Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just to set things straight...

I did everything that stupid baguette recipe said to do. I made a starter, using exact measurements for everything (even down to the 1/16 tsp of yeast for chrissakes!), and set it out to ferment for the 14 hours it was supposed to. I then made the dough, this time not putting too much water and wound up with a PERFECT frickin' consistency for bread. PERFECT! True, I refrigerated the starter, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I doubt it. The dough rose, and I even gently deflated and turned after the first hour before putting it back inside a heated (heated to warm) then turned off oven to rise some more. (Okay, I had to take it right along with me to my friend Ian's house, but still, it rose and it was doing everything it was supposed to. It even got nice and puffy when finally shaped them before putting them into bake.) After I removed them from the oven, they were a lovely deep golden brown, and yes, they looked like baguettes! We let them cool, and then each ripped off a good sized hunk and bit in.

Texture wise-they were perfect. The crust was chewy-crisp, it had a moist, slightly dense but still fluffy inside, and it smelled like heaven. But that was where all happiness at these baguettes ended. They tasted awful. Well, not awful, but bland. Seriously, seriously bland. I'm talking reminiscent of home-made play-dough but without the salt.

What the heck did I do wrong? Did I just use the wrong recipe (yes, the link takes you to the recipe I did use)? Is there another recipe out there that is perhaps more flavorful than this disappointment? I mean, after all that effort to make some goddamned bread I could buy in the store (and have it taste DELICIOUS!), to have it taste like NOTHING at all?!?!?! Ridiculous, I say! RI-DICK-U-LOUS!!!!!!

Did it have something to do with the fact that I had to substitute all-purpose unbleached flour for the bread flour it recommended? Maybe the flavor comes from all that extra wheat-gluten? I've subbed all-purpose for bread before and the breads always came out fine! Yes, I admit it, I'm whining. I don't like to be thwarted damn it. I was craving some warm, delicious, fresh out of the oven baguettes and wound up with a chewy bit of ickiness that made me toss out the other two baguettes. Please, if you have a better recipe than that one, let me know. I'd love to try again. Later, though...much later. Unless I get bored enough. ;)

To console myself over the great Baguette Disappointment, I've decided that I'm going to make fudge with DW - who is the expert of all things fudgey. She likes to claim that she's not crafty, but when it comes to baked goods and anything chocolate - she is queen! I mean it. QUEEN!

This will be fun and a treat considering I can hardly ever convince DW to do kitcheny/crafty things with me.

Not to mention this counts as practice for Xmas (or giftmas as a friend calls it - I may start to adopt that term btw!)considering we're planning on giving out a whole bunch of goodie baskets this year!

Anyway, what the hell am I doing writing this? I should be elbow deep in chocolatey goodness! Thanks for reading guys! And thanks for letting me rant! :)


Corrina said...

I consider myself a very good cook, and an excellent baker. But bread eludes me. I always screw it up.

craftycrafter said...

that sucks darlin. I'll see if I can find the recipe we always used in school. But don't throw anymore away, there's always stuffing and bread pudding to fix blandness.

Walk in the Woods said...

Are you absolutely certain that salt made it in?

I make bread regularly throughout the cool months and flat breads and pizza on the grill in the warm months. I have for years uncountable. I no longer use a recipe. I feel I have at least a smidgin of expertise on this subject and so, I ask again ...

Are you absolutely certain that salt made it in?

I usually add salt at the second (or final) kneading and have forgot to add it (and still do on occasion).

Bread without salt is bland, Bland, BLAND. It will otherwise appear perfect to the other senses.


elaines630 said...

I have to agree with Walk in the Woods. From what you are describing, it sounds like there was no salt. Its something I have forgotten before.

Anonymous said...

That bread gave me a gross...Let's have some FUDGE! YAAAAY FUDGE!


P.S. I am NOT a queen! That's gay.

yarnpiggy said...

Sorry to hear about the bread disaster. I make my own bread, but I've never tried I'm not so sure I want to try!

Fudge, on the other hand...mmmmmmm!