Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baking French Baguettes with My Son


My 13 year old son wanted to bake French baguettes for a French project this week, so I told him to search the internet for a recipe and we would do the project together.  My daughter, unfortunately, does not have my passion for cooking and baking , but my youngest son has always been a helper to me in the kitchen, so it didn't surprise me at his choice for a school project and I am happy to at least have one kid to teach a bit of what I know in the kitchen!   I browsed the King Arthur Flour website for a recipe ( I have never been disappointed by any of the bread recipes I have made from that site...and in fact, think their flour is the BEST flour available and is what I used when we made this bread!)  but most of the recipes for baguettes at King Arthur required making a starter, and we just didn't have time for that.    Fortunately my son found a very easy recipe at Allrecipes that we decided we would try.  Although I have made many breads, I have to admit, I have never made a french baguette before.  You can find the recipe we used HERE.  I am not going to recopy it, as we followed the ingredients as written, although we didn't use a bread machine or bread machine yeast ( which is instant yeast...we used dry active yeast and I used about 2 tsp. worth) and I used my stand mixer with a dough hook instead of the bread machine to mix.  You can also find some nutritional information for the bread with the original recipe.  I do have to say, the crusts did not get very crunchy, but the bread was still very delicious!


We started off by proofing our yeast with the water and the sugar.  Nice and puffy!


He carefully measured out the King Arthur Bread Flour...but I will be honest, I prefer to weigh the flour for yeast breads vs. measuring it, but I didn't have volume conversions so we just measured. ( and no, they didn't send me any free product...but I wouldn't be upset if they did!!!) 


After combining the flour and the salt, he slowly added the yeast mixture... 


And then let the dough hook do it's thing, until the dough was smooth and elastic. 


Once the machine was done kneading it, he took it out and kneaded it by hand for a few minutes.


Then popped it into a greased bowl to rise.  ( You see two balls of dough there because we made the recipe twice to get 4 baguettes...the bigger dough ball is the one we made first...it has already begun to rise! )   We let the dough balls rise for about an hour to an hour in a half in the covered bowl....


And then punched them down.


Shaped each dough ball into a rectangle and then cut it in half.


And he begun shaping each half into a baguette.


And placed them on the prepared pans...


Where he made slits and then covered in plastic wrap to rise for another 30 minutes.


( I need to get another silpat for my pan! )

(This picture totally reminds me of how much my kitchen needs an update! Yikes! )

Yes, he was pretty proud of his baguettes!  They tasted awesome and today....


I made a really tasty veggie sandwich for myself for lunch on the bread we made!  ( no, he didn't take them all to school today...we kept two at home!  :)   I put 1 oz. of hummus on my homemade bread and topped it with sliced cukes, shredded carrots, roasted red peppers, red onion, tomato slices, and lettuce.  YUM!


The hummus I buy is 1p+ for 1 oz.!!!!!  and it has natural ingredients and tastes great!  I took 4p+ for the size bread I had and 1 p+ for the hummus...all the veggies on the sandwich were 0 for a total of 5p+ for a very nice sandwich.

( UPDATE!  I just plugged in the ingredients into Recipe Builder, and if you cut each baguette into 5 - 6 pieces, it is 3p+ per piece!   Those are pretty generous sized pieces too!  and it looks like my sandwich might be more like 4p+ for the entire thing, instead of 5p+.  LOVE IT! )

I know this post is a little different from what I normally post, but it was so fun making the bread with my son.  If you have kids ( or if you don't ) try this bread recipe....it uses just a few ingredients and makes some really tasty bread!

This post is being shared with Saturday Swap @ Quit Eating Out

12 comments:

  1. I think it's so awesome you spend time in the kitchen with your son!!! The baguettes look delicious :) I love bread...(a little too much)

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  2. The greatest part was spending time with your son baking. I love hummus too but don't always remember to pick any up. That bread/sandwich looks yummy. Hope he gets a good grade.

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  3. that looks easy peasy! I should try that next time we need bread. think it would freeze ok? And the nutrition didn't seem too bad!

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  4. @ Donnie and Grace...yes, spending time together is so precious...they grow up too fast!

    @ Melissa...yes, it would freeze perfectly and it is very easy to make too! I didn't plug it into the recipe builder to get an exact point amount...maybe I will do that and update the post! But yes, no fat in the bread...so that helps.

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  5. LOVE this post and the great pics! Your son is a cutie already and it looks like he had fun, too. What nice memories you are creating with him :)

    French Baguette is my absolute favorite bread so this had me DROOLING! That sandwich looks delicious!

    Great find on the hummus. I picked some up the other day in the store, read the nutritional information and set it back down, lol. Thanks for sharing.

    PS - I SO want a KitchenAid stand mixer...

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  6. This makes me SO excited...I really hope my peanut loves to cook (you know...once shes old enough to actually stand/walk and be in the kitchen ;)). Your son is adorable and looks very proud of his bread (and he should be!) Now thats a fun school project!

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  7. Hi Renee, I LOVE this post, and that your son wanted to bake bread for his project!!! Have a great day!

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  8. It's so great you're able to spend time with your son this way!

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  9. Your son is so cute :) This is a much simpler recipe for french bread then others I've seen...save!

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  10. I just found your blog and this recipe looks so good! I am going to add this to my list of things to make! I have a little blog I would love you to check out! cupcakeswithsprinkles.blogspot.com

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  11. How fun! I love that my kids enjoy cooking with me, and I'm glad that your son enjoys spending time in the kitchen with you!

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  12. They look awesome! I have a post with my son Christopher when he was cooking with me one day too. :) Great memories.

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