bread #21 the baguette

I have not written here in some time.  I have a valid excuse!  Because of an incredibly awful bout of “hand foot and mouth”,  I have had little to no time to do anything at all.  Due to common confusion I will clarify this is not to be confused with hoof and mouth.  As much as I would have like to, we have not been near live stock and the two illnesses strictly remain within their animal genus anyways.  Well, more like little to no energy for I myself have succumbed to the fever inducing, skin mutilating illness as well.  Lucky for me, the blisters have remained in my throat and on my feet.

And this is honestly not the worst of it.  His poor feet and hands are coated as well!

Between high fevers, blisters galore and severe nausea we have been quite the household.  But, before all this began, I was able to “bake up a storm”, in the words of my 2.75 year old.

Here is a lovely, time-consuming but absolutely worthwhile recipe from Amy’s Bread.  Although my throat is sore to the max, and bread is the last thing on my mind, for one quick meal (the calm before the storm) I enjoyed this long loaf filled with giant air bubbles and a crusty crunchy exterior.  So. Good.

The Baguette

A straight dough bread

makes three 14 inch long loaves

1 1/4 tsp. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup cake flour (I will be honest I used 2 cups all purpose, 2 cups bread flour)

2 1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups plus 1 tbs. cool water

1. combing yeast until bubbly frothy

2. combine flours and pour the cool water adn yeast mix in mixing with your hands until its a shaggy mess

3. knead for 4 minutes adding flour as needed.  Cover with a light towel and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes

4. knead for 5 to 7 minutes

5. turn into a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 1.5 hours or until doubled

6. deflate and reshape into a ball and let rise for another 1.5 hours or until doubled once again

7. deflate once again (whew!) and let rise for another hour

8. cut into three equal pieces to the best of your ability then start rolling like your a kid playing with play dough.  Make a log as long as your pan and oven can handle then cover u while you work on the rest.  Let rest for 40 minutes.

9. preheat oven to a scorching 500 degrees and put an empty (NON GLASS…. I have made that moronic mistake too many times) water pan into the oven.  If you have a baking stone (which I do not) place this in too.  Don’t worry I won’t be jealous.  If you are not using a stone use cornmeal on your sheet tray.  I do not preheat it because the cornmeal will burn.  I have made this mistake too.

10. Give the bread three long slices each and pop them into the oven.  When you do this addone cup of water into your empty water bowl and quickly close the oven.

11.  If you feel like following directions (which I plum forgot I was making bread as soon as I popped them in), spray your oven walls and loaves after 2 minutes in the oven.  Then bake for 10 minutes then lower the oven temp. to 425 for 12-16 minutes until your loaves are golden brown and crisp.  Move them to a rack to cool.  Eat em.

Hopefully your week has been healthy and happy.  You never know how nice it is to feel good until you don’t right?  

And for goodness sake!  Make some bread!

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