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: Chicken Normandy

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

Chicken Normandy

Via SimplyRecipes

We’ve done roosters in French Country style, roosters in home decor, and so this week’s feature recipe is–you guessed it–Chicken Normandy!

Chicken Normandy, of course, comes from the French region of Normandie, famous for its cream, butter, cheeses, their exclusive Bresse chickens, and its apples! Their Calvados, or apple brandy, is especially delicious, sold everywhere from people’s cellar doors.

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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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Tasty Tuesdays: The Classic French Pear Tart

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

 

French Pear and Almond Tart

Via Nook & Pantry

 

Today’s feature is on a classic French pastry, the pear tart. It’s a staple in patisseries all over France. But, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult at all to make from scratch! The recipe we used this week is from Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking From My Home to Yours and Around the French Table.

 

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not very partial to eating anything with cooked fruit (except blackberry pie), but I might have to reconsider that after having tried this pear tart! Every bite is a piece of heaven, and what makes it even better is that it is fairly easy to make.

 

The recipe is very versatile too–if you’re not a pear person, feel free to substitute it with peaches, apricots, or apples. Even more convenient is that you can use fresh, poached, or even canned pears in the tart (yes, even French women tend to use canned pears for this!). I opted for the poached pears (if you’ve never poached fruit before, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at it), but you really can’t go wrong with any of the options. This is a wonderful recipe for fall and winter, as there are still an abundance of pears about in the frosty season.

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Fig Newtons

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

I remember some summers at my grandmother’s house, she would have figs lying out on tables to dry. It was quite the mouthwatering sight: rows and rows of plump figs sitting out in the hot summer sun for days at a time.

Recently I’ve had the luxury of a enjoying a fresh fig, and now I can’t understand why on earth she would have wanted to dry them before eating them–they’re absolutely heavenly when fresh!

 

Courtesy of zapxpzau@Flickr

 

Sadly, fig season has been dwindling to an end, and while dried figs may never compare to fresh ones, they’re still quite the treat. Which is why today, I’d like to share this recipe for homemade Fig Newtons (if you’ve never tried them or have no idea what they are, you won’t need to find out after this recipe!).

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