French Baguettes!!…well kinda

Tonight, after test driving my new bike, I decide to try to bake a baguette. OK, so the idea actually didn’t just hit me when I was cruising around Canary Wharf, some planning was involved. I had to go to Waitrose on my way home from work to pick some of the ingredients – I knew there was no possible way Pete had yeast in the cabinet at home. Why, you may ask did I chose a baguette of all things to bake? Well Pete loves, loves baguettes. I’m cooking dinner for us this weekend and wanted to be able to say I made the whole meal from scratch. Of course no meal is complete without bread so this was a test run of sorts, much needed I might add.

After spending some time looking up recipes I found one that seemed easy enough and had a five-star user review rating – thank you to allrecipes.com and to any user who had left a comment on the French baguette recipe; your confidence in the recipe rubbed off on me. There are only 5 ingredients in the recipe, can’t be that hard to mess up.

Well, I did mess up – thankfully this was a test run (or 2, I should say). After combined the salt, sugar, flour, yeast and water and kneading my face off for several minutes, I set the dough aside to rise. The recipe specifically says to put the dough in a warm place to rise. If you know me at all, you probably know that I like my living environment to be on the cool side…resulting in no warm places in the flat. I don’t know if that had any affect on my dough not rising – but yes, sad to say, after patiently waiting thirty minutes the dough had not “doubled in size”. Actually I don’t think it grew at all. Trash meet French baguette dough.

Round 2: Success!!! Maybe I should say not a failure. With a few tweaks to my previous effort I was able to get my dough to rise, not just once but both times the recipe calls for!! It may have helped that I had started to preheat the oven and then turned the oven off when I realized the bread needed to spend one hour plus rising this resulted in a warm place for my dough to rise. I did, however, forget to add the sugar this time around. Opps.

Unfortunately I didn’t capture any this experience on film. I promise there will be pictures to follow Saturday’s expose. My one little baguette (did I mentioned I halved the size of the recipes for the trial) is now wrapped in tinfoil patiently waiting for Mr. Gray to come home and try. Will report back with his comments.

PS baking bread is a very time consuming process, especially when you have to repeat steps 1-3 twice.

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