Different bread making techniques:
After resting, turn dough bottom side up and press to flatten. For baguettes (long, slender) or boules (round), divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape. For baguettes, fold dough into an envelope by folding the top 1/3 of the way to the bottom. Then fold the bottom a 1/3 of the way over the top. Then press dough with the palm of your hand to make an indentation down the center of the dough and fold the top completely to the bottom, sealing the seam with the palm of your hand.
Place on a jelly roll pan dusted with cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until the dough is doubled in bulk, approximately 30 to 50 minutes (depending on how warm your room is).
Oven Rising: Sometimes I use my oven for the rising. Turn the oven on for a minute or so, then turn it off again . This will warm the oven and make it a great environment for rising bread. If you can not comfortably press your hand against the inside of the oven door, the oven is too hot. Let it stand open to cool a bit.
Cool or Refrigerator Rise: If I do not have the time to wait for the rise to finish or I know that I will be interrupted before the completed rise, I do a cool rise. A cool rise is when the dough is place in the refrigerator and left to rise slowly over night approximately 8 to 12 hours. I usually do this after the first rise and the dough has been shaped into a loaf.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After rising, slash or score the loaves with a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees F.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Remove from oven and place the loaves on a wire rack until cooled.
Makes 1 large round loaf or 2 small baguettes.