05 December 2010


Three breads today! I promised a few people more struan, so I made that. The lean bread keeps coming out delicious, so I made that. And the rustic mini baguettes are probably my favorite, so I made them again. Also bacon was involved because of a comment made in jest that I could not ignore.

The struan this time used to correct yeast (instant, no "wake up" required). Much fluffier than the last time, still all the delicious taste. You can see in the photo below it is a bit airier, and the crust was quite a bit lighter. The other change was to not leave it in the oven for 5 minutes after it was done with the heat off - less crispy crust, moister on the inside.
Struan on left, rosemary on top
The bacon baguettes used the Pain a L'Ancienne recipe from Artisan Breads Every Day, halved, and with 4 pieces of very crispy, very thick bacon crumbled into the dough before cold fermenting. This was a perfect amount of bacon, and adding it before the refrigeration process really let the flavor grow without overtaking the bread. I'm going to say, with some certainty, that this recipe is a beautiful thing, and the mini baguettes are the perfect way to prep it. 50 minutes at night (1-2 minutes of work every 10 minutes), 1 hour proofing period the day of cooking, and maybe 15 minutes in the oven. I think if people knew bread this good could be had with so little time, they might make it more often.
Rustic Bacon Mini Baguettes
The other change in my cooking was, for the lean bread, I cooked it in a cast iron pan instead of on a baking sheet. This gave it a much crispier bottom but I couldn't notice any other differences. As an experiment, I also added 17g of corn meal to the bread (with 340g of flour). I think (but could be mistaken) that this improved the texture of without ruining the airy goodness you get from the loaf.
Rosemary Lean Bread 

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