This is a terrific baguette recipe! I'm not going to fool you though, it does not taste like an authentic French baguette, the crust is just not crunchy enough, but it is delicious bread! Really it tastes like a big old Wetzel pretzel stick with a buttery crust. Oh man it's good! I just got a new pan to bake French bread in (this is the pan) so I hope next time I make this recipe I'll be able to get a tad more crunch to the crust, but believe me you can make it just as the recipe appears and you won't be disappointed. Oh and did I mention all you need is 1 hour to make this bread from start to finish?! Seriously. I think that is fantastic. I got the recipe from The Sisters' Cafe - that blog is full of awesome recipes!
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 rounded tablespoons SAF yeast
1 1/2 cups hot tap water
melted butter for brushing tops of bread
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook combine bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix for a second just to distribute dry ingredients evenly. Add hot water and mix on low for a minute. Mix on a higher speed for 5 minutes. Remove dough and knead into a smooth ball. Cut in half and shape into 2 baguettes. To shape baguettes roll out each half of dough into a rectangle then roll up and pinch the ends and edges to seal. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet with seams side down. Slash the tops with a sharp knife either down the center or small slashes at an angle down the length of the loaves. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.*
Pour an inch or so of water into a 9x13 baking dish and place on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat oven to 425 (the water is for steaming the loaves to create a good crust). Bake the bread for 15 minutes. When bread is done remove from oven and brush with melted butter.
*I let my loaves rise in a warm oven. I preheat the oven to 170, turn it off and then put the bread in to rise with the door to the oven left open a crack.