Greetings and a Baguette story
Hello all from Perth, Western Australia. Its currently late winter (but we had a balmy 21C here today, that's shortsleeves weather, not sure what is going on, but my bread rose beautifully :-)
I started my recent bread baking fun by visiting my favourite butcher (yes, butcher!) and what do I find in the back of his freezer? A frozen baguette, imported from France, parbaked I presume, with a label "180C for 10 minutes"). Brilliant.
Bought it, cooked it, died and went to heaven.
More or less tasted as I remembered from France. Well, I thought, I've baked before, how hard can a bagette be?
I'm sure some of you are laughing right now.
So, I decided to sample the surrounding French patisseries and see what their baguettes were like. Amazingly, most of them did the same thing, imported frozen dough from France and baked on the premises! Only one bought dough from Melbourne. I asked the (French) proprietor why exactly they imported their baguettes (when they make their other bread from local ingredients). She shrugged (in a Gallic way) and talked about our flour being "too refined". I am puzzled as to what this means. Of course I realise flours are different around the world, but... too refined?
Is this a common thing in other parts of the world (eg the US?) Do your bakers import dough from France?
Anyway this journey has just begun for me. I started with no-knead bread, but found it kind of boring. I tried Pain a l'ancienne too and thought it was great. I am now experimenting with fruit loafs and trying to find a good, regular wholemeal (wholewheat). Taking advice from this site, I am trying a bread more than once to try to get it "right" (or at least, "really good").
I am learning lots from TFL and enjoying the conversation. Thanks guys.