3.21.2005

Baguette, it's the speed

Last Sunday night we had our favorite meal: bread, cheese and salad. My baguette was on its game that night. I used olive oil (ca. 5 grams/500 g dough) which is not what I usually use as the source of "catalytic shortening" and made it with no overnight delays; just a straight dough, machine kneaded and a heavy yeast charge of Fleischmann's instant active dry (ca. 2 t). It was absolutely killer. It was voluminos with a razor crust and tender interior (but not Wonder brad type tenderness) and excellent flavor.

I realize anyone reading is bored with my daily bread obsession but I depicted a few of the key observations of a great end product. In the first image there's a good indication of the result of powerful oven spring. The final slash opened wide during the initial moments of baking. In the second image is the crackled, mosaic-like crust that occurs in the first minutes of cooling out of the oven. Finally, the third image is the cross section of the sliced loaf. Not big holes but not too fine either (again, not Wonder bread). Yeah, it's the result of yeast and it's not as virtuous as starters and all that but I guarantee even a Frenchman (or woman) would enjoy it.

It was great the next day too. The "next day test" for me is important. A good loaf should be good the next day even if a bit drier and slightly stale. The flavor should still be good. I was disheartened the last time Trish and I went to France. We were staying with a friend and actually had a couple loaves in Dijon which looked great but tasted only mediocre and the next day they just weren't that good. But the loaf was from the Supermarche. Sorry for the digression. I just wanted to point out a few endpoint observations that aren't included in original prep.

2 comments:

Petra said...

Congratulations, the Baguette really does look good - especially the crust!

Dave said...

Thanks Petra. Means a lot coming from a pro like yourself. Some may find it tedious, but the simplest of recipes can be the toughest to get right sometime. This was a winner. It made my night.