yes, chunks of baguette *will* be on the menu tonight

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Same recipe and method as previously posted, only I gave it a better initial and final shaping (with a 30-minute bench rest) and let it bench proof for two hours before slashing and baking. Since it was going into my baguette pan, I used the Leap of Faith method of baking baguettes in a convection oven.

I placed a pan of water (with a clean cloth tucked in it, to create more steam) in the oven, preheated the oven to 450 degrees, put the baguette into the oven (schnell! schnell!) – then turned the oven off for 15 minutes. The oven was then allowed to resume normal arsonist activity at 450 degrees for 15 minutes (no peeking).

The Gods of Grain blessed me with this beautiful, airy loaf at the conclusion of the Leap of Faith. If my oven weren’t an arsonist, I’d be content to leave the oven on at 450 for the full 30 minutes, pulling the pan of steam facial out at the midway point.

My shaping is not perfect, but I try to emulate the King Arthur shaping video for professional bakers. I would have come closer to the ‘competition baking’ look had I shaped two baguettes, as the recipe provides for, rather than one FrankenBaguette that threatened to overtake the middle indent of my baguette pan. But I have a beautiful baguette, I also baked brioche and my house smells like a professional bakery.

That said, I’m glad to have a couple of hours downtime, before heading back into the kitchen for crunchy pork chops.

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