Fast Baguettes for Dinner – In Less than 30 Minutes

Sometimes while working on dinner, I wish I had some fresh bread to go with it. Tonight was one of those times. At this point, there’s no time for a traditional bread recipe with kneading and rising. Thankfully, I discovered one that will take you no more than 30 minutes and only requires 5 ingredients.

You can follow the recipe as is below or go the extra fast way and make them like I did in my photos. I just shaped them into two loaves and put them on top of a lightly oiled (olive oil) pizza stone for five minutes. Then I baked them.

Enjoy!

Dough, just shaped into loaves on baking stone.

Dough, just shaped into loaves on baking stone.

Baked baguettes, fresh out of the oven!

Baked baguettes, fresh out of the oven!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 1 packet yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups flour (I use a mix of white and white whole wheat)
  • (optional) 1 TB ground flax meal

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for five minutes. Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky. Add in the flax (optional) Knead the dough until elastic (mix with spatula then hands by folding over on itself).
  2. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each of them into four long, thin ropes. Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf. Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf. Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. You can now bake the loaf right away (if you’re in a hurry) or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.
  4. Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice. Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside, then toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
  5. (Optional but suggested) Check the internal temperature of the bread with a thermometer to make sure it reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s my pick for a four-second reading.
  6. Serve fresh and hot with your favorite olive oil for dipping or alongside a bowl of soup.

original recipe here.

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Menu for the Week of Oct. 27

Hi all – So this is a day late. Mix and match the days to fit your schedule.

Sunday:

  • Homemade tomato soup (vegetarian) – You can go all out and roast the tomatoes yourself (like in his recipe) or take my short cut and buy fire roasted tomatoes. Get the whole peeled ones in the can (28 oz.). If you like it with more tomato flavor, feel free to add another small can too (14 oz.). The only two things I do to my soup differently is add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity and if you don’t roast the tomatoes, then cut the olive oil in half.
  • Fresh baked bread – If you have a bread machine, you have to try this bread recipe. It’s super easy and you’ll have homemade soft bread in 1 hour. Sub 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 of the cups bread flour called for.

Monday:

  • Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Yellow Rice) – This is a staple if you live in Tampa. I’ve tried other recipes and this one is good and easy! Serve some black beans and a salad on the side and you’ve got a great meal. Some red sangria would go nicely too.

Tuesday:

  • Flounder picatta – If you like fish like my family does you will want to keep finding new ways to serve it. This one looks great! Can’t wait to try it out.
  • Green beans – Start with fresh or frozen green beans. If fresh, snap them. Heat a large pan with a lid over medium heat. Drizzle some olive oil once around the pan. Toss the green beans in and saute for a few minutes until lightly browned. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 1 clove fresh minced garlic (or a few shakes of garlic powder). Pour 1/4 cup of water in the pan and cover for 8-10 minutes until the tenderness you like.
  • Have some bread left over from Sunday if you still have some around.

Wednesday:

  • Crockpot Pulled Pork – You can find all kinds of recipes to help you out here. The basic ingredients are one 2 lb. pork roast (tenderloin is usable, but not as good as top loin or boston butt for flavor), 1 onion, 1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce, 1/2 cup of other liquid: chicken stock, pineapple juice, root beer, beer, etc. Season the meat with salt and pepper, slice the onion and layer it on the bottom of your crock pot, put the meat in, then pour the liquid and at least 1 cup of the bbq sauce in. Save the rest of the sauce for your sandwiches. Cook on low for 8 hours. Here’s a good example.
  • Buns. I like making own from this recipe, but if you get them at the store, I definitely recommend them from the bakery and not from the bread aisle.
  • Pickles
  • French fries (cut up a potato and roast in the oven, or pick up some frozen ones: Alexia or the “Simply” Ore Ida. The old school fries have much more than potatoes, oil and salt in them.)

Thursday:

  • It’s Halloween! Have some left overs, take-out or eat at a neighbor’s house.

Friday:

  • Herbed Turkey Breast – Who needs Thanksgiving to make some turkey? Whole Foods has it on sale this week.
  • Polenta – Lots of recipes out there. For those of us down South, it’s basically a slight variation on grits. Here’s the trick for polenta or grits, you must buy quality corn grits / polenta. Plus quality grits will have a few grams of fiber, so please stay away from the Quaker stuff. Bob’s Red Mill is available in many stores and is a favorite of mine. They even come in a gluten-free or organic variety.
  • Salad
  • Veggie sticks for the kids
  • Homemade balsamic dressing. Once you make your own dressing, you will not want to buy it from the store again. This is all you need (adapted from Emeril): 1/2 cup of good balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (the light stuff is only for cooking fish and even then you don’t really need it), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 3 cloves of garlic pressed, 1 tsp. dijon mustard. You can add another dried herb if you’d like. Sometimes I do a couple dashes of basil. Put all ingredients in a shaker / cruet and shake until well blended.