Crispy French Baguettes - Instructions
Levain Bakery is located on New York City's Upper West side but it bakes with a distinct French accent.
Co-founded by two friends who had worked in the fashion and finance industries, the bakery has won kudos
from Zagat and others for its artisanal methods and the authentic flavors of its breads and pastries.
In bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast and warm water until creamy. Using dough hook, add the
flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cool water. Mix until a smooth, elastic
dough forms, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough
rise in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
Grease a double baguette pan and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide the dough into two 12-by-6-inch
rectangles. Form the dough into baguettes. Transfer baguettes to the prepared pan, laying each seam-side
down. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof overnight in the refrigerator.
When the dough has proofed completely (see Chef Tip: The Poke Test), preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly
flour the top of each baguette. With a razor blade or very sharp paring knife, score the top of each
baguette lengthwise 3 to 4 times. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until crusty and
golden, about 30 minutes.