Note from Shannon: Please welcome Rosalyn Newhouse, CFH Content Development Manager and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper, as she shares the culture found in her recent trip to France.
France has a reputation as the home of some of the best cuisine in the world, and on my first visit here, I am beginning to see why.
On a walk through Tournon, on the banks of the Rhone in southern France, we found no restaurants open on an early Sunday morning, but we were able to stop at a small convenience store to pick up some chevre, a couple of peaches, and a small sourdough baguette. We took these to a nearby shop serving wine (at 9:00am!) and coffee, and enjoyed a rich and flavorful petit dejeuner!
The sourdough had a crispy and flaky crust with a light and springy filling. The cheese was a slightly aged chevre. Creamy on the inside, it had a soft rind rind with a soft bloom and was a perfect partner to the baguette!
One of the things I noticed especially at the little grocery was that every single fresh food item – from the ripe, fragrant peaches, to the generous selection of cheeses, and even the fresh eggs! – was labeled with name of the town it came from.
In fact, a French friend we were talking with about recipes was disparaging about someplace he had eaten recently. “They don’t know where their ingredients come from!” It was the worst insult he could think of.
These are people who really connect with their food! Now, for that sourdough baguette recipe…
Simple Sourdough Baguette
- Scant 2 cups flour
- Scant ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sourdough starter
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well until it comes together. Sprinkle just a couple of tablespoons of flour onto a work surface and knead work the dough slightly. It should be a little sticky and you don’t want to add too much flour to it while kneading.
- Form the dough into a ball and cut in half. Form each half into a long baguette shape. Place the formed baguettes onto a baguette pan or a greased cookie sheet.
- Cover lightly with a damp towel and let double in size in a warm part of your home. This could take from 3-6 hours, depending on the temperature in your home.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake baguettes in preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes and serve.