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The classic French baguette can be found just about everywhere, but nothing compares to the one that comes out of your oven.
Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3½ tsp. active dry yeast (2 packages)
- 5 cups bread flour
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 cup flour and salt. Stir to combine. Add enough remaining flour to create a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top lightly with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment; dust with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each piece into a tight rope, and taper the ends slightly. Place loaves on prepared pan, dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and rise another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Using a serrated knife, make five or six angled slashes into the top of each loaf, about ½" deep. Place a pan of cold water at the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 20 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely before slicing.