BBA Challenge #21: Pain à l’Ancienne

I don’t really know what to write about this bread of the BBA Challenge other than: It was great and will be made again soon. Hmm, this is not enough to justify a post, I guess. Besides, I have some pictures to share.

OK, so here we go. The recipe yields 6 baguettes, but since I am one of these “Only fresh bread is good bread” adherents I decided to make only half the recipe. Even with 3 baguettes, there would be enough left for the next day. So I thought… ;o)

For this bread, you mix all the ingredients (just flour, salt, yeast and water) together, scrape everything in an oiled bowl (yes, this dough is VERY sticky) and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day the dough has to wake up and ferment for like 2-3 hours before you can start shaping the baguettes.

I put the dough piece on the counter, stretched it into an oblong and cut it in 3 equal-sized pieces.  I carefully transferred the dough pieces to my baguette pan which conveniently holds 3 baguettes, and gently pulled them to the length of the pan. I was afraid of the scoring part, but I think I did a better job this time. Not good yet, but slightly better than before (see below). In the meantime, I prepared the oven for hearth baking and when the oven was ready I baked the baguettes. After about 20 minutes I took them out of the oven. Look how  nice the baguettes I’ve got are:

Even the scored parts were nice as you can see in this close-up view:

Nice crumb, lots of holes, excellent taste… We ate 1 baguette the first evening (2 adults and 3 kids) and left the other two for the next day. I went to a kids’ show the next day (“Pippi Longstocking celebrates Christmas”) with the 4-year-old and the 6-year-old, and my hubby, grandpa and the 2-year-old stayed home. When we got home at 7:30 pm I thought we could have the leftover baguettes, but, as you might have concluded by now, everything was gone. Of course, the guys said, the 2-year-old had been VERY hungry. A likely story!!!!

Luckily, I still had some of the marbled rye bread in the freezer and defrosted it quickly in the microwave. This was yummy, too, but I still was a little angry at the guys that they hadn’t left ANYTHING of the 2 baguettes for us :-(.

4 responses to “BBA Challenge #21: Pain à l’Ancienne

  1. This is the next bread I need to make…thank you for your post! I love your baguette pan…mine only holds 2, so I’ll have to figure something out. Wish me luck~

  2. Your Pain à l’Ancienne baguettes look great! The crumb is beautiful! Good idea to make half the recipe. Too bad you didn’t get to enjoy them but I’m sure your hubby and grandpa did…Lol. I have way too many of the BBA breads in my freezer. I need to start making half recipes myself.

  3. They aren’t the biggest loaves, I guess. Luckiily I think this bread is relatively “easy” if you want to make more. I agree I should start with some half recipes–between the meat CSA and these breads, our freezer barely stays shut.

    And, I’m not surprised none was left for you. Hope Pippi at least was fun!

  4. I think we are at the exact same spot in the Challenge; I just made this one yesterday and baked it this morning! Your scoring looks beautiful…mine seemed to go away during the overnight sit in the fridge. Too funny that they blamed it on the two-year-old, although my 18-month-old did eat quite a bit of it herself today!! =)

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