Bread and Degas

img_6819I must have been feeling very … French during my recent bread baking adventures. I kept reading in The Breadbaker’s Apprentice to be careful “not to degas the dough.”

Degas? I pronounced this day-GAH to myself – as in painter Edgar. And I couldn’t figure out what it meant.

I was probably six loaves in before I realized I should talk like the American I am. Degas! As in don’t pop all those nice bubbles you created in fermentation. De-gas!

I still bake with a French accent, telling myself not to day-GAH the dough. But at least I know what it means.


11 responses to “Bread and Degas

  1. Are you going to try a baguette next?

  2. Elizabeth Edwardsen

    Yes, I think baguettes may be my next bread-baking effort. My French accent will fit right in.

  3. Pingback: You Know You’re a Baker When… « Learning to Bake

  4. Thank YOU!! I too kept saying to mayself, What is DEGAS? I looked it up in the glossery to no avail..I thought how can there not be a definintion? You have helped me tremendously. Thank you for stating the (duh) obvious!

  5. Elizabeth Edwardsen

    Marcia – Thank *you for letting me know that I’m not the only one that struggled with the obvious. I blame our sophistication…. (And I still pronounce this word day-GAH — old habits die hard, I guess!)

  6. Bruce in Halifax

    Thanks for sharing! My wife and I are laughing. She is baking bread and asked me to google “Degas the dough” and we found your blog first!! Perfect!

  7. I was reading an American recipe for baking and had no idea what they meant when they said ‘degas’ I assumed it was Degas the painter as well and was quite confused. Thanks for the clarification. Now wish me luck on my baking…

  8. Oh my, I too google trying to learn what Day-gah the dough meant!!! How funny.

  9. Elizabeth Edwardsen

    I have to say, I’m so pleased that my mispronunciation while baking has come in handy to others! Good thing I decided to post about it. While there are the few of you brave enough (just kidding) to post publicly about being similarly clueless abut DEGAS THE DOUGH — you do know we are all tres sophisticates — and many other have arrived at the post after Googling the words.
    Meanwhile, my 13-year-old is studying French, and when we cook together, we often try to do so en Francais (kind of; I think a French chef would be lost in our kitchen!) But, just like when she was tiny and cooking was a good way to practice 1-2-3, learning to bake is a way to count un-deux-trois…. and of course, we are careful NOT to DeGAH the Dough….

    True confession: I’m a little more dramatic and MUCH more French-sounding (I think) in my on-deux-trois-ing. My sous-chef is better at eye-rolling. But I know she secretly likes it.

  10. That’s the confusion that comes with missing punctuation. De-gas would have been 100% more clear.

    Thanks for the post, it’s how I got here too. 🙂

    (And I’ll still pronounce it day-gah because really? De-gas is so much less classy.)

  11. TANX!!! hahahha i thought there was a typo in the recipe!! i shall “degas” the dough accordingly now! hahaha

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