3307 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

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Make a french baguette

It’s always baguette season!

A crunch, chewy French baguette is good in any season

Bread. It’s simple, it’s hearty, it’s a staple of every cuisine on earth. Yet the French baguette is arguably the queen of breads, perfect for sandwiches or with soup, salads, stews, or simply on its own. As the cold weather moves in, we all need more baguettes in our lives. Since you can’t yet enjoy a delicious, fresh-baked baguette from Maison Parisienne, you might even try making one on your own.

Not just any flour will do. French flour (Type 55) typically has a lower protein content than American all-purpose flour, which is what gives the French baguette its crisp, chewy perfection.

You can get it easily online, and yes, it’s worth the price. Then there is the process of kneading the dough and letting it rise, kneading again and letting it rise again, and so on…for eight hours. (Remember, the French take their baguettes very seriously.) True French baguettes are rolled out on a baking stone, rather than a countertop or baking pan. A sturdy baking sheet will do, however, as long as you flip it upside down and line it with parchment.

Now comes the key: French baguettes (and most other types of French bread) have a water ration approximately 50% higher than sandwich loaves. This is because of its signature crust, which gives the loaves their beautiful coloring and crunchy texture. Before putting the loaves into the oven, be sure to brush them with an egg wash. If you don’t have an authentic French bread oven, don’t despair: there are many tips and tricks you can adapt to achieve the classic French baguette crust in your own oven. Julia Child used to drop a brick into a heated pan of water beneath the oven rack to simulate the burst of steam that gives the baguette its crisp crust. Other methods include pouring water into a “steam pan” on the lower rack while the baguette is baking.

Making your own French baguettes is rewarding, delicious… and a lot of work. Why not let Maison Parisienne do the work for you while you sleep in?