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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Mellow Monday: Falling for France

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:

Autumn in France

 

France is such a beautiful place to be in during the autumn.

 

Fall in Lyon, France

Via Jeke’s Photos@Flickr

 

Having lived in sunny SoCal for the most part, I’ve never been able to see fall scenery like this. But the colors of the leaves are absolutely stunning!

 

Fall in Grenoble, France

Via Michele*mp@Flickr

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Why the Rooster is Quintessential to French Country Design

Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when I say “country animal”?

I bet it was a chicken.

And if  not, it was probably the second thing you had in mind. If you’re familiar with the French Country look, chances are you’ve seen quite a few roosters here and there. Roosters are so quintessential to French Country because they’re important to both France and the general countryside.

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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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