A Hopping-Good Easter Cake & 50-days Coffee-Free

Pardon the title, seems I’ve gotten really punny in English lately, I’m not sure what that’s all about.  Probably because since I’m not currently teaching*, the only English language use I seem to be getting is little blurbs on Twitter and of course chatting up my now 6 year-old (Gasp!).

Though I’m not Catholic, every year I give something up for Lent in memory of my dear, sweet Grams.  This year I decided to give up baking (as I have the past few years), but also, coffee.  Though my consumption habits have waned considerably in the past few years, I was still drinking a very strong “café italien” every morning, and often one after lunch.  I thought it was the time to give that up for a little while, since I was finding myself needing the coffee, rather than enjoying it.

Before my Lenten baking-fast, however, I did give this cake a trial-run :

The cake, my go-to carrot cake recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes, was gussied up with some almond paste and a little creativity.

the only radishes my family will eat…

give peas a chance!

Happy bunnies love cabbages…

I suppose you could do the same thing with fondant, but since my local grocery store has all natural almond paste in green, pink  and white, and they are natural colours, I opted for that.  I’d seen the idea for the sculpted veggies in Marie Clare Idées, I think the February issue, but I don’t remember.

This cute cake was supposed to be my last baked treat for 50 days, but I went and volunteered to bake treats for Guppy’s school bake sale.  They asked for cookies,  and of course because as the only person around who has actually eaten an authentic chocolate chip cookie I was urged to make chocolate chippers. Figures.

They turned out a little less-than-authentic because while not paying attention to what I was purchasing I bought a bag of chocolate chips mixed with shredded coconut – and I wasn’t about to go back to the store for plain chips.  They were extra delicious (made from Isa’s perfect recipe in VCIYCJ) and no one complained, and they were bought up in no time at all.  And yes, I did eat one. Or four.

Giving up coffee was awful, as most anyone who has ever detoxed from the stuff will tell you.  The first two days were actually ok, with me just feeling a little too smug about how easy it was.  Then, the headaches started, or rather, the headache started.  It lasted for about 8 days straight, and nothing really seemed to help ease the pain.  I was also a little bit (very) cranky on days 3 and 4, weepy-cranky actually, but then it was over.  I allowed myself all the tea I wanted, but psychologically it’s not the same deal at all.

The positives of this coffee-free existence were really surprising to me, mostly because I didn’t think that I was drinking enough for there to be a negative impact on my life.

1) More Energy : I found myself full of energy, more than usual.  There was no early-afternoon “I want a nap” feeling which really surprised me, and I actually found that I needed less sleep at night – about 30 minutes less.

2) Faster Recovery & Lower RHR : From a runner’s point of view, I’d always seen coffee as my friend, a silent partner in my training.  I’ve read a fair amount of literature on the matter and felt pretty good about my relationship with coffee, especially my pre-morning run cup.  Turns out, coffee wasn’t such a great friend after all (words I never though I’d type dear readers).  I didn’t make the connection initially, but my RHR (resting heart rate) seemed to be dropping though my training was increasing.  I initially and oh-so-modestly chalked that up to my being in rocking shape.  Then, I noticed that my training HRs were also slightly lower, and began paying even more attention.  It wasn’t until bringing coffee back into my life that I noticed my RHR sneaking up by about 8 bpm.

3) Better Concentration : After the detox stage, I found I was better able to concentrate on any/all things throughout the day.  The mental clarity that accompanied my coffee-free life was a real surprise, especially because I thought coffee actually helped improve concentration.

The negatives of giving up “Joe” were mostly social – everyone seems to get edgy call and even feel judged when faced with questioning their own habits.  The reactions of other people – friends and family members – reminded me of those I see when there are discussions of veganism in the air.  For most folks it’s not big deal, they just shrug their shoulders and move on to the next thing, but for others, there was a bit of defensiveness and disapproval and comments like “well, you can’t give everything up” start flying…

Yes, I did bring coffee back into my life, though I admit it was rather anti-climatic.  I had misty-eyed memories of cafination, the aroma, the “glow” if you will, of my morning cup, but in reality I found myself with an extremely elevated HR and feeling jittery.  I was also frustrated by the return of the afternoon sleepies and mental dullness that seem to accompany them in the early afternoon.  I’m drinking less, and though I do still love coffee, I think I’m much more careful about just how much I consume per day.

Have you ever given up coffee?

*That being said, I am looking for some part-time work kids, so if you need any translation, editorial writing or French/English lessons, do let me know, please?

Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris : Les Vendredis Francophones

Quand l’adorable Mihl a décidé enfin de me rendre visite l’année dernière elle n’est pas venue les mains vides!  Parmi les trésors qu’elle a gentiment apportés avec elle  à travers l’Europe (ou bien, de l’Allemagne jusqu’à chez moi en Aquitaine) se trouvait un sachet de jolies baies de berbéris!  Elle en parle souvent et les utilise dans ses pâtisseries, donc j’avais hâte de les découvrir.  Vous ne connaissez pas les berbéris?  Allez faire un tour chez wiki pour plus amples infos sur ces petites baies acidulées pardi!

