July 29, 2014

Baguettes


Call me crazy, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.  My sister says I'm the only one she knows who would even attempt to make baguettes.  But I ask myself, why should that be?  Yeah, ok, chalk them up as one of those things that you leave to the experts.  I get it.  However, I'm a home baker who is constantly looking to grow and challenge my skills so I say bring it on. 


Don't mistake my confidence for arrogance.  My self-assurance can solely be attributed to the fact that I was using a Cook's Illustrated recipe.   They've tested it countless times and I knew I was going to get fantastic results.  I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of the recipe which is now available in the Sep/Oct 2014 issue of the magazine.  Ok, I admit it, basically I begged them relentlessly until they gave up.   Tenacity has its benefits..hehehe.  

The ingredients are few and the instructions are long but don't be scared!  Just read through it several times and pay close attention to the accompanying pictures.  I found they help a lot.    If you have access to the online recipe you definitely need to watch the video! 

I've never made baguettes before and I have to say I was really impressed with how they turned out.   Although next time I'll be a bit more assertive when I use the lame to slash the formed dough so that the openings on the top of the baked baguette are more pronounced.  My skeptical sister even said they looked like they were from a bakery!  


I've eaten my fair share of baguette, especially after having lived in a France in my youth, and I can honestly say the bread was absolutely delicious.  Will my baguette be gracing the presidential table at the Elysées Palace any time soon?  Ummm, highly unlikely, but they'll definitely be most welcome at my table anytime.   

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