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Monday, May 11, 2009

Blame it on the Baguette

French bread is so delicious.  It just is…as is.  The crunch of the crust is magnificent as it breaks into tiny shards of golden-brown munchy bits that taste deep and almost nutty, but simple at the same time.  The soft, chewy center is a perfect sponge for whatever tasty thing you choose to christen it with (be it butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, fresh fruit preserves or maybe some delicious cheese).  Yum.

But, French bread’s deliciousness is not an Abra-Cadabra phenomenon.  In order to create a true baguette…the kind that dreams are made of (…Am I the only one that dreams about bakery cases?), one must take on a lengthy, laborious and often spaz-inducing project. 

French bread making revolves around dough smack-down (the dough, after at least doubling in size, must be heaved over your shoulder, smacked down on the counter, and then kneaded with your hands, then repeated…for approximately 20-30 minutes).   Appropriately, we (this was a partner project and I worked with one of my pastry lovers, Liz) named our dough “Smack Daddy”.

Before rising:

After Rising:

French bread class was a circus of bakery tools.  In addition to flour catapults and dough hunks flying through the air like lassos, I (along with many of my baking comrades) turned into loud and unruly bakers.   The attitude sort of came with the territory…I was swinging around dough like a cavewoman, so it seemed logical to me that I should act like one.  Well, at least until the bread dough was done with it's final rise and ready for oven-time. 

By far, the funniest incident of the day occurred when one wild bakerette (you know who you are,“Mo Reen”) smacked her dough down on the table, hitting the rim of a bowl of flour that was perfectly angled to attack another bread maker (we’ll call her “Jude D.”) square in the face.  Poor “Jude D.” was left covered in flour and everyone was laughing hysterically…leading to a pretty good ab workout.  The obvious conclusion here is that bread is good for our waistlines…or at the very least, it’s good for our souls.

**Thanks to Patty P. for taking the first picture included in this post:-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's really cool how much the dough rises