Sunday, January 28, 2007

Whole Wheat Baguettes

There's nothing like fresh crusty bread to go with dinner. I altered a recipe I found on AOL to make whole wheat baguettes. The nice thing about this recipe is you can take a few minutes in the morning to make and shape the dough, and then forget about it in the fridge until right before dinner. Just 20 minutes in the oven and its done! I'm sure you could use all all-purpose flour if you don't have whole wheat flour on hand.

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1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 Cup whole wheat flour
2½­ to 3 Cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp butter (cut into pieces)
1¾ Cups water
olive oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Optional Topping: sea salt, garlic salt, sesame seeds

- In a large bowl (or KitchenAid mixer) combine sugar, salt, yeast, whole wheat flour, and 1 cup of the all purpose flour.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat 1¾ cup water and butter. Heat for 30 seconds.
- Gradually mix liquid into dry ingredients until just blended.
- Slowly beat in all purpose flour until you have a sticky dough (approx 1¾ cups)
- Turn dough onto well floured surface & knead until smooth/elastic ~ add flour as needed.

- Cut dough in half. Place dough balls into oiled bowls and cover lightly. Let rest for at least 20 minutes.
- On floured surface, roll each half into a 15 inch by 10 inch rectangle. Tightly roll dough into a log and pinch seam to seal. Place loaves, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet and taper the ends. Brush loaves with olive oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425°. While the oven is heating, remove loaves from fridge, uncover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut 4 diagonal slashes on top of each loaf and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove loaves from oven and brush egg white on top of loaves and put back in over for 5 more minutes. (Optional Topping: Before baking, after you brush loaves with egg, sprinkle with garlic salt, sesame seeds, sea salt, etc, etc)

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