If using a bread machine, set all ingredients in the machine and automate the process until the first rising by using "bread dough course".
[Kneading] Put all ingredients in a big bowl but separate salt from yeast. Then add lukewarm water. Mix them using cooking chopsticks or spoon.
When the dough becomes crumbly, knead by hand. Patiently knead well for 10 minutes until the dough gets resilient and shiny.
First Rising: When the dough becomes smooth, make it into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise triple in size.
After the first rising is done, divide the dough into 6 pieces. Cover them with a wrung out damp kitchen towel or a bowl, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Shaping: Stretch the dough into an oval shape. You can stretch it gently with your hand without using a rolling pin (that way there is less pressure on the dough).
Take the dough from one end and fold the dough in 3 or roll it up and seal the edges well. Here you can also fill it with bacon or olives.
This is a crispy chocolate French baguette filled with chocolate chips. Later you can also make a "condensed milk French baguette" filled with condensed milk + butter.
Second rising: To get the crispy texture, spray water on the surface. You can also moisten the dough by using a brush as shown in the photo or back of a spoon.
Allow the dough to rise double in size for the second time at a warm place with high humidity. If you are using an oven with bread-rising mode, set it at 40°C for about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and bake it for about 15 minutes and it's done (in an electric oven bake at 230°C). Here in the photo, I added dried tomatoes and basil in the dough.
Story Behind this Recipe
Fluffy soft light breads are tasty too, but simple hard breads are perfect for any meal. If you can bake them with familiar ingredients, your child will love "mom's bread" and remember them forever instead of store-bought ones.
When measuring flour with a cup, lightly scoop out the flour instead of stuffing it hard then level the flour and remove the excess on top. If it's difficult, measure it by weight. Add water every time you think the dough needs more water while kneading.