Easy French Baguettes


This recipe calls for an unusual ingredient: ice cubes! Placing ice cubes in the oven with the bread creates steam which results in an perfectly crusty bread! These baguettes are perfectly soft and moist inside a crusty shell. Ready in about an hour and a half!

2 envelopes dry active yeast (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
3 or 4 ice cubes (I usually do a handful)
Combine sugar, yeast, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large glass bowl. Let it stand until the yeast activates (foams). This will take about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Use a fork (or mixer with dough hook) to mix. Slowly add in 1 cup of water and keep stirring until the dough is just moistened. If it is too sticky to handle, add a little flour. Knead dough until smooth. Press your thumb into dough and it should bounce back. This can take anywhere between 2-6 minutes. Form dough into ball and place in greased bowl. Cover with towel and let rise in warm environment for 25-30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape into baguettes by making a rough rectangle with your dough and fold the top and bottom towards the middle like an envelope. Seal the seams, and stretch the dough lengthwise as you go along. It should be about 12 to 14 inches long and 2 inches wide. Flip seam side down and score tops with slits about 1/2 inch deep. Cover loaves with cloth and let rise until double in size, about 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. Place an oven safe (non glass) dish on the bottom rack. I usually use a metal loaf pan. This is where you will place your ice cubs to allow the steam to create a crusty bread. When the oven is preheated, place your bread in the middle rack, then immediately place a handful of ice cubes in the pan on the bottom rack. Close your oven right away as to not let steam escape. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!!


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