ALMOST NO KNEAD BAGUETTE, and some ROMESCO TOO!

“He who has no bread has no authority”
Turkish Proverb

The perfect baguette? Elusive as ever, but this one was very near. The best I’ve ever made, and the most satisfying in many ways. Have made a French loaf earlier, Julia Child’s French Loaf, which had me huffing and puffing for days to end, with an 18 page long set of instructions! But by the time I was ready to bake the bread, it was all well worth the effort. That was a Daring Bakers challenge way back in Feb ’08, my second challenge, which had me scribbling plenty, making notes, charts. Then I seemed to have all the time in the world!

Cut to now. No time for so many complicated risings unless the gun’s on the temple. The recipe on the King Arthur blog came as a revelation. Beautiful bread and with minimum effort. I don’t have a dough hook (actually I do but choose not to use it due to power outages), so I used elbow grease. It turned out to be a crisp and lovely baguette. The good part is that the dough is made the previous evening, and just needs the second rising the next morning…

Next morning, the family woke up to the sweet smells of baking bread. I have never had that experience before. When I was young, we never baked bread at home. It was unheard of. Baking was limited to the odd chocolate cake, or then, my Mum’s fave, the Christmas cake. That morning smelt wonderful, like a bakery & the baguettes were gone almost all gone in next to no time. All I eventually had left were a few heels and a couple of slices left. (I made a half portion of the dough, which yielded 2 baguettes.)

A baguette is a specific shape of bread, commonly made from basic lean dough, a simple guideline set down by French law, distinguishable by its length, very crisp crust, and slits cut into it to enable proper expansion of gasses and thus formation of the crumb.

Baguettes redux: Easy Baguettes from an almost-no-knead dough
Please go to this link at King Arthur blog for the recipe. I am not posting it here because I won’t be able to do justice to it. The post talks to you, then it sings to you…and eventually hypnotizes you to reach for flour!! PJH has a wonderful style of writing & the tutorial is a must see.

To quote from the postCan you make baguettes as tasty and gorgeous as those from a bakery using previously frozen loaves, filled with chemicals, distributed from a commissary a thousand miles away from the bakery?
Or baguettes equal to the soft bread wands labeled “baguette” in the supermarket bread section?
Absolutely.
As the artisan bakers in our
King Arthur bakery do, we’ll use just four ingredients – King Arthur Flour, yeast, water, and salt – to make a baguette that’ll do any home baker proud. A rest in the fridge gives the dough terrific flavor. And, since this recipe makes enough dough for four baguettes, you can tweak your technique baguette by baguette, one day at a time.

In the end, making baguettes at home is always a work in progress. The more you bake, the more you learn, the more you hone your skills. And trust me – no baguette you bake at home is ever a complete bust. It may not be as light as you want, as crisp-crusted, as flavorful – but that’s why croutons and crostini were invented.

Almost binned the left over bits the next day while clearing up … then the sight of bell peppers took me back to Romesco. Yum yum yum yum yum! As Julie aptly tweeted ‘@vindee ooh, don’t you love romesco? It’s great on roasted/grilled veg sandwiches too!’ What a great way to use left over bread. My first exposure to Romesco was on Julie’s beautiful blog, Dinner with Julie. I made it almost instantly at the time with left over toasted focaccia, & we totally fell in love with it. Kids too. Now I knew where these toasted left over bits were headed. Romesco of course! The colour of the sauce this time wasn’t a brilliant red like last time, as I used a red bell pepper and a yellow bell pepper, as against just red bell peppers.. The taste was great though. I eye ball the ingredients as I make my Romesco, sometimes depending on what I have on hand. This time, I increased the garlic, and gave the sauce a good dash of lime. I think the tanginess increased the flavours a lot, and gave the Romesco nice summer freshness. Not original Romesco, but a refreshing departure nonetheless.

