Bread Diaries Day 1: French baguettes

After producing a semi-successful loaf of Focaccia, next up was French baguettes. I ate the most heavenly baguettes when I visited Paris earlier this year, and honestly I still dream about those perfect, crispy crusts and soft, fluffy insides. 

I just knew I had to give a try and baking my own, and honestly it didn’t seem too hard. 


Many, many things went wrong in this attempt. That’s why the photo for this post captures the “French” aspect and not the “baguette.” I’m not even going to make a “what went well” section because nothing went well (other than the fact that the final products were roughly baguette-shaped).

The process

I use this recipe:

I choose this recipe because it seems quick, simple, and doesn’t require any fancy tools at all. You don’t need to wait overnight, and you can put a baking sheet filled with water to create a nice, steamy oven (steam is what gives you that delectable, crackly top).

I follow everything carefully, roll out and shape my loaves, then hop on a 45 minutes conference call to let my loaves finish their final proof. 

My parents, in all their love and care, think I forgot about my loaves and pop them in the oven straight onto the rack, with no sheet tray in between.

I come down from my (stressful) call and shriek because my loaves are now rolling sadly in the oven and never got the chance for their final proof.

The results?


  • The loaves are a sad grey color, with no browning at all
  • The inside and dense and crumbly, as they never got their final proof
  • The whole thing tastes vaguely medicinal. Turns out the flour is stored next to the vitamins in the cabinet, and the vitamins give the flour a lovely bitter flavor. I don’t realize this until I bake 2 more loaves of bread.
  • The whole situation is sad, soggy, and vaguely phallic

But I would say by far what I regret about this whole experience has nothing to do with bread. What I regret is losing my patience at my parents, who were just trying to help. I wreck their car along curbs and gates (I am a much better baker than driver), they doom my French baguettes.

In the end it’s all an accident, and it’s all about forgiveness. And trying again on those French baguettes.

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