Breaking Bread

I’ve long been more of a cook than a baker, simply because I don’t like to follow recipes, but recently I became determined to make good bread — in particular a good baguette. After trying a number of different approaches, I finally discovered the flavor I was shooting for with the pain a l’ancienne from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I have to admit it’s a bit startling how delicious this came out — better than 99% of the professional bakeries around where I live.

While I’m not going to duplicate the recipe here because if you don’t have the amazing book, you really should get it, I did want to record the dough ratio for future reference if I didn’t have the book on hand:

765.5g of bread flour
16g table salt
5.25g instant yeast or ~8g active dry yeast
609.5g of cool water (adding extra to get the right level of stickiness)
bake 550 down to 475F, done is 200 to 205F (93-96C)