When I found my grandma’s baguette pans and recipe several years ago I decided I’d make a go at making them. After all who doesn’t love a hot baguette right out of the oven? My husband has many fond memories of buying fresh, hot baguettes for lunch in France and devouring it while riding home on his bike. Baguettes are made with basic ingredients and go alongside just about everything. You can freeze what you don’t eat and reheat for another meal. You can bake this bread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) or use a round casserole dish (with ¼ inch of corn meal on bottom) or in baguette pans found at any baking store.
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast or 1 package
2 ½ cups warm water
6 –7 cups flour
In large bowl stir sugar, salt, yeast and water until dissolved. Stir in 5 cups flour, until more or less mixed. Add one more cup of flour and mix. Dough will be a sticky, gooey dough. Pour out onto floured surface. Take last cup of flour and knead into dough over the next ten minutes. After 10 minutes of kneading you will have a beautiful dough. Grease the bowl with shortening and place dough ball in bowl and roll around to cover with shortening, to prevent dough from drying out. Cover bowl with wet dish cloth and let rise 1 ½ hours, or until almost doubled in bulk. Punch down and grease bread pans well with shortening. Pour dough out onto clean surface, no flour needed, with knife slice off 4 equal pieces of dough. Roll dough into long equal ropes, 1 inch shorter than length of bread pan. Lay in bread pans or on greased baking sheets sprinkled with corn meal. ( You can also bake the dough in two round covered casserole dishes, greased and dusted with a ¼ inch layer of corn meal on the bottom of dish.) Make three slashes across tops of bread. Lightly beat 1 egg white and brush dough with egg white over entire surface. Allow to rise until doubled in a cooler location. Make three 1/8 inch slashes across bread and bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pans and allow to cool. Freeze any uneaten bread in foil. Reheat bread still wrapped in foil in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.