The Fresh Loaf

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BBA French Bread and Xmas Cookies

mse1152's picture

BBA French Bread and Xmas Cookies

Hello everyone,

I have never made the French bread in the BBA, so I thought I'd try it. After trying so many unusual or specialty breads, I wanted to go back to a classic. This version uses pate fermentee (sorry, I'm not conversant enough in HTML or whatever it'd take to include the correct French accent marks), risen a bit at room temperature, then put into the fridge overnight. The dough is made the next day. I did three stretch and fold cycles at 30 minute intervals during a 2-hour fermentation. The proof after shaping was about 50 minutes.















This made about 950g of dough, and I got two smallish batards out of it. PR suggests using diastatic malt powder if you are using organic flour, but I forgot to add the malt. The color didn't suffer any, though. It's crusty, and only moderately open in the crumb. The vertical opening in the bottom part of the loaf is where I stabbed it with the thermometer! The crumb is strong and moist, fairly elastic (at least on the first day). Flavor is OK, but not a Wow. But maybe my tastebuds have gotten used to sourdough.
















While the dough was fermenting and proofing, I frosted a bunch of Christmas cookies I made yesterday. I'm glad I don't make stuff like this often, because I can inhale six of them before the sugar woozies get me.

Of course, I had some help...including Mabel, the cat.


















Floydm's picture

Nice Christmas cookie spread there.

I like the pensive look on your helper's face... "Hmmm.... more frosting or sprinkles?"

I've gotta get a move on making my cookies. Next weekend.

browndog's picture

My son got me hooked on I Can Has Cheezburger?
Mabel looks like a potential site queen to me.

That type of sugar cookie is the trademark of my Christmas past; the neighbor lady used to make them by the bushel. 


mse1152's picture


I think Mabel's words would be "Is time for snack now?"   or  "Why you sit in my chair?"



KipperCat's picture

Your happy scene brings back memories for me too. I think we made those cookies every Christmas - maybe some others, too, but those say "Christmas cookies" to me.

Paddyscake's picture

made me smile, very cute!!