Of Baguettes

Perhaps my Saturday entry on aging parents was a bit of a downer.  Not many comments were received…

This weekend, between the errands and other odds and ends, was one of progressive baking.  I started Saturday morning and will conclude Monday afternoon.  There were three menu items:

The first was a French baguette.  I’ve dabbled a little in bread making but haven’t really taken the time to become good (read, “consistent”) at it.  The San Francisco Chronicle did a series of articles on wood ovens last time I was there and I had a recipe for rustic bread from one of those articles that I wanted to try.  Also, the latest issue of Living magazine had several bread recipes in it.  This prompted me to finally get our the Kitchen Aid mixer and bake.

What I’m really looking for is to be able to consistently create a loaf with a good, crunchy crust and a tangy, spongy interior.  One of the key steps, short of making my own sourdough starter to hand down from generation to generation, is to create a small batch of starter that sits on the counter overnight.  Starter is just flour, water, and a pinch of yeast.  By giving it twelve or move hours to ferment, the dough is imparted with more flavor.

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Top left: The starter about fourteen hours after starting.  Top right: Kitchen Aid mixer is out, plugged into a converter (you should see it go when I forget the converter!), and is ready to do the kneading.  Lower left: After eight minutes of kneading, the gluten is starting to form and the dough has a smoother and more elastic appearance.  Lower right: After two hours of rising.  Below: The finished product after being punched down, allowed to rise again in the refrigerator overnight, then shaped into logs and given one final rise before baking.

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The second and third items on the menu are pumpkin-related.  One is finished and the other still has some work to do, so I’ll write more about those tomorrow.  Meanwhile, let me leave you with this beautiful sunset from Friday evening, taken from the Thong Lor BTS station looking southwest through the construction site of the Noble Remix condo project on Sukhumvit 36.

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8 thoughts on “Of Baguettes

  1. wow…all your posts are so cute! your cooking and your condo look lovely…makes me want to cook and redecorate, hehe.you and tawn look really happy together, i read your post about how you met congrats!

  2. I just had a French baguette (with assorted ham and cheese) a few days ago…Oh, more new condo projects going up in the Big Mango!! BTW, where did you find such a big donut? LOL

  3. Mmm… I can smell your baking from here. I love baguettes, warm, with a bit of butter and/or jam and coffee on the side. Sigh… You are torturing me with these entries.

  4. I can’t help looking at the shape of the finished product…oh boy i am so bad, i should go to hell soon hahah
    thanks very much for the offer…my thai friend told me he’s gonna go to Thailand a few weeks later to pick up the DVD…hopefully some powerful Chinese people will upload the whole thing on youtube or something….
    THANKS A LOT KRUB!!!! ^^

  5. you can just save a piece of dough and let it dry, next time, soak in water as a starter… I never put the dough in the fridge, just leave it in the room temp. nice work, send me some. I am hungry.

  6. I miss bread.I’ll never take toast for granted again.[I know that it’s available in Bangkok, but I always feel guilty treating myself to any type of food that I could get in Canada. Due to the whole “New Experience, etc. etc.” – but sometimes, you just can’t eat rice anymore.]

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