6 cups Unbleached bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons Salt
1 3/4 teaspoons Instant yeast
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons Ice cold water, The water must be at 4 degrees C
Extra flour for dusting
- Combine the flour, salt, yeast and water in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix for 2 minutes on low speed, the replace the paddle attachment with a dough hook and mix for 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed. The dough should pull away from the sides but not the bottom of the bowl.
- If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough has the right consistency. Grease a clean bowl with some olive oil, and transfer the dough to the bowl.
- Spray the top with a little olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight to retard.
- Once the retard period is completed, remove the dough from the refrigerator. It would have risen a little but not doubled in some. Leave the dough at room temperature for a few hours (2 to 3 hours or longer if needed) until it doubled in size.
- Sprinkle a work surface with about 1/2 cup of flour.
- Then, gently transfer the dough onto the floured work surface taking care not to deflate it too much.
- Gently, roll the dough in the flour and make sure your hands are well floured too.
- Form the dough into an oblong about 20 cm long and 15 cm wide.
- Cut the dough in half width-wise using a pastry or dough scraper dipped in water.
- Then cut each half in three to make six baguettes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat your oven to its highest temperature (about 250℃).
- Place an empty roasting tin at the bottom of the oven and if your using one, your baking stone in the middle.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with some flour.
- Transfer three baguettes to each baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced evenly and do not touch each other.
- If you so wish, score each baguette with three diagonal cuts using scissors or a very sharp serrated knife that has been dipped into water between each cut. Cover one sheet with a cloth or plastic cover.
- Move one sheet of baguettes to the preheated oven and transfer them with the payment paper onto the baking stone.
- If you are not using a stone, just place the sheet on the middle rack.
- Pour one cup of hot water into the empty roasting pan and close the oven door. After 30 seconds, open the door and quickly spray water onto the oven walls for more steam. Close the door, and repeat the process twice more at 30 second intervals.
- Then lower the oven temperature to 246℃ and continue to bake.
- The bread should turn golden after about 8 or 9 minutes. bake for 10 to 15 minutes more until the internal temperature reaches 96℃.
- When done, transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
- Remove the payment paper and bring the oven back onto its highest setting before you commence baking the second sheet. Repeat the process.