The baguette’s in the oven

The plan is to make a baguette, and if I want to eat it tomorrow, I must start tonight. I am using a recipe that its creator calls “Baguette (The Easiest Recipe).” In fact, it’s so easy that it’s a “no-knead” baguette. In case you’re wondering, the baguettes to the right are not examples of the “easiest recipe” baguette, which while it requires mixing only four ingredients and saves your forearms from kneading 10-15 minutes, it still takes overnight to rise.

The baguettes to the right are from a different recipe called “French Baguette Recipe,” which takes a total of 30 hours 18 minutes to make. The recipe creator’s online profile photo shows a young American woman who claims to be a “busy twin mom,” but she’s smiling and wearing make-up that’s not smudged, the photo was taken in Paris, and no twins are to be seen anywhere. This means, obviously, that she goes on holiday and stays at the Ritz and drinks champagne from 3 o’clock on, while someone else watches the twins and her husband works two jobs. She totally has a day and a half to make French baguettes.

What makes this latter recipe “French,” you ask?

Certainly one would expect to invest the time and attention to a food that is distinctly French. The model in the above photo looks French and, truth, doesn’t it look at first glance like she’s flipping us off? Seriously: ad directors, photographers with ascots and the French in general are famously subversive and would pull this stunt. After all, it was the French who came up with the linguistically subversive phrase double entendre, even if it was American country music singers who perfected its use in their song titles, like Jerry Reed’s “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft).”

“Oh!” you say. “THAT’s not a double entendre! It’s merely about how much the wife got when she and her no-good husband split. You have a mind as dirty as coal itself.”

To which I reply, Well if it wasn’t a double entendre before, good luck thinking it isn’t one now.

Few things are as comforting as a warm baguette just out of the oven with cold unsalted butter in chunks.

Apropos of that word itself being French and also in the broader category of food, I started using the H-E-B app yesterday for my shopping list. I’d been using the OurGroceries app, but after posting the use of it on my Instagram story a couple days ago, an H-E-B partner sent a message and reminded me that the store app is good not only for finding where an item is or if it’s in stock (previously my main use of it) but also adds those items to a list, organized by aisle number and store location, and even shows where coupons are offered.

This post was drafted on Saturday morning and finished this morning, Monday. The baguettes came out beautifully. I have never had a freshly baked baguette right out of the oven, sliced it and heard the crisp crust give way to a soft, chewy inside. Then spreading cold unsalted butter on it and biting into it, hearing that crisp crunch again.


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