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Romantic Recipes for a Valentine Feast

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Romantic Recipes for a Valentine Feast

French Baguette
1 1/4-oz. packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

Place the yeast, honey and warm water in a large bowl and let it stand about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt and flour. Using your hands, mix 2 cups of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Gradually add in the rest of the flour mixture, until the dough is uniformly mixed and stiff. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough with floured hands until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough an oiled bowl, turning once to coat it, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Gently punch down the dough to deflate it and shape it into two oblong loaves. Lightly dust the tops with flour and place the loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Allow them to rise uncovered for about half an hour. Use a serrated knife to cut a few small diagonal slits across the tops of the baguettes, and sprinkle with cool water. Bake in the center rack for 25-30 minutes, until golden.

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