Saturday, February 20, 2010

Whole Wheat French Baguette and an Award

This bread brings back memories of my trip to Paris a few years ago. Out of college, with no job, a friend and I backpacked around Europe for a month, and Paris was our last stop. At this point in the trip, I was exhausted and almost ready to go home, so honestly, I did not have high hopes for this city. But I was totally wrong - there was something very unique and comforting about Paris and I LOVED it.

Our budget was tight, so we stayed at a less than pleasant youth hostel. Till this day, there are two memories that still stick with me about this place: 1) the awful co-ed bathrooms - these were so gross that I seriously could not spend more than 5 minutes in the shower, and 2) the free breakfasts: a cup of orange juice, a small plastic container of jam, and a mini french baguette. The bread was so simple, yet SO amazingly delicious. It was seriously some of the best bread I'd ever had: warm, chewy, crusty, and perfect with that small amount of jam.

The recipe for this bread is in Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. As much as I want to share this recipe, I won't out of fear of the copyright police coming to get me. Seriously, there must be some top-secret law that prohibits food bloggers from posting recipes from this book because I cannot find any of these recipes online. Try for yourself: do a Google search on Bread Baker's Apprentice French Bread -- see? lots of nice posts and pictures but NO recipes. Coincidence? I think not!

I cannot take credit for this bread, as much as I want to. Last week as I was visiting the east coast, BF discovered my Bread Bakers Apprentice book and made this bread. He followed the recipe for French baguette and replaced all of the bread flour with whole wheat (yes! I've taught him well). The result was a chewy, crusty and hearty french bread that is unbelievably good for sandwiches.
Now, on to the award...A while back, Jill from JilliciousDiscoveries, awarded me the Honest Scrap award. Jill is a fantastic baker and a master cake decorator (a skill I clearly lack). She has also been very supportive of my blog by taking the time to leave thoughtful comments on so many of my posts. Thank you for your support Jill!
I'd like to pass on this award to some other fabulous food bloggers. Since there are so many fantastic food blogs I've discovered within the last few months, it was really difficult for me to decide which blogs to choose. Honestly, I think they all deserve an award. In the end, I realized that it has been almost a year since I started this blog, so I decided to pass this award along to relatively new bloggers who have been blogging for less a than year (my apologies if you have already received this award, you still deserve it!):
1. Memória at Mangio da Sola - a gorgeous blog with beautiful photos and fantastic recipes like homemade tamale and chocolate mousse cheesecake (oh my!).
2. Marcellina at Marcellina in Cucina - lovely blog with a great mix of savory and sweet recipes
3. Rebecca at CakeWalk - tons of tasty and interesting recipes with an emphasis on using healthy and all-natural ingredients.
4. Valerina at Une Gamine dans la Cuisine - delicious photos and recipes with an emphasis on sweet treats.
5. Ju at The Little Teochew - always a fun read, lots of unique recipes and culinary stories.



  1. When you were in Paris, I hope you got to taste some pain poilane! It is THE best bread I have ever had!
    I love your idea of a whole wheat French baguette. It would have such a lovely earthiness!
    And congrats on your award!

  2. Thank you so much! It's nice to be recognized by fellow food bloggers. :>

  3. Wow, thanks! And you know, I've seen that Bread Baker's Apprentice around, and have to check it out- after my Lahey obsession wanes of course! The only "bad" thing about food blogging and meeting other new food bloggers (who are Amazing, by the way) is that my reading list keeps growing and growing. I can see how magazines are failing when home cooks and bakers are producing amazing inspirations and sharing with eveyone out of pure joy and passion. I'm looking forward to having a look at the others up there on your list!

  4. Gee, thanks so much for the award! It seems amazing to me that anyone evens reads my blog let alone think me worthy of an award. I really appreciate it. And congratulations to you, you so deserve it! Nice bread, BTW.

  5. That bread looks fantastic! I need to go make some:)

  6. Be still my heart. I have the Bread Baker's Apprentice book and would only need to know the percentage of whole wheat flour your BF used. No copyright infringement there, right? That bread looks divine!

  7. Wow! I feel so honored! Thanks for the award. I really appreciate it. I just barely made it in this one because my blogiversary is coming up next month!! Woot!

    You deserve many awards, especially when you go around making beautiful baguettes like that!! Delicious!

    P.S. When I went to Paris, my mother and I stayed in...get this...the Paris Hilton LOL!! Actually, it's called Hilton Paris, but I liked putting the name in the other order for obvious reasons.

  8. Your bread looks AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!! Well done! And I was so happy to pass on this award to you--I've enjoyed following your blog.
    P.S. I'm so envious that you've been to Paris *sigh* I bet it was wonderful. :)

  9. Barbara: I've never tried pain polaine but I just googled it up and it looks delish. Next time for sure!

    Valerina: You're welcome!

    CakeWalk: Yup, definitely a lot more to read now. I find myself allocating time during the day just to catch up on my favorite blogs.

    Marcellina: You're welcome, and you def. deserve the award.

    Mary: Thanks!

    Mags: Of course I will share that info. I thought I already put it in the post, but you were right, I didn't (I updated the post now). BF replaced all of the bread flour with whole wheat (both in the pate fermente and in the bread) and followed the recipe exactly.

    Memoria: Hah! Paris Hilton, I bet they hate being called that. Yup, we both have blogiversaries coming up!

    Jill: Thank you again for the award Jill!

  10. Your baguette looks perfect! Congratulations!! And you totally desserve the award. Yum!

  11. wow bf did a good job...have some with fig jelly

  12. Rebecca at CakeWalk just told me about your beautiful blog so I came over to have a look: love the photos, the recipes look delicious, and you are yet another blogger to inspire me bake bread again. I am going to look at all the bloggers you mentioned next because I know & really enjoy the posts at CakeWalk so I bet your other selections are great too! --Talia

  13. Very healthy French bread. I wouldn't mind having some :)

    French Course Angel