We're three weeks in and baguettes have without a doubt been the front runner, we think its been about 350 but to be honest we've kind of lost count.
One might say that starting a business during lockdown was a risky move but we'd been in the planning for many months and saw so many local food businesses thriving having innovated and branched out to home delivery. This was certainly helped by more and more people wanting to support local and avoid supermarkets where they could. If anything, this seemed like a better time than any to start a business offering fresh bread & biscuits to your door.
But back to the main subject. Why baguettes you may ask! Although those childhood memories of trips to France certainly pay a big part in our inspiration, it was actually in the heart of Iceland that we decided that baguettes might be one of our first products. We were sitting in a log cabin in what was one of the biggest snowstorms the country had seen in years - this was where we started looking into the original french methods behind those truly perfect baguettes with a crispy crust and a fluffy centre. We said to one another, "if we're going to do baguettes we need to do them right", thats why we decided to go with the traditional method. We thought we could share a little of what goes on behind the scenes and let you in on a little known secret about the perfect baguette.
Three days, yes three days, thats how long it takes to make our baguettes - tiring work wouldn't you say! Ok, so we're not actually kneading bread for hours on end. For those bread enthusiasts out there you'll already know this but for those normal folk (just like we were before we started out), much of the flavour you get from breads like sourdough and proper french baguettes is simply through time - you have to allow the dough to ferment, often overnight to help build up those incredible flavours.
So here's a little breakdown of the three day process:
Day 1: We start with just four simple ingredients, flour, salt, yeast and water - these are brought together to create our pre-fermented dough and here starts the journey of building flavour. The pre-fermented dough is left overnight for those four ingredients to do their thing.
Day 2: The pre-fermented dough then acts not too dissimilar to that of a sourdough starter, you add it to even more flour, salt, yeast and water and knead into what will be your baguette dough. Another night of proving happens before the third & final day which is the fun part.
Day 3: We often find mountains of well proved dough trying to escape from the fridge on the third day, now its time to shape, roll and score before they get slid into a super hot oven. They really don't look like much when putting them in, but when those baguettes come out the oven thats when you remember why you waited three days.
To my knowledge there's not many breads that tell you when they're done baking but baguettes is one of them. When taking then out the oven we listen for a little crackling sound, we've found this to be a good indicator that they're baked to perfection. Once out the oven we package them up and then they're ready for delivery or collection. Simple as that!
Well there you go, just a little bit of an insight on what goes on behind the scenes to make our traditional french baguettes. Hope you enjoyed reading - I'll pass the baton back to Minnie for blog #3.
Barney @ The Loaf Tin