ROMESCO DIP
as adapted from Dinner With Julie
In her words, “All the amounts here are approximate – it’s a dip, so feel free to wing it.”
Ingredients:
1/4 cup almonds,
6 garlic cloves (I roasted 1 head of garlic with the bread)
3 slices of baguette, toasted
1 red pepper, roasted
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tsp. paprika
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime (1 1/2 tbsp)
2-6 Tbsp. olive oil (or canola)

Method:

  • Roast the almonds in a preheated oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes till golden and fragrant. Cool.
  • Toast the bread & garlic for 10-15 minutes in a medium hot oven. Peel the garlic, & tear the bread into chunks.
  • Transfer to a food processor & pulse until the bread and nuts turn to crumbs.
  • Add the roasted bell peppers, lime juice, paprika and salt and whiz until well blended. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until the mixture has the consistency of thick mayonnaise, scraping down the sides of the bowl. (I added about 2 tbsps of water to reduce the quantity of oil I was using. It didn’t compromise the taste.)
  • Serve with pitas, slices of crusty baguette, cooked tail-on shrimp, naan or veggies. Good even thinned out with some pasta water and tossed with a spaghetti.
  • Makes about 1 cup. (Will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Make sure the top is covered with a thin film of oil.)

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

This post has been ‘Yeastspotted’

Rachel @ FujiMama posted the same KAF baguette recipe around the same time I did, only that we live half the world apart. So I commented on hers… “You too? You won’t believe it, but I posted the same recipe last night. LOL…great post. This was a bread we all loved too! Your loaves are great! “. Just walked in to find she’s awake at 2.45am & emailing – “That is absolutely hilarious! What are the chances? Great minds truly do think alike! I’m up with the baby (it’s 2:45am here) and I’m giggling…which in turn is making her giggle. So uncanny that I couldn’t resist giving you a little shoutout, so I’ve made a small addition to the end of my post”…Go KAF!!

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Comments

  1. Jackie at PhamFatale.com says:

    Your bread just looks perfect. The dough looks airy, just like at the store. I gotta try your recipe. I made some crostini with a goat ricotta and red bell pepper spread which is quite similar to your romesco (without the almonds) I could finish the whole dip :P

  2. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That bread and romesco sauce look fantastic! You've just made me hungry ;-P…

    Cheers and have a great week,

    Rosa

  3. Judy@nofearentertaining says:

    Beautiful looking bread and I love the romesco!!! I bet you'll be bread a lot more now huh?

  4. Nicisme says:

    Just look at your bread, light and delicious!

  5. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    There is nothing quite like waking up to freshly baked bread. And it is a treat in my house, too. This bread looks lovely. Great to find a recipe like this so you can produce beautiful bread more quickly. But always nice to know that you also have the experience of the more labour intensive versions! Both satisfying in different ways.

  6. It would be interesting to try this recipe with the King Arthur Flour to see if there's a difference. The baguettes look fabulous and the gluten fantastic.

  7. Off to make this bread! Thanks for pointing it out my friend!

  8. Cynthia says:

    I really like the crumb you got on the bread.

  9. toontz says:

    Mmm…I think I could live off of that! Sounds absolutely delish.

  10. Tangled Noodle says:

    Such beautiful loaves! I'm content to admire your creations – until I gather the nerve to try it myself! 8-)
    I do love Romesco sauce and your recipe looks amazing; I'm sure its flavor is equally delicious!

  11. Miakoda says:

    Perfect…I love the statement about waking up to the wonderful smells of a bakery, I'd like to experience that myself :)

  12. Bunny says:

    I've never made baguettes, when I do I'll se this recipe it made a wonderful loaf!!

  13. that romesco looks so good!! and the baguette is almost no knead eh..

  14. Barbara Bakes says:

    Bread baking is definitely a smell I'd like to wake up to! Your bread looks terrific!

  15. Big Boys Oven says:

    this is an amazing combination! just perfect for me! I can eat it all by myself! lol!

  16. Great looking baguette, I'm all for quick and easy recipes. Will definitely try this one out. And I like your take on romesco sauce with the lime juice.

  17. I am so happy I am going back to my own kitchen today because that bread and that dip/salsa really inspired me! Thanks Deeba!

  18. Fuji Mama says:

    Ok, now that is just uncanny! Great minds definitely think alike! Your bread is gorgeous. Isn't this a great recipe? Go KAF!!!

  19. Parita says:

    The bread looks fantastic, love the flavors in Romesco dip..

  20. Coleen's Recipes says:

    I thoroughly enjoy baking bread. I'm looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  21. It has been a long time since I stopped by – the new look is beautiful! That romesco sauce looks quite lovely.

  22. Wow–I just read that recipe on the King Arthur site last week and thought to myself, "Gosh, I really should try this . . . it doesn't look hard and, who knows, it might even work!" Small world, yes? Glad to see you tested it out for us and have confirmed its greatness! I must try it now too. As usual, just love your beautiful blog!

