Monday, October 31, 2011

Blizzards and Baguettes

I love it when we do something that sounds remotely like we have a social life. Which do not let me fool you for a second: we absolutely do NOT. (We being Big D. and  I.) No dinner parties, (although I think I made that pretty clear here), no Melave Malkas, and definitely no girls night out. Yep, its a pretty bleak and dreary existence filled with work, school, baking, studying, laundry and cookies. Not necessarily in that order. But last night I can sort of pretend we had a social life. My good friend, who shall be called Hyper D. (Yes, all the D's on this blog really have names that start with the letter D. You just can't make this stuff up.) was hanging out at our house over the weekend, when BAM- Northern Jersey was hit with a freaky whopper of a blizzard. It was so bizarre- we were all kind of in shock. There is a small window of beauty right in the middle of the snowstorm, when everyone is snug in their houses, and no one has had a chance to muddy up the snow. There are no slush puddles splashing everywhere, and no salt crunching in the streets. The world is so quiet, pristine and beautiful. Hyper D. and I just sat at the window sighing " It's so romantic. *sigh* It's so beautiful. *sigh* It's so peaceful. *sigh*" Meanwhile, Big D. is in the background snorting "Harumph, you guys, you realize I'm the one who has to go shovel eight inches of snow to get your car out." Gee thanks Big D. 
Great way to ruin the moment. Men.
Anyhow, when everything is so snug and cozy, it calls for some pretty specific food:
Soup- Definitely.
Hot Chocolate- Check.
Fresh Bread- Amen to that.
So here was our menu for last night:
Fresh French Onion Soup
Crusty French Baquettes
These baguettes were incredibly easy to make. I have never attempted to make baguettes before in my life, but Hyper D. started waxing poetic about dipping crusty french baguettes into french onion soup, so I just couldn't resist. And I will definitely make them again. 

Crusty French Baguettes
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg white
(Approximately 2 cups water)

Combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast begins to foam. Add flour, and salt. Using the kneading attachment, knead dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise in warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° ( I set the bowl on top of the oven and then turn it on to preheat. It seems to work well over there.) Divide dough in half. Roll out half of the dough into a large rectangle, about 18'' by 12''. Starting at the wide end, roll the dough up tightly, until it forms a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 3. Gently roll each baguette into a proper baguette shape, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover baguettes with a towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the baguettes with egg white. (I skipped that step in the one pictured above and it came out fine. The egg white adds more crispiness to the crust if that's what you are going for.) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
 For extra crispy baguettes: Heat about 2 cups of water in a teakettle. Before placing the baguettes in the oven, put an empty cookie sheet on the bottom rack. Pour the heated water into the cookie sheet. Then put the baguettes in to bake, and immediately close the door. Keep the oven door closed for the duration of the baking time. 


  1. This looks heaven. Why don't u buy DB (as in Dear Brother) of mine a snowblower for the winter? Thats what I'm doing...

  2. Wow!, that looks outstanding! I think I'll go out today and finally buy my official french-onion-soup-mugs-which-go-in-the-oven. Beautiful photo!

  3. HYPER D SAYS: ROCK ON!! it was awesome!!!!

  4. Food was delicious, and the shoveling wasn't that bad :)

    Big D:

  5. I MISS snow... That baguette looks awesome! Do you ever use a bread machine? I would love some new bread machine recipes!

  6. JerusalemStoned- its only pretty the first storm, then its pretty much moaning and groaning from then on. I actually don't have a bread machine- sorry!

  7. What a lovely post - I enjoyed reading every word. Lots of laughing out loud. Thanks!


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