11.22.2004

La Baguette Modified

In a recent post in C&Z, Clotilde states: "Very rarely do I repeat a recipe.".

I, and most of the world, adore Chocolate and Zucchini but food blogs are not created equal; this site is the antithesis of C&Z. If Clotilde were the pastry maker, I would surely be the stereotypical moody baker in the oven-heated cellars baking from midnight till dawn. My baguette is the recipe (or what I refer to as process) that motivates me the most. That loaf is our dominant food staple and the bread I have the most pride in, despite using yeast rather than a starter.

The prep for it is not as constant as one might think, however. I'm constantly tweaking it and adapting it to a changing lifestyle. I'll be making some modifications to the post soon, but the significant changes are:

1. I use 2-3 grams of fat per 500 g dough. This is to impart tenderness to the interior while maintaining a razor sharp exterior crust. I switched from butter to vegetable shortening for this and am getting an even better texture. Originally, this was done to accomodate a friend's milk allergy, but, it turned out so well I adopted it as a permanent practice. This additive is unconventional, but, in such small concentration, I consider it "catalytic".

2. I'm starting to use the refrigerator for the first rise. I can now prep the dough a day or 2 ahead and when I want to bake the loaf, I warm it up by squashing it into a flat disc (to maximize the exposed surface area and hence have it warm up faster), letting it rest, and then molding it into a baguette shape for the final proof. This means we can have a fresh baguette for our meal an hour in the door. Frankie loves the warm middles and we like the crust. Win-win. Details will be added to the baguette post in due time.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your baguettes are gorgeous! I am anxious to try my own hand at making baguettes, but I have still not yet acquired the proper baguette pan. (Maybe for Christmas?) Anyway, I too find myself repeating endlessly the same bagel and pita recipes...staples in our house and need to be made at least once a week.
Alice

dave said...

Wow, bagels and pita. I'll be hunting them down on your site soon.

Anonymous said...

Those are the most beautiful baguettes I've ever seen.

Cheers, Elise

dave said...

Hi Elise, I do these entries so I can keep a record of changes to my prep but when I get kind compliments like yours, it makes my day. Thanks.