Here is a recipe that has been with me since the 70's! I found it in cooking magazine Allt om mat. It was perfect for me since I live in the countryside and yet I sometimes want to enjoy a freshly baked baguette for breakfast or to accompany a glass of red wine. This bread is easy to make but it takes some time to rise. I hope you will try it, I promise it is worth it!

0.5 l cold water
12.5 dl flour
15 g fresh yeast
2 tsp salt

some flour for dusting

1. Pour cold water from the tap into a 6 liter (minimum) bowl. If possible, let it sit in the fridge for a while.

2. Add the flour. Measure by pouring into a large measuring jug. Don't pack it.

3. Work the dough by elecric whisk or kitchen assistant, approx. 8-10 minutes. It is important to work it very vigorusly.

4. Crumble in the yeast and continue to work about 2 more minutes.

5. Add the salt. Work another 2 minutes.

6. Cover the bowl with cling film. Set the dough to rise about 4.5 hours. Water droplets will form under the plastic and keep the dough surface moist and supple enough to continue rising.

7. Loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl with a dough scraper. Gently pour it onto a work surface and shape it into a rough rectangle. Don't work the dough at this stage.

8. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into three parts. Be careful so that the dough doesn't collapse. You want to make three long loaves.

9. Gently transfer the loaves onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. The oil will make the crust on the bottom thick and crunchy. Slighty twist the dough lenghts and they will hold their shape better.

10. Dust some flour over the loaves and let them rise a further 30 minutes in room temperature.

11. Set the oven to 300 C (572 F). Close any vents on your oven, the steam that will build up inside will help make a crusty surface. To help this along; when the oven reaches 300 C set a couple of oven proof bowls of boiling water on the bottom of the oven (be careful). Shut the door.

12. Insert the baking sheet with the loaves and immediately but gently, shut the oven door.

13. After 8 minutes, lower the heat to 200 C (392 F) and open the oven vent. Bake until ready, another 22 minutes or so (a total of 30 minutes baking time).

14. Remove the loaves from the oven and let them cool on a rack. Now the strangest thing occurs; the loaves will start to speak. I love that sound!

Eat the freshly made or let them cool and then freeze them! When reheating, put them for a while in a 200 C (392 F) oven, splash a little bit of water on them first, it helps to keep them crusty.

Good luck!


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