The legend of Donnie Baggs
Today is my niece's birthday, and part of my "gift" is to send her the link to this blog entry.
Background - years ago dabrownman christened me Donnie Baggs here on TFL. I had written this at some point in response to one of his comments. But decided to resurrect it here with updates.
I have lineage to a town in Sicily called Bagelone, just 25 km west of Logginsenda Messina as the cronut fries . And I was christened Don Alfanso Bagelone by Patricio "Buns" Pattimeltini, a member of the local Muffinosa. But everyone knew me as Donnie Baggs.
For the record I was raised by my Lievito Madre. I was just a po’ boy. But grew up to be a hero, feeling my oats. While it may be true that my Popover was Big Tony di Ciabatt, he was more of a creampuff, liked to loaf around and it was easy enough to butter him up. Durum those days, times were tough but fun, and I recall with fondant memories when my bro mated witte the bubbly but pale English Ali on the unbleached shores of Marsala.
We were often stretched as thin as a window pane and pinched for dough. At first I thought about going straight, like my aunt Maize. We always had an oven door policy at our house, and one day Buns, who at times could get hot and crossed, stopped in to ask if I wanted to make some real bread. So I thought rye not?. And pretty soon a lot was starting to hoppen and I barley had thyme for any bran new ventures, wheat all that I kneaded to do.
Poppy Tony di was not at all like Uncle “Leggs" Fougasse, who was crusty and hard as grisini. I always looked up to and prefermented him to my own pate. That is, until the day that he called me a floury little batard. A poolish mistake. I really didn't care if he was a biga shot or not. Now he was just another crumby sour don't. I didn't stand for that sheeter from anyone. I had a short fuse back then.
I made few calls but couldn’t find my button man Rico Pugliese, who was raised in Como. I refreshed my memory and recalled that we had a 3-stage plan to build-up to something like this. But I couldn’t figure out wetter Rico was just playing me for more bread or wort else was going on with him. Was he trying to ficelle me out? No. Naan times outta ten, he’s reliable. A pita, really. I wasn’t sure what to cake of this. I was divided and didn’t know how the final shaping of my pan would work out. I woulda spelt it all out to him, easy, as he’s a smart guy with a lot of couche-t and a self starter.
Nobody Pullmans my chain and so I decided to e-laminate Fougasse myself. My typical M.O. was to whip out my lame and give some Paisano a close shave. It was the yeast I would do. His face woulda bloomed with a bloody grigne from ear to ear. And you talk about scoring? Then I thought about Mario Egwite, who’d get whipped into a pique over something like this. He made sure that the yolk was never on him. So instead I pulled out my gatt with the hollow ground bouletts from my lederhosen. Leggs made a run for it, but I was able to peel off a few rounds, and in the mixer of the action one spiraled its way into his glutinous maximus. I pumpernicked another in there too. He was levain large until that moment, and just like 1:2:3 he French folded and dropped like an epi.
I was held on a Filone charge. But that was dismissed as I already had all the fudges in the court system baked into my jellyroll. That was my only close brioche with the law. Any other stooge would have had to give up his 36 month autolyse on that new car, bake a run for it, and steam on outta town. Not me! It was proof positive that I had a formula that worked. Still a bit unnerved I fell asleep on my living room couche that night, a baker's dozing, if you will.
Back then I had the swagger of a young Robert Miche-um.
So, yeah, keep your distance from Donnie Baggs.
Yesterday saw another bake of the marvelous Maurizio's levain baguettes.
375g x 4 baguettes/long batards