Friday, July 16, 2010

Pain a l'Ancienne

Um, so this bread is such a big deal.  As Peter notes, "The technique by which this bread is made has tremendous implications for the baking industry."  And, importantly, Peter discovered it.  And by discovered it, I mean he went to this little French and/or Italian bakery (it's been a while since I read the beginning of the book, in which Peter explains some bready stuff and talks about how awesome he is) and was like, hey, cold water, that's interesting, and brought it back and was like, hey important Americans, look at this.  And yeah.  About this bread, Peter writes: "As in any facet of life, this is an exciting place to find oneself, like standing at the end of the world, facing the words, as so often showed up on ancient maps, 'Unknown Kingdoms Be Here.'"  Fucking colonizer.

So!  Ingredient-wise, this is pretty simple.  Bread flour + salt + yeast + ice water =

Parent and baby!!

Peter, if you couldn't tell, is obsessed with manipulating time.  This bread gets him even more excited b/c it involves time and temperature.  I know.  You're practically wetting yourself right now.

We gotz dos cups.

And, per the temperaturealongwithtime obsession, the dough sits in the fridge overnight, during which I will brb aka see Eclipse, sleep, and go to a potentially lame/cool work picnic.  Yeah.  Either that or I don't get paid.  That's the infinitely lame part.  Getting paid to swim or boat?  That doesn't seem fair, esp when I could be at home baking for my large fan base.

Okay, brb.

Back!  Eclipse = less sexy than the book (how is that possible?!), work picnic = thirty minutes of eating veggie burgers and cake and walking (yay B for being my C-bus family aka coming with me! -- only family members were allowed -- I came up with an elaborate story about how he's my "brother": I grew up in India and my father was a drug lord, who insisted on having only Aryan (like-original-Aryan)-looking servants.  When the authorities finally caught on to his actions, he told my mother and I to flee to America.  Worried for her young boy's life, my mother's servant-in-waiting begged her to bring B to America with us, where my mother raised him like her son.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use this story at the picnic.), sleep = good, too short.  I know you're interested.

Or, you're probably more interested in the dough.  Well, then, here:

After a one-night stand with the fridge, we have three cups, which must wallow away, separated from their potential true love as they wake up, lose chill, and ferment for 2-3 hours.  I know, we've all been there.

I don't want to leave the house, but I have to.  Bah!  I know, I live a horribly difficult life.


You may not be able to read that.  It's basically 3.5 cups.  It's supposed to be at double its previous unrefrigerated amount, which, if you will remember, was two cups.  At this point, I was like, eff this.  Time to shape.  Like Jazzercising.  Or liposuction.  This dough was remarkably fleshy.  Very glugly (which I should start an urbandictionary entry for -- okay, done).

And separated into baguettes.  I always want to spell separated seperated.

Yeah, not too professional-looking.  Also, they were very poorly scored.  These are in the oven for eight-nine, then ten-fifteen.

AND.  Peter sucks with his TIMINGS.  Even though he's obsessed with TIMINGS.  These are effing BURNT.  And I took them out five minutes EARLY.

Waiting twenty minutes aka hating myself for letting these burn aka reading John Green (books, not blog) aka wallowing in teenage-esque misery.  Yessssssssss <3.

After twenty minutes:

All of the world remains nothing, save for me.  Me and my bread.  Alas!  The darkness, the darkness!

The burntness ruined this.  But, as B said, "it tastes ancient."

3/5.  Dumb timings.

Will probably make a decent sandwich though.



  1. I want to know what ancient bread tastes like!!

  2. 1- glugly still just reminds me of boobs.
    2- i am buying you an oven thermometer. because according to the helpful packaging on the one i just bought, most ovens are totally off.