Feeling Impatient? Bake French Baguettes

“A watched pot never boils.”

Life does work out in its own time, so being impatient and constantly checking “your pot” will just make it seem to take longer. How true is this? Not just with boiling water but with life. This is why I wanted to post an entry about patience and give you a recipe that I feel will really help you if you struggle with this virtue. I believe that learning patience does in fact take practice, so please forgive yourself if it takes you a while. You are not alone in your journey, we all struggle with this! (Trust me; I am right there with you.) And let’s not even talk about all of our modern conveniences like email, smart phones, tweets, and status updates. Since we are constantly connected to one another this does very little to alleviate our need for immediate gratification! (Please raise your hand if you agree with me here.)

But take heart! Patience may be virtue but is available to us all! I know you can do it. I challenge all of you fabulous A Taste of Therapy food followers out there to embrace this virtue. Yes. Let’s. Let’s allow for life to happen in the way that it was designed to happen with our without our control, worry, or constant checking. Yes, the water will boil…when it is ready. It will all work out just fine.

In the spirit of our new found freedom. I challenge you to try bread baking. There is nothing like allowing bread to rise to test your patience. I believe that baking bread from scratch will without a doubt help you improve your patience practice. You must start making your bread a whole day before you bake it. But, taking the time to allow the bread to rise, proof, and prefect itself does take patience, my friends. But trust me; there is nothing better than home baked bread. Your home will smell like heaven and you will be beyond proud of your bread and ability to prefect your patience. Happy baking!(Recipe adapted from:http://www.cookingbread.com/recipes/classics_bread/baguette_recipe.html)

    French Baguette

    Ingredients:

  • Day Before:
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Day of:
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon liquid honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Process:

  • In a bowl mix the “day before” contents together with a wooden spoon. The dough will form a stiff ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter overnight or 12 -16 hours. Patience, my friends.
  • The next morning place this pre fermented mixture into a larger bowl. Add in the water, honey and instant yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon till smooth and wet. Allow to rest for 10 minutes uncovered. Add in the salt and half the flour; mix well. Place dough on a flat, floured surface.
  • Knead for 8 min. while slowly adding (about a tsp. at a time) more flour till dough no longer sticks to your hands and is smooth and elastic. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a clean bowl and place the dough in. Turn over a few times to lightly coat all sides.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 1 1/2 hours or till doubled in size. Pour out the dough and cut into 2 equal sizes. Press down with your fingers to remove some of the gas.
  • Cover with plastic wrap again and wait for another 15 minutes. Patience applies here.
  • Now, start to roll the dough like a jelly roll. Be sure that the roll is tight. Pinch the seam closed and then roll with the palms of your hand to make a log shape about `12 inches long. Sprinkle two lines on a piece of parchment paper with cornmeal. Place the baguette breads onto each line of cornmeal.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour, more patience needed. Place your baking stone into the middle shelf of the oven. Place a cast iron pan onto the bottom of the oven and turn on the oven to 425 degrees. Just before placing the dough into the oven bring a cup and a half of water to a boil. Remove the plastic wrap and with a sharp knife make 6-7 slashes on top of each loaf.
  • Place onto a hot baking stone and pour the boiling water into a cast iron pan in the oven to create steam. If you don’t have a hot baking stone, you can use a baking sheet, but be sure to have boiling water in the oven to create the needed steam. The steam= crunchy crust.
  • Close the door and allow to bake for 25 minutes or till golden brown. Want to see if the baguettes are done? Tap the bottom of the loaf and if it sounds hollow it’s baked.
  • Place onto a wire rack and allow to cool. Don’t allow to cool too much, you want to bite right into it when it’s warm and gooey, add some brie cheese and you won’t want to leave the house all evening. Promise.