Monday, March 31, 2014

Marie, the baguettes!

The PPK started a conversation about bread, and someone posted a link to this recipe for 4-Hour Baguettes, and I knew I was gonna have to give it a shot.
I really need to change my tablecloth.

I love making bread, and every weekend I will make either bagels or rolls or pizza dough or something involving yeast.  It's like therapy - I can feel all the stress from the work week oozing out of me as I knead the dough.

This dough was really lovely - it had a wonderful texture and bounciness.  I'm not an expert bread maker by any stretch of the imagination, but I wonder if it was due in particular to the 20 minute rest period, which the recipe said was to make sure the flour was well-hydrated?  I might have to try this with all my doughs.

In any case, as one person noted on the PPK discussion, it's not as if the making of the dough itself is particularly different from any other yeasted bread recipe - it's the baking and crustiness and chewiness that make baguettes special.  Verdict?  These were delicious, and had a pretty good crust, although I would say they leaned more to chewy than crunchy-crusty.  I was a little disappointed in the airiness/bubbliness of the inside, although it was soft and tasty.  A little too salty for my liking - I wasn't sure what "diamond crystal" kosher salt was exactly?  I had kosher salt, so I used 4 tsp. as instructed.  I think I will cut back to 2-3 tsp. next time.  In any case, not as good as a French bakery - but delicious and a great homemade version.  Plus, putting the ice cubes into the hot skillet was fun.  I will definitely make these again!

Ready to bake! Slits cut with kitchen shears.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

And here's a bonus shot for you of some totally fabulous Spumoni whoopie pies I made.  These were a riff off of Kittee's Papa Tofu recipe.  I will post my Spumoni variation tweaks next time.  Cheers!

One side chocolate, one side cherry, and pistachio buttercream filling! OMG.

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