    Jane

  23. morgana says:

    Before reading this post I was already hungry (it's passed lundh time here, in Spain) but now… My computer is in danger!! I'm so hungry I'm thinking about eating a bit of my screen.

  24. Peggy Bourjaily says:

    That romesco dip looks delish!

    And, of course, I've got to try this baguette recipe.

  25. Velva says:

    I can already smell the bread baking. This baguette recipe is being placed on my list to make!

    You did such a good job bringing those baguettes to life. Love your blog!

  26. Nancy Baggett says:

    I have to stop in and give a plug for my own bread book–it's called Kneadlessly Simple, which means No kneading and in many recipes no hand shaping. The dough gets stirred together in a bowl and usually stays there till it's just plopped into a baking pan or pot. No work, but very, very tasty. You can try a recipe on the NPR.org website (search on no-knead bread), or on my book's page on Amazon, or on my website. Try it!

  27. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    Incredible baguette and sauce. Both look amazing! Mmmm, I can smell the lovely aroma of the bread…

  28. Oh wow, baguette and no-knead as well. Love the end result.

  29. Kitchen Flavours says:

    Oh wow…..no knead baguette sounds interesting …..hat sauce sounds very creamy and indulging….

  30. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Sounds great that you can put the dough in the fridge to bake later. You certainly made the most of them – the dip sounds so tasty with roast garlic!

  31. I also remember making that Julia Child's French bread back in 08, that was painful! LOL. I like this recipe better. Easier is always better, right?

  32. Cheese Company says:

    Incredible baguette! This can be tried with any dip.. a creamy gravy even. Thanks dear.

  33. Bellini Valli says:

    It all sounds delicious Deeba. I can only imagine the aromas wafting from your kitchen Deeba…King Arthur Flour is the ultimate. If only it were available here.

  34. Dharm says:

    The baguette looks and sounds super! I might have to try this if you say it is easier than the DB one we made months ago. I too never had the experience of waking up to freshly baked bread at home – maybe my mom DID try but it wasnt often and I dont remember it… Making your own bread is really satisfying and you have done superbly!!

  35. Anurag says:

    The baguette looks wonderful, the pictures are awe inspiring, got to bake some bread this week.

  36. KAF Customer Service says:

    Good looking baguettes. Glad you enjoyed the no-knead method. Frank @ KAF, baker/blogger.

  37. Jennifer, The Lady Riposter says:

    You're making me hungry! I love bread and I've only recently become brave enough attempt recipes that don't involve my bread machine. I'll have to put this on my list of things to try!

  38. Hi, just love the way they look!! how much yeast have u put for half the recipe?, I´ve made the dough but it´s not rising…snif snif..

    thanks and besitos

  39. Gloria says:

    Deeba! I love french bread and specialy baguette!! I made a lot of times ! But yours look absolutely yummy and tasty, reday to eat, je,je, xxoxoxoxo gloria

  40. Palidor says:

    Fresh baked bread and roasted pepper dip? What a PERFECT afternoon snack!

  41. pigpigscorner says:

    Nothing beats homemade bread..which reminds me, I haven't baked bread in awhile!

  42. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    You know I've always been scared off doing a simple baguette as I've always thought that they'd be too hard. Thank you for finding the perfect recipe! :D

  43. Jamie says:

    Perfect perfect bread and I want to try it, too! And served with that Romesco must be amazing! Love it! Great job, Deeba!

  44. Katrina says:

    Bakery Perfect looking baguettes!

  45. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    Isn't it wonderful to have fresh bread in the morning? Lovely loaves, Deeba, and the Romesco is such a great way to use some of the leftovers.

  46. Laura says:

    Great looking bread and I love the idea of using leftovers for Romesco sauce. I know what I will be trying next!

  47. lisaiscooking says:

    Lovely loaves! I have to try an almost no-knead type bread. It's on my list! Your romesco looks delicious too.

  48. Helene says:

    Oh my I'm always looking for a new baguette recipe. Thanks so much. I should make them soon. Yours look really good.

  49. nora@ffr says:

    m already craving for this bread!! yummmyyyy

  50. stephchows says:

    it looks beautiful! there is nothing better then the smell of fresh baked bread!

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