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  1. To make the sponge: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix together, cover, and set aside to rest for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature; the longer you let it sit, the more of a tang your bread will have.

  2. To make the dough: Mix and knead together the sponge, flour, salt, and yeast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

  3. Add the hazelnuts, raisins and fennel seeds, kneading until everything is evenly incorporated.

  4. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

  5. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.

  6. Form it into logs about 10" to 12" long, and place them on baking sheets (or in a couche). Cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

  7. If baking on a stone: Preheat the oven and stone for 30 minutes at 475°F.

  8. Just before placing the loaves in the oven, cut three or four diagonal slices down the center of each, and spritz with water.

  9. Place the loaves on the stone, then reduce the oven heat to 375°F. Bake the baguettes for 20 to 24 minutes, until they're medium brown.

  10. If baking on sheet pans: Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  11. Prepare the baguettes for the oven as directed above, and bake for 10 minutes.

  12. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F and continue baking for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

  13. Store bread, well-wrapped, for 2 days at room temperature. Freeze for up to a month.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To bake baguettes in our Emile Henry baguette baker, divide the dough into three pieces after its first rise. Shape each piece into a 13" log. Place the logs into the lightly greased wells of the baker, cover with the lid, and let the baguettes rise until very puffy, about 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Just before baking, remove the lid of the baker, slash the tops of the baguettes several times, and spritz with water. Return the lid to the baker. Bake the baguettes for 20 minutes. Remove the lid of the baker, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and turn the baguettes out onto a rack to cool.