Ohh bread week...
I was actually looking forward to bread week this year after my success with a Fig and Goat's Cheese Fougasse last year. But this time around, bread was not on my side (it's probably not surprising seeing as that fougasse was the last time I made bread).
I knew I should have picked the signature bake and made a quick bread, but I wasn't feeling particularly inspired by any flavour combinations. Plus kneading is the bit I like about baking bread, and quick breads shouldn't be kneaded very much at all. Boring. And ok, I might have been feeling a bit more confident this year, but there is absolutely no way I could have done a showstopper! Apart from maybe a snowman - which in hindsight would also have been a better idea.
Anyway, I went for the technical challenge again and decided to attempt baguettes. I love freshly baked baguettes - they make me think of holidays to France and al fresco lunches with a selection of cheeses and salads. Sadly what I ended up with was anything but baguettes. They didn't look like baguettes or taste like baguettes or resemble baguettes in anyway at all.
|This was attempt number one. I promise I do actually know what a baguette looks like|
I'm not sure of exactly the point these were destined to fail. Perhaps it was when I deemed the mixer incompetent and decided to mix by hand (I have this fear of kitchen appliances exploding in front of me every time they make a sound I've never heard before). Or when first time around I couldn't be bothered to find a plastic box with the right dimensions, so just found an old ice cream box in a cupboard. Or maybe when I completely forgot how cold our kitchen actually is, then tried to resolve this by sticking the dough in the slow oven (not even slightly close to a proving drawer). Or when I tried to fashion a couche out of a tea towel and some baking paper. Or when I forgot how temperamental our oven can be and managed to get a good crust, but a raw inside?
Are you starting to understand that this was not my finest moment in the kitchen?!
|Yeast cruelly teasing me by pretending this would actually work...|
|The ice cream box I used first time around|
I even tried these twice - I wasn't giving up at the first attempt! (Although I have now given up at the second attempt.) At least the second time around I skipped out the makeshift couche so didn't end up reshaping blobs of dough into rolls. But I should have used two baking trays rather than sticking them all too close together. Oh well, c'est la vie.
|Oh so promising in the makeshift cloche|
|Deflated. Like me after all this.|
All in all, this week was a bit of fail. But there's always one, isn't there? Hopefully I'll be a bit more on form for desserts next week. Then we can forget all about these baguettes...
(The recipe I used this week was this one from the GBBO website)