Easy Baguettes (food processor method)
1/2 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees F
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
4 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm water
1 egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Cornmeal, for sprinkling on baking pan
In a small bowl, add yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar to 1/2 cup warm water. Stir and set aside to proof. With steel blade in processor, process the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the salt with 2 or 3 pulses to aerate. Add yeast and begin adding remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups water gradually. Flours differ in amount of water needed. Dough should form a ball and be thoroughly smooth and satiny. Soft dough makes a tender texture inside your loaves. Place dough in a greased bowl to rest. Cover and allow to double in size (about an hour).
Punch down dough and place on lightly floured surface. Form into desired shape. Brush with egg white/water mixture. Place on greased baking pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Make several small slashes diagonally across the loaf. Let rise again for about 45 minutes.
Bake in temperature 425Â°F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to temperature 375Â°F and bake another 10 minutes. To test for doneness, tap the loaf on bottom. If you hear a hollow sound, bread is done.