Tasty Tuesday: 6 Secrets for French Baguettes

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

Growing up, I had the good fortune of living nearby a little hole-in-the-wall bakery, which made the best baguettes I ever knew (well, apart from the ones in Paris). My mother told me they would wake up at the crack of dawn everyday to start baking, and as soon as they opened their doors to let the people in, the baguettes would start flying off the counter. The crust of their baguettes was perfectly golden and crunchy, but the interior was smooth as silk and so, so soft!

French Baguettes

Via Mister J Photography@Flickr

Every bakery has its own secrets for making its bread, and French baguettes are no exception. But I’ve gathered 6 key points of any good baguette recipe to share with you, so you too can have a try at making your own delicious baguettes! Good baguettes definitely take a while to make, and this recipe is no exception (it takes at least 8 hours–but don’t worry, most of the time is for letting the dough sit around), but I promise the results are worth the wait! The recipe I use has been adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, with a little tweak in the baking process.

Secret #1:        The Right Flour

Sure, you could go ahead and use regular All-Purpose flour, but the closer you can get to that Parisian ideal of crispy, chewy perfection–well, the happier you’ll be. The French typically use Type 55 flour for their baguettes, which has a lower protein content than All-Purpose flour (usually 11.5% protein). I know that’s not found in your standard supermarket, but you can buy it online from King Arthur Flour. (There’s also a math formula for making a substitute from various flours but I never really fancied math.)

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Tasty Tuesday: Croques, Monsieurs et Madames?

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

 

I admit, I’ve never really liked ham and cheese sandwiches.

 

But I guess I just never had the right kind.

 

That is, until now.

Croque Monsieur

Via Confections of a Foodie Bride

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Mellow Monday: The Style That Took Paris By Storm

Welcome to Mellow Monday, a picture post with beautiful photos from around the web!

Sit back and relax as we present this week’s theme:

Art Nouveau with Alphonse Mucha

Back in the early 1900s, Alphonse Mucha became the talk of Paris for his contemporary and refreshing art style, which they dubbed “Art Nouveau”. There’s more on him here, but I’d just like to show you some of the highlights of his works.

 

His advertisement for the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt, Gismonda, launched him to fame overnight. Some collectors desired this print so much, they would sneak out at night to cut it down from the billboards!

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How Alphonse Mucha Floored the Parisian Art Scene–Overnight!

Via Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia

The Legend of Mucha

The year was 1894, around Christmas in Paris.

Alphonse Mucha was toiling away in Lemercier’s printing workshop, correcting proofs as a favor for a friend. The internationally famed actress Sarah Bernhardt phoned the manager demanding a new poster for her stage production by New Year’s Eve. All the regular Lemercier artists were away for the holidays, so the manager turned to Mucha in desperation. Despite having no experience with designing posters, Mucha eagerly accepted the task.

 

When the manager returned on December 30 to see Mucha’s finished work, he was absolutely horrified.

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French-Inspired Conservatory

Southern Living recently featured this gorgeous French-design backyard conservatory created with salvaged windows – we couldn’t resist the temptation to post it here.  The owner, Jeri Farmer, wanted a glass garden house and was inspired by the glass Pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris.

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History of Couleur Nature

While traveling through Rajasthan, India, Paris based designer Bruno Lamy was introduced to the age-old technique of hand-block printing, an art form passed down from generation to generation. Impressed and inspired by the unique beauty of hand-made textiles using this technique, Mr. Lamy returned to Paris and began creating a visually enticing array of Provencal-inspired linens that has become known as Couleur Nature. Sold throughout Europe and North American, Couleur Nature has quickly become a household must for the sophisticated consumer.

Couleur Nature table linens are offered in a vibrant assortment of designs and sizes that suit a wide-range of personal styles and occasions. The versatility of our designs allows the linens to be used on formal or casual table settings year-round and are suitable for everyday use.

Mr. Lamy has been designing textiles for over two decades and is continually inspired by the response of the U.S. consumer. As a result of the high demand and admiration for these linens, two new prints are introduced each season in various colour ways and are interchangeable with previously introduced patterns.

“I am thrilled to share my discovery of this rich tradition with all of Europe and North America and hope you will enjoy the beauty and quality that is “Couleur Nature”. -Bruno Lamy