Don’t settle for store-bought baguettes when you can indulge in the freshness of homemade (contributed by Nancy).
Of all the pleasures in this world, what can beat freshly baked bread? Crispy gold exterior and soft on the inside, pair it with cheese, butter, soup, or enjoy it all on its own.
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water, 105º-115º F
3 cups all-purpose flour; reserve 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very cold water
In small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water.
Set aside about 10 minutes, or until dissolved.
In work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, combine flour and salt.
Start processor and add yeast mixture.
Add cold water in a slow, steady stream as quickly as the flour absorbs it; this should take about 20-25 seconds.
Continue processing until dough forms a ball, then for 60 seconds longer to knead dough.
Sprinkle inside of a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag with the 2 teaspoons of reserved flour.
Remove dough from work bowl and shape it into a smooth ball.
Place dough in prepared bag; squeeze out air and close the top; leaving space for dough to rise.
Place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Release seal on bag and punch down dough in bag.
Remove dough and shape into a 24” long slender loaf with tapered ends.
Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Place loaf on sheet and cut several diagonal 1/2” slashes across top of loaf.
Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and drape sprayed side loosely over loaf.
Set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Bake for 20 minutes until well browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.
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Talk to your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes and if these recipes are healthy choices for you.