• ½ cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (or in bulk, about 1-1/2 tbsp)
  • 6 -½ cups flour
  • 1-½ tablespoon salt
  • 2-½ cups warm water
  • ½ cup corn meal


In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of warm water with the yeast. It will take a few minutes for the water and the yeast mixture to interact and start to foam (also: yeast can be defective, and this initial step will give you a chance to make sure the yeast is still "alive"), during which time, in a larger bowl, you mix the flour, salt, and the 2 1/2 cups of water. Combine the contents of both bowls into one, kneading for two to three minutes. Divide dough into two mounds. Place each mound in a separate large bowl. Cover with plastic paper and put into an unlit oven, where it will be safely out of drafts. Forget about it, and go about your business, for a minimum of three hours to all day- or overnight.

Next, remove, uncover, flour your hands, and gently punch both mounds to delfate them. Remove from the bowls and place on a floured board or countertop. With a knife, cut the dough into roughly equal parts. On two or three cookie sheets, sprinkle corn meal, to cover the surface. Roll out each of the six pieces of dough into a rectangle, then roll or fold to form a flute as long as your cookie sheet and three to four inches wide. With the tip of a knife, make a number of light incisions every inch or so along the top surface. Leave the loaves for an hour or so to rise a second time; no need to cover them.

Now move to step three: preheat your oven to 450°F, insert your loaves, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Baked Goods, Breads
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