Last year, when I started this website, I was in a soul sucking job that provided so much down time during the day that each hour seemed like two. I started this project as something to lift my spirits and give me purpose, which it truly did. Then as luck would have it, I found my dream job, and eventually stopped working on the website, my soul no longer crushed.
Then the world tipped on it’s axis with Covid-19 and I was laid off of my dream job. It made sense, and I’m not (too) bitter. I was the last person hired, and they certainly weren’t going to let go of the veteran staff that had been there for years. Now I’m home with my high school age kid, trying to ‘home school’ and keep my family sane until the crisis is over.
All that leads me back to here.
I had to think of how I could proceed with the original idea of this website – but with limited funds and a deep desire to not need to go to the grocery store every day for odd ingredients. I’ll refocus the website on things I’m trying to cook and bake for us while we self isolate. I promise as many failures as before.
Which leads me to attempting home made baguettes.
Bread has, and always will be (along with boxed wine), my weakness. There really is nothing better than soft warm bread right out of the oven. Today I tried Paul Hollywood’s baguette recipe. Seems simple enough and I have all the ingredients on hand.
Let me just say that I consider myself a fair to decent home baker. I’ve made some damn delicious things in the past. Truth be told – being a pastry chef/baker for an actual career has always been the dream. My bread making abilities would probably get me fired from that job though.
First, the recipe says specifically to use a square plastic container – and that it’s important to shaping of the baguettes. Only square plastic container I had was the dispenser I use for my awesome Sangria. We’re aren’t going for ascetics here people.
Up to the proofing, everything had moved smoothly enough. Once I got to tipping the dough out, shaping it and getting it onto a baking trays the whole adventure was an unmitigated disaster.
It was impossible to handle – being careful to not knock any of the air out – it’s sticky and uncooperative. This dough does NOT want to be a baguette. It wants to stay where it is – in a large Sangria Dispenser. Transferring from container, to floured surface, to linen cloth, to baking sheet – these things were trashed by the time I got them to their final resting place.
Now, I imagine you being the smart home baker that you are, you KNOW when a recipe says to use a roasting pan in the oven to create steam – it means use a roasting pan…..Not a glass casserole dish.
Now I need to buy a roasting pan as well as a replacement glass casserole dish because it exploded all over my kitchen.
In the confusion of the explosion, I forgot to slash my bread. But at that point I just said screw it and put it in the oven.
If someone had tried to break into my house I have no doubt I could inflict serious injury with one of these bastards. They were hard, ugly and burnt on the bottom.
There is a possibility that my ‘crumb’ was acceptable. And after cutting off the bottom burnt bit, my husband and I agreed that it was….fine. Cause in the ends, that’s really what you want to hear from your family. “It’s fine”.
Oh and also, the square plastic container didn’t make a damn bit of difference.
When everything was done and all the glass was cleaned up, I decided to sit down and watch the episode of Great British Bake Show that dealt with Paul’s baguette recipe. Only thing I have to say is- Bite me, Paul.