Saturday, August 20, 2011

Classic Baguette

This version of baguette begins with a very small amount of yeast, then requires an extra-long rise.  As the yeast grows, it releases organic acids and alcohol - making it full of those signature “holes” and adding a unique flavor.  Fresh from the oven they have an extra crisp crust, which later becomes chewy.

There’s a lot of buzz lately about artisan bread.  It’s a commitment to make at home.  You need a minimum of 20 hours - but most of that is rising time.  This type of bread begins with a starter - which is very simple to do.  Flour + yeast + water.  Mix.  You’re done.  The hardest part is waiting the required amount of time, and being patient.

I enjoyed this bread after it had softened slightly.  Fresh from the oven was a bit too crunchy for my tastes.  However, dipping it in flavored olive oil at this point would have been great - very much like going to Johnny Carrino’s.  

This recipe is described “as close to artisan bakery version as you’re going to find”.  I looked up the term “artisan” to find that there shouldn’t be anything besides flour, water, salt, and yeast.  To describe an artisan baker - he or she would be one who is trained to mix, ferment, shape, and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread.  Artisan bread is not made in a factory, but one small batch at a time by very few people.  It will not taste as if it was produced on an assembly line.

I loved the flavor of this bread, but since I’m typically not a forward-thinker by nature - I prefer the streamlined version in the last post (link is HERE).  It’s fun to at least try your hand at this artisan-style baguette. 

Save it for a day when you don’t have a lot happening away from home.  Although - a longer rise than you were planning on could only improve the flavor?

For the recipe, go to:

1 comment:

  1. I always look forward to your new posts Anne. Just wanted to pass along a cookbook that you may be interested in. "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Franois. Shows you how to make really easy, tasty, and varied breads in far less time than 20 hours. I use this book often. Check it out!