In a large bowl stir together the
Water (1 1/2 cups)
Active Dry Yeast (1 tsp)
and allow to ferment for about 10 minutes until foamy.
All-Purpose Flour (2 3/4 cups)
and stir until moisture is absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.
Flour your work surface with a sprinkle of the remaining
All-Purpose Flour (1/4 cup)
. Dump out dough onto your work surface and sprinkle with
Kosher Salt (1/2 Tbsp)
and a Tbsp of flour to knead the dough without it being too sticky.
Continue kneading the dough and adding flour by the Tbsp until the dough is smooth but still a little tacky, about 8 minutes. The exact amount of flour is dependent on your working conditions and the existing moisture in the flour you are using.
Place dough in a large bowl lightly oiled with
Neutral Oil (1 tsp)
. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 60 minutes until double in size.
Remove dough to your work surface and using your fingers push and spread dough to remove air pockets and shape it into an approximate 8x6-inch rectangle.
Fold the long sides of the dough into the center and then fold the top and bottom into the center. Place the folded dough back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover and allow to rise for 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (250 degrees C) and place a heatproof pan or cast iron skillet on the rack below your center baking rack. If using a baking stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
Divide dough into 3 equal portions and roll each into an approximate 14-inch log. Allowing the dough to rest for 60-second pauses between rolling will help the dough relax and hold its shape when rolled.
Place shaped logs onto a baguette pan. Alternatively, you can lay logs onto lightly floured parchment that sits on a rimless baking tray. Leave enough space between the logs to pinch the parchment and lift up, creating pleats between the logs. Place rolled kitchen towels on both ends of the parchment to provide support. Cover and allow to rise for 50 minutes.
Using a sharp knife or bread lame, make at least four 4-inch slashes across each loaf.
Ice (1 cup)
to the hot pan in the oven and place the baguettes on the center rack above. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and the baguettes sound hollow when tapped. If using parchment, remove towels and pull parchment by the corners to flatten. Place the pan in the oven as indicated above onto your preheated baking stone or simply on the middle rack if not using a stone.