Notice the nice holes! This bread was really really good.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
BBA Challenge - French Bread
This will be one of my favorites and most-often-baked breads. I prepared the pate fermentee last weekend but didn't have time to make the bread then. I put it in the freezer for a few days. That didn't seem to hurt it at all. This bread was actually fun to make. I enjoy the softness of the dough--it requires such gentle handling to maintain the rise. I used a couche for the proofing. I had a dilemma at this stage. There was a hot stone in the oven. I had a peel dusted with semolina and I remembered I also had french bread pans that I had never used. There were three soft, proofed baguettes waiting to be transferred somehow from the couche folds into the oven. I decided to use my french bread pans. I gently lifted one of the long loaves. It immediately collapsed into a long shrunken loaf into a pan that was smaller in diameter than the loaf. No good. Forget the pan. I couldn't imagine I'd be able to get those soft loaves onto a big wooden peel and then flipped onto a hot stone in the oven--but that was the only option now. I managed to transfer one loaf onto the peel--looking good! I opened the oven door and pulled out the rack with the stone and, with courage and confidence, gave a sliding flip and the loaf slid right off the semolina-dusted peel onto the stone! The second one went just as easily. That was an exciting moment. I felt like a bread professional. I wish I had a picture. The loaves baked beautifully--but I did forget to slash the tops.