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. 
Notice the nice holes!  This bread was really really good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That does look like a winner. I think you should be prepared to make some loaves of that for "take out".