Real French women may not get fat, but first attempts at French baguettes may come out on the roly poly side.
A confession: I did not tell anyone who ate the bread that it was supposed to be a baguette. This worked because it tasted really good. I have to practice shaping it much skinnier, but I have a feeling my problem was bigger. The recipe was for one loaf, so I thought if I was baking two loafs, that this would be the right length… dunno.
Also… as you can see, the crumb (I am talking like a baker now!) isn’t right, either. There are a couple of big holes, but not enough. Something went wrong, and I’m not yet sure what. More research is required. Honestly? Sometimes I start reading about gluten and wheat strands and my eyes glaze over. Sometimes I’m interested. Sometimes I’m not. But perhaps I missed something important.
I used the One-a-Day Baguette recipe linked to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s bread baking primer on Epicurious.
Since most of the recipe’s reviewers raved about it (or threw several forks at it, as Epicurious reviewers do), and none of them mentioned ending up with bread that was short, fat and ugly, albeit tasty, I’m guessing the recipe was probably fine!
I do wonder about one thing – my kitchen is NEVER warm enough this time of year to for dough to rise as quickly as recipes say it will. Seventy degrees? I’m lucky if my kitchen is 60 degrees in February! I may not have let the loaves double on the second rise – but they were already looking so fat.
Years ago I had a bread machine. I didn’t like baking bread in it — I was not a baker, but I did not like how the bread always had that blade baked in the bottom. I found the thing took up a big chunk of kitchen real estate and gave it away. Now I’m thinking it would be a good spot for dough. Does anyone do this?
Anyway, back to my baguettes bread. As I said, these two loaves actually tasted good. Especially toasted. (We’re toast fiends around here.) So this was by no means a disaster. Fortunately, Monsier Baguette was not coming to stick his nose into my chubby loaves of pseudo French bread!