Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Herb Garlic Baguettes

I love pretty much any kind of cooking and baking, but I've always been a little hesitant when it comes to making yeast breads, other than with a bread machine. I'm always worried that the dough was kneaded too much or little or is too sticky or too dry. Eventually I want to master making bread completely by hand, but I thought I'd get my toes wet using the KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook attachment.

Herb Garlic Baguettes
from KitchenAid Baking Companion

Makes 2 baguettes

1 package active dry yeast (or 2.25 t., if you buy yeast in bulk like I do)
1 t. sugar
1/4 c. warm water (105 to 115 F)
3.25 to 3.5 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
2 t. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 t. dried oregano
2 t. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 t. dried thyme
1 t. fresh minced garlic
1 t. salt
3/4 c. cold water
1 egg
1 t. water

Step 1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water.
Step 2. Place 3.25 c. flour, spices, garlic, and salt into bowl of electric stand mixture and attach the dough hook. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then stop and scrape the bowl. Continue mixing on low, slowly adding the yeast mixture and cold water, mixing approx. 30 secs. If the dough is sticky, add the remaining 1/4 c. flour (I didn't need to add this). Knead dough on low until dough is smooth and elastic, appoximately 3 minutes.
Step 3. Cover, let rise at room temp. until doubled in size, approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
Step 4. On a lightly floured surface, punch dough down several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 12-inch-long loaf. Place each loaf on a greased baking sheet or in a baguette pan (I used a baking sheet). With a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 shallow diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Combine the egg and water, brushing the top of each baguette with the egg/water mixture (save the remaining mixture). Cover the loaf with greased plastic wrap and let rise at room temp. until doubled in size, 1 to 1.5 hours.
Step 5. Brush the top of each baguette with the egg mixture again. Bake at 450 F for 15 to 18 minutes until a deep golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet or baguette pans and let cool on a wire rack.

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