It’s my birthday today and I think if it comes down to wishing for world peace or finally making a great baguette, at this point I would choose the baguette. I tried to make Pain à l’Ancienne last weekend (see the recipe here) and while it tasted fantastic, it was flat and dense, not all light and airy like the baguettes I am used to. I am struggling with what went wrong, and after eating all them in a short time, I am still not sure…the wife thinks more experimentation is necessary and I tend to agree.
This is one of those two days recipes, but out of most of those types of recipes, this requires little to no work, and introduces the concept developed by Philippe Gosselin of making the dough with ice water and immediately putting it in your refrigerator overnight to retard. Apparently, this is where all the great flavors are developed, and the I won’t lie, the flavors were damn good. Usually bread dough is made with room temperature or warm water, and allowed to sit out and rise at room temperature, so for a novice bread guy like me, this sounded interesting.
I messed up somewhere along the way and didn’t get the nice fluffy baguette I wanted, but I am pretty sure that Zeke took all the good bread karma with his pretzels (which I tasted and were awesome!). So if anything it is his fault. Thanks Zeke.
Here are some of the photos of the delicious but flat bread:
The dough mixed and ready to go in the refrigerator the night before:
Straight out of the refrigerator in the morning:
The dough out after it doubled – I think it needed to rise more and I don’t it was as sticky as it needed to be:
The dough cut into the first batch of three (there were two batches of three total) with some pretty poor scoring (again, not as sticky as it should be):
Fresh out of the oven:
Cooling (and shows you how flat they were):
Ok, round two starts tonight – wish me luck!