Mar 25, 2008

French Connection: Our Daily Habit

My bread machine is in semi-retirement lately, only being hauled out once a week to make pizza dough. The paddle kept getting stuck in the bread and I had to help it too much with the initial mixing. It sulks most of the week in the garage next to the recycling.

My latest bread obsession is the baguette, not a fancy just-like-the-French kind, but a good-enough-for-us kind. I make it every couple of days. I found the recipe in Gourmet about ten years ago, and here it is. It's so easy and delicious, great for sandwiches. I bake it on a pizza stone. Use a serrated break knife to make the three slashes; otherwise you will squish the dough. If you want it extra crusty, brush the top with ice water just before baking. You can put the kneaded dough in the fridge overnight, if you wish; just let it get to room temperature before shaping into the loaf. I slice the bread parallel to the slashes, to get bigger pieces for sandwiches. The other thing is I use 2 teaspoons salt, not 2 1/2.

I buy ten-pound bags of flour at BJ's for $4.99, so we're saving some money, too. Of course, my family is totally spoiled now, and I must remind them frequently how good they have it. Sigh.

Happy baking.


RuthWells said...

Yum yum yum! I am afraid of baguettes (making, not eating), but really should get over myself.

(I bought razor blades at the hardware store for slashing the tops of loaves, and they work great. It helps to be fearless.)

Anonymous said...

Mmmm baguette. I may have to make some this weekend.

Scrivener said...

I keep telling myself that I'm going to start making bread regularly, but thus far have never quite managed it. I'm impressed that you can pull this off every couple of days.

Mary said...

Wow- sounds great- I must try- someday- thanks for the inspiration.

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