Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I baked baguettes yesterday! I know what you're probably thinking. Maybe it's a little like what I'm thinking, which is, "Why is Camila on such a French kick? First a souffle, now baguettes... before you know it she'll be parlez-vousing the french!"

Sometimes I think about myself in the third person. Inaccurately, apparently, as odds of me speaking french are zilch to none. The whole hrrrrrr thing in the back of the throat? Doesn't seem to work for me!

At any rate, I did make baguettes... but QUICK baguettes. Not fancy-schmancy, triple-rise, intimidating French bread. It was actually really, really simple. Daniel Leader said he didn't include it in his previous books because it just seemed too darn simple... but it did seem to work!

It's miraculous, really. Flour, water, yeast and salt -- that's it! Not fancy flour -- all-purpose flour, which is apparently pretty close to French type-55. (I finally go out and buy bread flour, and the next bread recipe I bake calls for all-purpose... figures.) Not fancy water. Not fancy yeast or fancy salt, no prefermentation or difficult steps or anything crazy at all. Flour, water, yeast, salt and four hours of time, and you end up with this.

And these aren't even good baguettes! The shaping of them was a bit difficult, and it was my first time, so yeah, they are distinctly uneven. The crumb is obviously pretty dense -- probably a result of the shorter fermentation time, but maybe also my lack of skill. And I listened -- they didn't crackle while they cooled. :(

But they were distinctly baguettes. The crusts were crisp, the interiors soft, they tore with a satisfying sound and cut neatly into circles, and they tasted -- baguettey! I made baguettes. All by myself, with some help from Daniel Leader! Man, what a great day.

So what could we possibly have for lunch, except for this?

We ate right on the floor, butter and honey and gruyere and still-warm baguette and grapes. William laughed and said he felt very bohemian. I just felt very, very proud. Proud and happy.

And delightfully full.

Food = love.

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