What’s the one thing that people, following a gluten free diet, miss the most? That would be the wonderful texture of BREAD. There’s nothing like the texture of bread made with all those fabulous gluten proteins. Well, that is, right up until NOW.
This Gluten Free French Baguette recipe will make you think you’re eating the real thing. Isn’t this beautiful?
And, this bread dough recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s considered a ‘straight dough method,’ which basically means that you dump all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, including the yeast, mix to combine, add water and mix until hydrated. This dough will ferment for about 30-45 minutes until it’s double in size.
And, look at this lovely baguette pan. It’s relatively inexpensive and really provides the right air flow to create the crusty exterior that’s needed for this bread.
And, now it’s time to form the dough. It’s really easy, but if you’ve never done this before, you may need to read through it a few times until you get it. This recipe makes two loaves, so once you proof the dough the first time, divide the dough in half. Roll one half to a 12″ x 8″ rectangle (or one inch in length shorter than your pan). Take a look at the picture. Take the top half of long edge of dough and fold it to the middle. Then take the bottom long edge of dough and fold it up to the middle.
Then, take the long top edge of the dough and fold in half so the top edge meets the bottom edge. Press lightly across the bottom edge of the dough with your palm to seal the dough. Now, it’s time to form it into a torpedo shape by rolling the dough gently and tapering the ends. Place on the baguette pan. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Cover and place in a warm, draft-free place to raise for 30 minutes.
You’ll be adding steam to the first 10 minutes of baking this Baguette. But, what purpose does the steam serve? Well, there’s this thing that happens with the yeast when the bread is first put in the oven. It’s called ‘oven spring.’ This is when the bread dough gets this big hit of expansion when it first hits the oven. What the steam does is keep the surface of the dough soft, which allows the bread to continue to expand and rise. The first 10 minutes is about the life of the yeast, which dies at 140F. So, once the steam has served it’s purpose, it’s time to remove the water from the oven to allow the bread to NOW form it’s hard and crusty outside during the rest of the bake.
I’ve seen several different methods of getting steam in the oven – anything from misting the inside of the oven with a spray bottle to throwing ice cubes into the bottom of the oven. The easiest way, I think, to create steam is to put a baking pan, half-filled with water, in the bottom floor of the oven and then preheat the oven. This eliminates a huge loss of heat from the oven if you were to keep the oven door open and ‘then’ fill the pan with water or choose one of the other methods.
So, place your pan of water onto the bottom floor of the cold oven and preheat to 425F. After the 30 minute rise, you need to make 3 slashes in the top of each loaf of bread. Surprisingly, I think a serrated knife works best for this. Just make quick work of it by making 3 quick slashes at an angle on top of the proofed dough. Place the dough into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes with steam.
After 10 minutes, carefully (and I mean, carefully), remove the pan of water from the oven and continue to bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes until the dough is hollow when tapped.
And, be prepared with your salted butter or good quality olive oil seasoned with an Italian seasoning blend and Parmesan cheese to eat with this warm, crusty bread, right out of the oven.
Napkins by: Dot & Army
Feature Image by: Karie Sofie Photography
Oooh! And look at that Crostini topped with Garlic-Herbed Cream Cheese with Sweety Pepp Bruschetta! Amazing…