Bread Machine Baguettes

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Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours
Cooking time: 25 mins

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 2 baguettes

Ingredients

1 c water, at room temperature
2 3/4 c bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water

Method

1. Add first five ingredients to your bread machine, using the order recommended by your machine's manufacturer. In most machines, that means you'll add the liquids first, then the dry ingredients, and finish with the yeast. I always like to sprinkle the bread flour evenly over the water, creating a floating barrier so that the other dry ingredients don't slip into the liquid. I also like to dig a little well in my dry ingredients to hold the yeast.

2. Run your machines Dough/Manual cycle.

3. Grease a large mixing bowl with a small amount of vegetable oil. When your machine has completed it's Dough/Manual cycle, remove dough ball with floured hands and place in mixing bowl. Turn dough over so that both sides get greased. Cover bowl and allow to rise someplace warm for about 30 minutes.

4. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle (this does not need to be exact). Cut rectangle in half to make two 8 x 12 rectangles. Roll up the 12 inch side of each rectangle to create your baguette shape. Pinch the seam closed and taper the ends.

5. Place your shaped loaves on a greased cookie sheet. With a paring knife, make diagonal cuts on the top of the loaves, one every 3 inches or so. Cover baguettes and allow to rise someplace warm for about 30 minutes, or until doubled.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg yolk and tablespoon water. Brush egg mixture over baguettes. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack at least 12 hours, or overnight. Baguettes are ready when they've developed a nice, hard crust.

Source: Betty Crocker Best Bread Machine Cookbook

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