen, and after reading about making yeast breads in the Betty Crocker cookbook, I believed that I may have killed my yeast by using water that was too hot (135-140°F). I gave the dough more time (another hour, this time in a 100°F oven) and it started to rise!
- 1 cup warm water (100F-110F)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 2¾ cups to 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tbsp melted butter + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Bit of diluted salt water for glazing the surface
- Add warm water + sugar + yeast into a bowl (large enough to hold contents; see next step); stir to dissolve; let yeast rise about 10 minutes.
- Add 2¾ cups flour + vegetable oil + salt into yeast bowl (as described in step above); stir evenly; knead dough; while kneading, if dough is still sticky soft, then add remaining flour little by little until enough (this is the purpose of the extra ¼ cup flour; the flour is added bit by bit so that the stickiness of the dough can be gauged); continue to knead the dough until it is smooth, satiny, and elastic enough. Transfer the dough ball into a container already greased with a thin layer of vegetable oil; turn the dough in the container to ensure that the entire ball is covered with a layer of oil (so the dough won’t dry out while rising); cover completely and put in a warm place for 1 hour for the dough to double in size.
- Use a fist to lightly punch the dough down, then knead the dough about 3-5 minutes; cover again to let the dough rest for 15 minutes (disregard this stage if there’s not much time, but the dough still needs to be punched down before removing it).
- Remove the dough ball; squeeze and divide into 3 parts; roll the dough into small balls and let them rest 5-10 more minutes.
- Remove the dough; thinly roll it flat then fold/roll gently into long rolls; eyeball the shape and adjust as desired => put dough onto tray and cover with dishtowel or plastic wrap; let rise for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 460F; place on the bottom rack 1 empty tray (and prepare ¾ cup of boiling water).
- When oven is almost ready, use a knife to cut slits on top of the dough => brush a thin layer of salt water on top of the dough => put tray with dough on the middle rack of the oven, then quickly pour 1 cup of boiling water into the empty tray already sitting on the bottom rack; close oven door immediately so that the steam can’t escape (by this time, the oven temperature should be as preset).
- Bake for about 18 minutes; when the surface turns golden then it’s ready. Remove the bread; immediately brush on top 1 layer of melted butter (don’t brush on too much or the bread will pucker & it won’t be crispy).
But, it looks like the damage was done, because after I baked the "bread," it was flat as a pancake! I need to try this recipe again and watch the temperature of the water more closely.