although i am in this for the fun, i do admit that baking brings out (much to the amused dismay of mr. mimi) the neurotic perfectionist in me. i want my things to come out *just so* and if something doesn’t, i become a pain in the ass until i determine why.
as some of you remember, my first bread baking adventure was last weekend with the french baguettes. two main problems: too salty and un-brown bottoms. i figured my salt problem was due to using fine instead of coarse, as the recipe called for. and for the bottoms, thanks to the suggestions of the amazing daring bakers, i reasoned that my stone was not hot enough.
so i tried again. the beautiful thing about baking is that it becomes like a mental and muscle memory. the first time i made baguettes i had no idea what i was doing. just this second time, it seemed so much more natural; my thoughts and movements had direction, expectation, and relaxation. i can’t wait to see what happens a dozen times down the road.
and that is why from the beginning, it seemed like things were going better. even my starter looked so much better (i let it mix a little longer, so it became a little thinner.) from there, the dough just felt much more “right” than before.
here they are, another round of french demi-baguettes. i made them small because my stone is small. the crust was perfect; when you sliced it, that wonderful crackle sound was like music to my ears. the crumb was soft and airy. we ate some slices with the three wise cheeses, but really, it was so good you didn’t need anything with it at all.
as for my two previous problems? well, i used coarse, and even a smidgen less than required. it still tasted a wee bit salty to me. although it could just be traumatic memories of my first attempt because mr. mimi said it tasted perfect. however, next time i think i’ll use even just a little less salt.
and the bottoms browned!! in fact, just a teensy bit too dark. ahh, the art of having the perfect bottom. isn’t that a problem for all us ladies?! ;)