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Battle of the Kitchen Equipment

March 9, 2009
tags: ,


My dad invited me to go out to lunch for my birthday.  He absolutely loves homemade bread and I love making it, so I decided to make him some nice french baguettes this morning.

 As I was perusing recipes online, I came across a recipe on King Arthur Flour’s website that called for using specifically a food processor to form the dough.  Very interesting.  

And it was here that the epic battle began: Which insanely heavy kitchen appliance to pull out of storage to help me make my bread (No, people, kneading by hand is not a an option).


To help us make our decision, let us examine some stats from

                                          Food Processor                                          Mixer

Shipping weight:                   22 lbs                                                   28 lbs

Dimensions:                       1 cubic foot                          MORE than 1 cubic ft

Parts:               dough blade, bowl, cover, lid thingy                     bowl, hook

Ease of cleaning (1-5 scale):       4                                                         2 

So, the FP is lighter, but has more accessories to round up, and is harder to clean.  The mixer is heavier, easier to clean, and has fewer accessories to find.  But I don’t do that cleaning in the household, so we can scratch that category.  So, it was really down to weight vs. accessories.  And since the food processor bowl and lid were sitting out on the counter, nice and clean, having been used to shred carrots the night before, the FP won the battle by pulling ahead in the accessibility category.


I absolutely could not get a decent picture of my baguettes.  But as the omnivore pointed out, “It doesn’t have to look perfect, it just has to taste perfect, and it does.  So there.”  

So, I went with King Arthur Flour’s recipe for French bread in the food processor.  I followed the recipe exactly as written on the website and have copied and pasted it verbatim below:

2 packages (2 scant tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm (110°F to 115°F) water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 cups (approx.) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups 90°F water
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze

Note: Make sure your food processor will accommodate the amount of flour in the recipe. If it does not, cut the recipe in half.  I cut the recipe in half because I only wanted 2 baguettes.

Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and sugar in a measuring cup. Stir until dissolved, and let sit 5 minutes, until bubbles appear. 

Put all of the flour and salt into the work bowl of a food processor. Using the plastic (dough) blade, pulse four times to lighten and mix. 

With the machine running, add yeast mixture, then 90°F water as fast as the flour will absorb it. Stop the machine as soon as all the liquid has been added. 

Check the dough by pulsing it 7 or 8 times. It should pull together to form a ball. Watch the processor bowl where the side meets the bottom; if there are still granules of unincorporated flour, the dough is too dry. Pulse in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough pulls together to form a ball. If dough clings to sides of bowl, it’s too wet; gradually add more flour while pulsing. 

The formation of the ball marks the beginning of the kneading process. Turn machine on and let “knead” for 60 seconds — do not let it knead any longer! If you have to use a metal blade, only “knead” 45 seconds and finish kneading by hand for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Turn dough out, and divide in four pieces. Roll each piece into an oval about 15 x 8 inches. Starting on the long side, roll dough into a 15-inch cylinder. Pinch edges to body of dough, tapering ends evenly. 

Place dough seam-side down into well-greased baguette pans. Cover dough with a towel, and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. 

About 10 minutes before baking bread, preheat oven to 425°F. Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. 

Just before baking, slash loaves diagonally with a sharp blade, about 1/4-inch deep. Brush lightly with egg glaze. Place 1 cup of ice cubes in the hot pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Quickly place loaves on shelf above and close door to preserve the steam you’ve created. 

Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature of bread reaches 190°F. Immediately remove baguettes from pans and cool on a rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. Yield: 4 baguettes.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2009 10:05 am

    Your bread looks beautiful! I would have voted for the FP too!

  2. March 9, 2009 11:56 am

    i love how you think! Your baguette looks wonderful and I’m anxious to bake after our move!

  3. oneparticularkitchen permalink
    March 9, 2009 12:14 pm

    YUM!!! Gorgeous and I’m sure as tasty as it looks. I *love* all the King Arthur Flour recipes… you can’t go wrong!

  4. March 15, 2009 10:09 pm

    That looks gorgeous to me! All of King Arthur’s recipes are great, aren’t they?


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