I was fortunate enough to travel to France with The Food Nanny in July 2021. On the coast of Guérande, a town on the peninsula of the same name in the Pays de la Loire region of Brittany, are France’s most famous salt marshes. This is where coarse salt, or Gros Sel, and delicate Fleur de Sel are extracted from the waters of the Atlantic.

Sea, sun, wind and craftsmanship come together to create this exceptional sea salt in a wetland long ago wrested by man from the Atlantic. Out of the clay soil came not only the salt marshes, glistening in the sun with their 7,000 crystallization ponds, but all around them this ecologically unique, natural landscape with its very own protected flora and fauna

In October, I was a guest in Lizzie’s kitchen, where she made us the best French baguette I had ever had. I was determined to make them myself when I returned home. They are so quick and easy, nothing compares to them. These delicious baguettes can be used for sandwich bread — just cut them to the perfect size. You can also freeze them and store them in Ziploc bags.

I use these baguettes as a side to any meal, perfect pairing with a fresh salad. It takes less than an hour from start to finish. Everyone I’ve served these baguettes to has absolutely gone crazy over them!

I baked these baguettes for the Dungeness crab boil we made last week. They were perfect for dipping in the butter and boil.

French Baguettes

(two baguettes)

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups warm (105-115 degrees) water, divided

• 1 1/2 tablespoons

• 2 packets active dry yeast

• 2 teaspoons sugar, divided

• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose Kamut flour. If not using Kamut flour, you may need a tiny bit more flour.

• 2 teaspoons Guerande salt (buy some from the Food Nanny. I promise you’ll love it and use it for everything, www.Foodnanny.com)

• Melted salted butter (for brushing on loaves)

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the water, the yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir just to combine, and cover with plastic wrap or a plate. Let the mixture stand about 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of heavy-duty mixer or food processor, blend the flour, salt, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the yeast mixture. Gradually add water, up to the remaining 1 cup, and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that is not too sticky to handle. (If the dough ends up too sticky, add a little more Kamut flour.) Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cut the dough in half and shape the halves into baguettes. Grease a baguette pan (available at kitchen stores) and place the loaves in the pan. Score the loaves down the middle, cover with a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes or until they have a hollow sound when tapped with a knife. If desired, brush the tops of the loaves with butter halfway through baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when they have finished baking.

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