I am re-posting this recipe because it is not as visible in the last post and because it is a great and simple bread.
(courtesy of Julia Child’s male counterpart, James Beard. The manly man’s chef.)
A simple recipe, easy to make and probably the best baguette recipe out there for a conventional home oven.
My dear friend June Ivey told me about this recipe. She came here to work at the Vienna Christian School after retiring from a full career teaching gifted students in Philadelphia. She also left behind her James Beard cookbook! Thank you June!
DO NOT PRE-HEAT your oven. Starting this bread in a cold oven is what makes the crust so good.
1 package dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/4 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 to 7 cups flour (about a kilo)
Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the salt and sugar, stirring thoroughly. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating it in with a wooden spoon. Or use dough hooks on an electric mixer at low speed. Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough.
When the dough is thoroughly mixed, shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl and grease the top. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place (80 -85 degrees) until double in size. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and shape into 2 long loaves or two round loaves.
Put them on a lined baking sheet or generously sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet and allow to rise 5 minutes. Slash the top of the loaves with a very sharp knife in 3 -5 places. Brush the loaves all over with water.
Place in a cold oven with a pan of boiling hot water on the bottom shelf. Bake for about 45 minutes at 200༠ C. or until golden brown and the crust is crispy.