Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sourdough Baguettes

Sourdough baguettes...Are we in the French countryside? No, just trying to master this thing called sourdough. I love the tangy taste (which, BTW some people do not like at all), of bread leavened only by sourdough, with no added yeast. It takes longer to ferment that way, which is what gives it the tangy flavor from the acid that is formed. Peter Reinhart explains all about enzymes, yeast, bacteria and acids in his new book, Whole Grain Breads so I won't go into it here.

I used the recipe from Peter Reinhart's first book BBA for Basic sourdough bread and formed the loaves into baguettes, "oui oui."(I couldn't resist) These long crusty loaves are some of the tastiest breads around. The dough smelled very tangy and good even before it was baked.

They were a little long for my sheet pan as you can see, but that's the kind of thing you have to deal with when baking bread. I just let them hang off the ends and hoped for the best. One thing that I haven't gotten down yet is slashing the bread. I used a razor blade, but they didn't spread out as much as I would've liked. Also the loaves weren't as brown as I like, but hey, I'm just starting out in this bread thing. There are numerous things that can go wrong when baking bread, but most of the time it is still very edible and good.

Here is the finished product...with a crumb pic.

This was very good bread, especially with my chicken and sausage gumbo left over from the freezer..."Laissez les bons temps rouler!" The kids really enjoyed it too!

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