So… Im getting pretty good at bread making these days. I always thought yeast bread was too difficult and complicated to master so I would drive miles and miles for great bread, hours actually. Many years ago I drove from Barrington all the way downtown to Masi’s Italian Bakery around the Taylor street area, I would buy about twenty loaves and share them with neighbors. It became the “bread run”. I loved that place, the smell of pizza and bread, the brothers yelling at each other and the voice of their mother yelling back from upstairs. I felt I was in another world. I would walk in and linger, just soaking up the atmosphere, regardless to say my bread run took pretty much the whole morning. The brothers would stuff my loaves into huge flour bags and put them into my car for me. How I loved those guys!
Here in Valrico there is no little Italy or those wonderful neighborhood deli’s I took for granted in Chicago, so I decided to try my own hand at bread making, I know it’ll never be Masi brothers bread, but at least better than off the shelf. I didn’t mess around with searching for recipes, I went to Jacques Pepin, one of the great chefs of all time and landed the perfect recipe. Now with the addition of my awesome baguette pans I can crank out four perfect loaves at a time. It took about two years of experimenting with my oven temps and cooking times as well as the perfect amount of flour for four perfect baguettes. I can proudly say I have finally achieved the loaves I’ve been hankering for. Crusty, floury, dusty little cylinders of perfection. It makes my heart sing when I take them to a family gathering and everyone just breaks off pieces before dinner and munches happily away. I love it when my granddaughter takes one in the car and nibbles on it all the way home.
Now I’m ready to create on of my favorite meals of all time, the one I ate almost everyday in Paris. It was the highlight of my day at a little cafe on the Rue St. Honore’
“omlette au jambon et au fromage”. I have the rich eggs, now only the right ham and perfect cheese and I will be sooo happy!
If any of you can steer me in the right direction for the right ham and cheese, I would LOVE that!
Bread quality flour
One rise in bowl, next rise in pans, bake at 425 for 20 minutes. You can bake more for dark hard crust, or less for softer inside, or freezer ready to rebake later.
Here they are in all their rustic imperfection! Bueno Baguette!
Large Rustic European Loaf