This is the most basic & easiest to acheve Baguette formula from Le Cordon Bleu (where I am trained). This formula will yeild about 3 22" classic baguette. You can use this recipe for
805 g bread flour
16 g salt
6 g instant yeast (or 18 g fresh or 9 g active)
523 g water (or 511g if fresh yeast is used, or 520g for active yeast)
This is what we called "straight dough," basically, everyone comes to the party!
Mix the dry ingredients together, includes the yeast (active or fresh yeast needs to disolved in the wtaer 1st.
Add the water to the dry. Now, just mix the dough w/ you hand, until there is no dry or wet spot (and yes, the dough is still VERY sticky at this point and I know, but just leave it). Cover it with the mixing bowl & let rest for 5 minutes.
Remove the dough and knead/throw the dough (and yes, it will stick to the counter top or board, but please do NOT use any more flour, additional flour WILL change the formula. Just knead the dough until it is not longer stick to your tough about 5 - 10 minutes. Cover the dough w/ the mixing bowl again, let stand for another 5 minutes.
Remove the dough and LIGHTLY knead it until the dough starts to show a little tearing on the side of the dough.
LIGHLY spray the mixing bowl w/ commerica pan spry (to make sure the dough doens't stick to the bowl, then cover w/ the plastic wrap. Let ferment for 45 minutes (yes.. that's all it takes).
After 45 minutes, slowing & lightly (use a bowl scraper) 'flap' the dough upside down onto the counter, then lightly pat out the large air bubbles & fold the dough into 3rd (3 folds). Put the semi-rectangula/long dough back to the bowl, cover, let rest for another 45 minutes.
Use a bowl scraper, 'flap' the dough from the bowl & dived into 3 potions (about 450 g each). Lightly pat out large air cells, 3 folds, cover w/ plastic wrape and let rest for 10 minutes.
Shaping... seal the seam of the baguette dough by firmly push the seem against the counter (as if you are chopping it, then start from the middle of the dough, slowly roll out the length of the baguette. Then place the shaped dough onto a inverted baking sheet w/ springle of cornel, parchment, corn meal (pan, corn meal, parchment, corn meal).
After shaping, spry the shaped baguette w/ either commerical pan spry or warm water, then cover w/ plastic wrap again, and let it bench rest for 20 minutes.
Scoring... use a lame or sharp knife. Slash the baguette 5 or 7 times at 45 degree angle & about 4" long on the surface of the baguette. The angel of the slach should look about 20 degree.
Baking... 400F w/ 8 minutes of steam + 12 minutes = 20 minutes + extra minutes for desired crust color. Now, if you are a home baker, make sure you spry the baguette w/ WARM water HEAVILY then bake at preheated 400 F oven, about 20+ minutes, depends on the desired color.
DO NOT CUT OPEN THE BAGUETTE UNLESS IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED!!! Restaurants have us thinking WARM bread is the best, however, if you are cutting open a warm baguette, your 2 hrs work has just down the drain for nothing. It has to be cool, please... another 30 minutes will not kill you...