Crusty Baguettes

I've neglected to share the recipe for these great baguettes, but we have been loving them all winter. Whoever thought that fresh homemade bread could be so fast!

2 cups very warm water
1 packet yeast (that's 2 1/4 tsp, if you buy it at Bulk Barn like me)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups flour

Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow 10 minutes to react.  Combine the flour and salt. After 10 the minutes has passed, pour the yeast mixture into your stand mixer (or a big bowl, if you plan to do it all by hand) Mix/stir in the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.  Knead until elastic.

Cut into four even pieces.  Roll each in to a long, thin rope.  Twist two ropes together to form each loaf.  Transfer both loaves onto a large baking sheet with Silpat/parchment paper.

Allow to rise for 15-30 minutes on top of your oven as it preheats to 425'. Put a large baking dish on the lower rack of your oven (You'll see why in a minute!)

Once the oven is heated and the dough has been left to rise, fill bowl with 3-4 cups of ice.  Open the hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes on the top rack, then toss the ice cubes in to the dish bottom rack, and quickly shut the door.  Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

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