A new wave of homesteaders is seeking the simple life and the kind of true satisfaction that is built, not bought. Plowing with Pigs (New Society Publishers, 2013) by Oscar H. Will III and Karen Keb will inspire and enable you to do more with less on your homestead. In this excerpt taken from chapter 10, “Cooking from Scratch,” learn how to make this homemade baguette recipe.
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This baguette is the core of our farm-based baking business, The Local Loaf. Customers say it’s addicting. It’s unlike a traditional baguette in that it’s soft and flavorful — you can easily tear off chunks from the loaf. It’s perfect for dipping in olive oil or spreading with butter — or even on its own, thanks to the olive oil and salt we top it with. It’s also good for sandwiches, and it makes a great base for bruschetta.
To make this homemade baguette recipe, you’ll need a baguette pan, which supports the unwieldy dough and turns out consistent, professional results. Matfer blued steel pans from France are perfect. You can find them online through specialty baking sites or Amazon.
Homemade Baguette Recipe
Makes 2 baguettes
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups cool water
extra virgin olive oil and flaked Kosher salt
Combine all dry ingredients (flour through sugar) in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add the water and stir with a large rubber spatula until you have a thoroughly mixed, wet, sticky mass of dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 12–18 hours.
After 12–18 hours have passed, your dough should be dotted with bubbles and more than doubled in size. Dust a wood cutting board with bread flour, and, using your plastic dough scrapers, scrape the dough loose from the sides of the bowl and turn out the dough onto the board in one piece. Using your dough scrapers, fold the dough over and onto itself a few times to form a neat round of dough.
Kosher salt, then cover loosely with a clean cotton or linen tea towel. Let the dough rise for another 1–2 hours.
About 30 minutes before the last rise is complete, preheat the oven to 475°F.
Once the oven has reached temperature, brush some olive oil in the baguette pan, coating all the surfaces. Uncover the bread and, using your dough scrapers, cut the dough circle in half.
Separate the halves and, using the dough scrapers again, gradually work the dough to elongate each piece to about 12 inches. You may have to fold the ends under or stretch it a little with your hands to create an even baguette. Just don’t overwork it or obsess about getting the perfect shape.
Dust your hands with flour and pick up each piece and transfer it to the baguette pan, stretching it a little as you move it. Brush olive oil over the top of each baguette and sprinkle a little more Kosher salt. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Read more: Find more no-knead bread recipes in Homemade No-Knead Bread Recipes.
Excerpted with permission from Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions by Oscar H. Will III and Karen Keb and published by New Society Publishers, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Plowing with Pigs.