September 5, 2023

Blog September 2023 – Updates and more!

Blog September 2023 – Updates and more!

Hey yall! So happy to be back to the Blog of yesteryear! So, here’s the thing: in January 2020 I decided to write a blog and include recipes here on our webpage.  March 2020 – well…you know what happened there.  I found myself with a bit of let’s say – free time? So I decided that a YouTube Channel could be fun. It was. It is. But, it’s also where I spent a LOT of time creating content rather than focusing on the web page and good old Blog concept.

Three years later I have filmed a lot of video and am super happy with how those worked out.  But to be honest? I miss the simplicity of sitting down and writing a note to you guys and just uploading a nice recipe – so here we go! Blog back on!

One thing I love about our work at A Chef’s is that the recipes we do are often for sure tried and true, so much that many become “Studio Classics” but I also adore that no matter how good they might be, they evolve. It’s not so say that they get better – just maybe simpler? Clearer? Cleaner? Yeh, something like that.  I love watching recipes I have created evolve.  

So, simple Classic Studio Baguettes – here’s the must updated version and if you have an original you can compare; nothing has really changed in the base formula but the step, the language is a lot cleaner in this very updated one.  See what you think! I am so happy that even now, all these many years after our very first bread class in March of 2007 – we are STILL using the same recipe – but the evolution has come from our time with you.  Feeback, experience. What a joy.  

I will link below our YouTube channel video where I review my all-time favorite home baking recipe book – Nick Malgierie and, I will also link to a video I did called “say goodbye to processed bread” if you are looking to rekindle your motivation for baking your own bread at home  - this video could be a good starting point.  



Cookbook Corner Nick Malgierie

Q&A With Chef A Say Goodbye to processed bread

Recipe update:

Baguette Recipe

Makes 4 baguettes

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (always start with half)

1½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons honey

1½ cups bottled water, heated to 110 degrees

2½ teaspoons (one pack) active dry yeast


About 1 tablespoon light oil (for oiling the bowl you rise your dough in)

Step One:

Combine 2 cups of flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer.  Make a well in the center.  

Whisk honey into warm water (100-110 degrees), sprinkle yeast over water and honey mixture and let sit for 3 minutes, until foamy.  

Pour yeast/honey mixture into flour and salt mixture and stir to combine.  Add flour about a half cup at a time until dough begins to come together and looks “shaggy”

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until springy and smooth, about 10 minutes.  This dough will be slightly sticky and tender.

Step Two:

Lightly oil a bowl.  Roll dough into a smooth ball, place top side down in oiled bowl and then flip over so both sides are coated.  Cover bowl with saran wrap and a kitchen towel and leave to rise until doubled, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or so.

Step Three:

Turn out gently onto a very on lightly floured surface.  With a bench scraper cut dough into four equal pieces.  Shape each piece of dough into a rectangle.  Roll like a jelly roll, very tightly, pinching to seal.  This takes a little practice, but your final loaf should be about 1 to 1 and ½-inch in diameter, very tight, and about 12-inches long.

Place on pizza peel covered with cornmeal or in a baguette pan or on a cookie sheet or half sheet pan lined with foil and sprinkled with corn meal and cover with kitchen towel and let rest 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425-450 degrees (we go 450 at The Studio)

Continued back page….

Step Four:

Uncover baguettes and with a razor or serrated knife, make five slices 1/3 of the way through the dough on each baguette.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, and internal temperature is between 190-210 degrees.  

Keys to this Bread’s Success:

  1. LOTS OF KNEADING. This bread is all about gluten development so go to town! Knead until you are sweating. Let it rest, covered, and go again. Maybe even a third time!
  1. High heat cooking. We have slowly but surely come to accept that this bread bakes best between 400 and 450 degrees.
  1. Make and eat – this crusty style baguette is not meant for long time shelf life. Eat the day it’s made, or wrap well, freeze, and reheat in either a very low oven (250 wrapped in foil for 35 minutes) or a very hot oven, 400, wrapped in foil 10 minutes.

Things that can make interesting changes: adding 2 teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten will help keep this more pliable and, shelf stable for up to 2 days.

Change 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with rye or wheat. Add seeds or nuts to dough (not to top of this bread as the high cooking temperature will scorch them).  

Make an overnight starter with 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon yeast. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Add remaining yeast, flour, water and honey, and salt, the next day to make your dough.  You are the master of YOUR bread kitchen! Take notes and have fun!

Tools to Have on Hand for Great Results with Bread Baking

Instant Read Thermometer

Glass Measuring Cups

Standard Set of Metal Measuring Spoons (use the same ones each time you bake)

Your Own Bread-Baking Journal

Oven Thermometer

Stoneware or Pottery Bowl

Bowl Cover or Kitchen Towel Designated for Bread Baking


Peel/Stone/Steel (optional)

Baguette Baking Pans (optional)

Breadbasket for Rising (optional)

A Good Serrated Knife

Lots of Room Temperature Salted Butter (um, for eating with the bread of course…)

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