Monday, February 11, 2013

bills and breads (french.baguette)

and so, my week will be about having a sit-down with bills to pay ... *ah-yay-yay* still applying for jobs, still have that "oh-boy-am-a-get-that-job" feeling, which is better than feeling depressed and hopeless (i do feel frustrated though, every time the "technical" reasons come into play)

yesterday, i actually decided to bake french baguette (aside from the banana.dark.chocolate.pastry) it took me several hours and the ingredients are the same as that of the italian bread, most (if not all) staple breads have the four essential ingredients (water, flour, yeast and salt) that's it! and then you can transform the bread into different flavors by incorporating additional ingredients, such as herbs, oils, cheeses, seeds, spices etc. and that is how these basic breads are "dubbed" into different flavored-typed breads, but underneath it all - its all the same four essential ingredients, without these four-essentials, there basically won't be bread!

foodnetwork : the baguette
update: showing photos of baguette baked 25-35 minutes

my oven seems to be working with me (pretty much) despite the fact that i do not have the right baking utensils. again, these baguettes were baked using a roasting-pan (uh-huhh, the one you use for roasting your turkey!) i simply put a lightly greased parchment paper. also, i had to form my baguettes into 6 inches in length, because it would not fit into the roasting pan (baguettes, by default should be around 24 inches in length) and just to note again, these breads should be baked using a baking stone (for better results of course). "ahhh ... should we call these compromises or adjustments?" (well, i gotta make do noh?)

i do not have a bakers lame for "scoring" the bread (or making those "slashes" you see in breads), so, i used a bread knife, which is not the best tool for making a really sexy "slash" for your baguette. as you can see (below) my slashes needs lots of "improvement" - whether you have a lame or not, you need to find a way to make those "slashes", it helps your bread from "bursting" (here are some good explanations for the need to score your bread "scoring bread dough (food52)" its also mentioned here "Janes Sweets & Baking Journal".

however (despite my-not-so-sexy-slashing-skills), these baguettes turned out crisp outside, and firmly-soft inside within a 15-25 minute baking period (if i baked my baguettes about 25-35 minutes) the crust could be a little more crisper (then again, this my first time baking baguettes) 

so far, i'd like to learn baking different artisan breads. the two types of breads that i'd like to bake on a regular basis (so that i get them right) are the italian and the baguette, just because i actually like oils and herbs and plain baguettes. below is how my baguette looks like (sliced) fresh out of the oven.

i chose to freeze these baguettes this time around, to see if i really baked them correctly. the following day, i thawed the baguette in the afternoon (which turned out actually good), topped it with my regular herb mixture and shredded pecorino and toasted them (as i recently have been doing) - well, the baguette maintained its texture (it was crisper, because i toasted them, see below)

it looks like i'll be baking these breads on a regular basis, wherein they can be consumed within a one to two day period, so that i can make a fresh batch of baked bread more often, this should help me learn to bake them  just the "right" way. 


for now, here is a snippet from the artisanbakers:

bread is like wine or cheese.
taste all the different varieties available 
and take the time to appreciate the differences in where they came from, 
what types of ingredients and fermentation were used, 
how much time was put into making them 
and the different characteristics of taste and texture and color, 
just as you would with wine or cheese. 
Your effort will not only be educational but deliciously rewarding."