Another bread I was looking forward to! We arrived from the other side of the world a little tired, but after a nice shower I grabbed the book and prepared “pate fermentee”. It’s a fancy name for a simple thing: flour, salt, yeast, and water, kneaded together, allowed to rise for one hour and placed in the fridge overnight.
French bread is reasonably easy to make, but tricky to shape, as the dough contains a high proportion of water. Refrain from adding too much flour and you are half the way there.
These photos show the complete dough (pate fermentee’ + more flour, salt, yeast and water) before and after rising for 2 hours at room temperature. I cut the dough into three pieces, shaped as baguettes, taking care to deflate it as little as possible.
The baguettes rise one more time, at least 45 minutes, then go into a 500F oven. I need more practice shaping baguettes, but overall I think they worked quite well.
The crumb is not very open, but the bread has excellent flavor and texture. They were a nice complement to our dinner tonight!