Before our trip to Maine, No. 1 and I paid a visit to the potter, and I discovered his new bread baker. It makes baguettes, and I couldn't resist. I tried it out this past weekend, and the bread was a success. It turns out to be perfect for sandwiches or croutons or just as a snack with a thin layer of cream cheese and a slathering of pumpkin butter. The only problem I can see is that I should have bought two. The bakers are kind of small, and most bread recipes make enough for two loaves. I guess that means I have to go back to the shop. Darn it.
Here is the recipe I used:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
Pour warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over top. Stir and let rest 10 minutes. Stir in salt and flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with a tea towel in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Generously grease a loaf pan—or a beautiful piece of local pottery. Punch down dough, shape, and place in pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Slash top diagonally in two or three places and brush with egg. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Bread will make a hollow sound when tapped.
Note: this is plenty for one loaf pan, but for baguette pans, it makes two loaves.