Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week 21: French - French Baguettes

In an effort to make more bread at home and to work on my break making skills I went with making baguettes for this challenge.  They look pretty, don't they?  Don't let them fool you.... 

I used the Joy of Cooking recipe (which I won't reproduce here because you shouldn't use it). Flour, water, salt, yeast.. that was pretty much it. 

After mixing it for apx 12 minutes, I let it rise till it had more than doubled. 

It rose nicely this first time, but I got pulled in to several other activities and I didn't get back to it till later at night. At that point, I was just ready to go to bed, so I may not have been as patient as I should have been.. but I'll get to that in a minute. 

I split he dough in half and made two rectangles like this:

Then, I rolled the dough away from me. I smooshed in the seam and tucked the edges under to make loaves.

At this point, my patience was too thin I think.  I was supposed to let the dough almost double before baking and I just let it rise for about an hour. 

Clearly, it hadn't doubled.  It had risen, for sure, but it probably could have used another hour to rise. 

I put a baking sheet on the bottom rung and filled it with hot water to steam.  The bread then went on the middle rack and baked at 400 for 15 minutes, then 350 for another 30 or so.  Five minutes before taking them out of the oven, I brushed them with an egg white wash. 

They came out pretty looking and while they taste fine, they are dense. Not sure if it is the grinding my teeth at night, the stress of my daily life (which is high btw), or the bread, but my jaw hurt the next day.

I am a person who likes to make lemonade (you know, when handed lemons) so I turned this bread into VERY delicious french toast the next morning! Woot! 

Plain yogurt and some homemade blackberry/blueberry freezer jam and we were in heaven. 

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