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    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    French Bread and Fishes - Providing Our Own Food

    Dale went fishing and he caught his first ever fish. I had to take a picture.
    It was lovely we had it simply pan fried for dinner.
    I made some fish cakes with the trimmings.
    An excuse for using the remains of my Caesar Salad dressing
    recipe in the Dinner from 3 Continents blog.
    But now onto the main event. French Bread.
    A while ago my good friend Diana gave me baguette tins. I have tried many recipes and have had success, but this is the closest I have got to bought French Bread.

    I love this cookbook from Terry Thompson. It’s called “Cajun Creole Cooking”
    She is so informative and instructive just like The Divine Marcella. I also include here as truly inspirational Elizabeth David and Mrs Julia Child...anyway
    I read Terry's book frequently for inspiration and it seems the page was always falling open on this recipe French Bread New Orleans Style.
    It seemed so simple anyone could make it. And it is so!

    It is designed for the food processor and what more can I say.
    Actual work time is only minutes but there is the usual resting time for the rising.
    So I started this at 8am and it was ready at 11.30 for our lunch.
    I turned my share into this yummy BLT.
    The flavour of this bread is fabulous. A great crispy crust and beautiful crumb.
    Fantastic flavour.
    All explained in the quote from Terry’s Book below.

    “A scientific discovery my good friend Shirley Corriher led to the addition of flavoured vinegars to the French Bread recipe. When testing breads prepared according to the age-old, long, slow rising French method, it was discovered that the dough became acidic during the extended and numerous risings. Her conclusion was simply to add acid at the beginning of the bread making process. The resulting loaves had both the aroma and the taste of the slightly soured and yeasty breads of Europe, without the long rising! Try this method with your favourite bread recipe, using as your guide one teaspoon of fruit-flavoured vinegar to every three cups of flour. Don’t be tempted to add more vinegar; excess acid could destroy the gluten in the flour.”

    I am so excited about this bread. It should be great on the boat.
    Have to take the food processor on board.


    1 1/2 cups warm water hand hot 45C
    1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

    1 pkt dry yeast (8gms)
    About 3cups flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or any other mild fruit flavoured vinegar
    1/4 cup vegetable oil


    20 gms cup butter melted with 1/2 teaspoon salt

    In a 2 cup measuring cup combine water and sugar.
    Sprinkle in yeast; stir till blended
    Leave till foamy 5-10 minutes
    In a food processor with steel blade blend 3 cups flour, salt and vinegar
    Add dissolved yeast mix all at once
    Process 3-4 seconds to combine.
    The dough should be wet and sticky with a slight degree of body
    If it is too soupy add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time, processing between each addition until a wet sticky dough is formed.

    Process no more than 15 seconds to knead dough.
    Pour oil into a large bowl and oil your fingers
    Take dough from processor and pull of (with oiled hands) any dough stuck to blade and bowl.
    Form dough into a rough ball.
    Turn dough over several times to completely coat with oil.

    Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise till double in size. (approx 1- 1 1/2 hours)
    Lightly oil your tins
    Knock the dough down and pinch it into shape and pull to fit the tin.
    Brush dough with butter and salt glaze.
    Cover loosely with plastic wrap again

    Let rise till double in bulk
    Pre-heat oven to 205C
    When loaves are ready take plastic wrap off
    Brush again gently with butter and salt mixture.
    Into pre-heated oven

    It should take around 20 - 25 minutes to bake.
    Cook completely on cooling racks.

    This made 3 baguettes.
    Crisp crunchy crust and look at the crumb
    Just like a bought one.

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