Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fresh Baguettes, Anyone?

And now for something a little different - A post by Alan!
This past Sunday I was out at McCully's Hill Farm for their annual fund-raiser connecting food growers and chefs with the general public. The theme for this event was "The 100 Mile Diet". So instead of making the breads that use California walnuts, British Columbia raisins, Greek olives, etc, I decided to keep it simple. I made baguettes. Four simple ingredients - flour, water, salt and yeast - come together to make something potentially magical. I think I succeeded.
After removing the dough from the fridge (to be described in another post - too much information for this post) and letting it rise and come to room temperature, I portioned it into 13 ounce pieces. Next I shaped each piece into what my one-time teacher, George Jackson, called cylinders...
Lots of Little Cylinders Set to Rise

After about an hour, or so, the cylinders were flattened and rolled up tight. They were, again, left for about an hour.

If I Were to Slash and Bake These Now, I Would Have What the French Call 'Batards'.

These bigger cylinders were then rolled out to the length of my trays (about 24 inches), dusted with flour, covered and left to rise for about another half hour.

Ready to Rise
They were then slashed.

Ready for the Oven
The rest of the story next time.

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