Une fois les berbéris en ma possession, que faire avec ces petits rubis comestibles?  Je n’étais pas en manque d’idées, et le plus dur était de me décider, ce que je fit enfin!

Il faut dire que nous avons beaucoup de choses en commun, Mihl et moi, parmi lesquelles nos chers souvenirs d’enfance avec nos grand-mères respectives.  Je voulais donc essayer de leur faire honneur avec cette recette, inspirée par mon arrière-grand-mère.  Ces sablés sont  sophistiqués dans leur subtilité, avec un mélange de textures surprenant, entre le croustillant du sablé sucré et les baies séchées acidulées.  La poudre de noisette ajoute une touche d’amertume qui joue avec la délicate douceur du sucre roux qui les entoure…si vous n’avez pas de baies de berbéris, des “cranberries” séchées non-sucrées feront l’affaire.

Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris

Pour 40 biscuits environ

2 c. à café Ener-G (pour remplacer 2 oeufs)

2 c. à soupe d’eau

175 g beurre végétal (St. Hubert Bio), ramolli

2 c. à café de jus de citron

1 c. à café essence vanille

180 g de sucre glace tamisé

300 g de farine ménagère

2 c. à soupe Maïzena

1 c. à soupe levure chimique (un sachet de 11 g)

120 g de noisettes en poudre

110 g de baies de berbéris (ou cranberries séchées)

4 c. à soupe de sucre roux

1) Dans un grand saladier mélanger la farine, la maïzena, la levure chimique et la poudre de noisettes à l’aide d’une grosse cuillère.

2) Fouettez l’eau avec l’Ener-G à l’aide d’un mixeur électrique jusqu’à ce que ça mousse, 3 ou 4 minutes environ.

3) Dans un autre saladier, travaillez en crème le sucre glace et le beurre jusqu’à ce que le mélange blanchisse.  Ajoutez l’Ener-G, le jus de citron et la vanille en continuant de battre pour obtenir une pâte homogène et très légère.

4) Incorporez le mélange de farine, petit à petit, puis les baies.  Divisez la pâte en deux.

5) Etalez la moitié du sucre roux sur une feuille de papier aluminium d’une trentaine de cm long.  Farinez vos mains, et avec un des pâtons, formez une bûche ronde de 20 cm (si votre pâte est trop molle, malaxez-la avec un peu de farine, elle sera plus facile à manipuler).

6) Roulez doucement la bûche dans le sucre roux afin de bien garnir son extérieur.  Enveloppez-la ensuite dans une feuille d’aluminium en fermant les extrémités en papillote.  Faites pareil avec votre deuxième pâton, puis, laissez-les reposer au frigo pendant deux heures.

7) Préchauffez le four à 175°c et préparez 2 plaques de cuisson avec des silplats ou du papier sulfurisé.  Retirez l’aluminium et détaillez chaque bûche en tranches de 10 mm.  Si vous ne pouvez pas couper votre pâte facilement, mettez-la au congélateur pendant 15 minutes, puis réessayez.

8) Enfournez les biscuits pendant 13 à 15 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient fermes et dorés en dessous.  Laissez-les tiédir 5 minutes avant de les mettre à refroidir sur une grille.


A very delicious & low-fat chocolate cake…

If you took a peek at last week’s Les Vendredis Francophones then you saw this delicious chocolate cake I made for my mother-in-law’s birthday last week.  This is one of those cakes that will give your guests the impression that you’re a master pastry chef, and it is so crazy-easy that you’ll find yourself making it again and again.  I know that vegan cakes can sometimes run on the “heavy” side, but this one has a light, tight crumb that will leave people doubting it’s really vegan…

After a little trial and a bit of error, I bring you this low-fat delight with but a mere 40g (about 3 tbsp) of butter – apple sauce replacing the initial 3/4 cups the original artery-clogging recipe called for.  Tasty and modest in the fat department?  Who would have thought?

Serve this rich chocolate cake with a cup of espresso, or with your favourite non-dairy ice cream for extra-special birthday (or any day) fun!

low-fat vegan chocolate cake

2 tbsp Ener-G (or egg replacer of your choice for 2 eggs)

4 tbsp water

180 g brown sugar

40 g non-dairy butter, softened

225 ml apple sauce

60 ml soy milk

100 g unsweetened cocoa powder

200 g AP flour

1 tbsp corn starch

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1) Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and butter and flour a 25cm bunt pan.

2) Using an electric mixer, beat the Ener-G and water until frothy, then add the butter and sugar and continue mixing for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the soy milk and apple sauce and blend until smooth.

3) Sift in the cocoa powder, corn starch, flour and baking powder, and blend with a wooden spoon until “just mixed”.  If you stir too much you’ll have a chewy cake, and that would be sad.

4) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 or 15 minutes, then gently reverse it onto a cooling rack.

5 ) This cake is quite lovely naked, but you could of course get fancy-pants with some chocolate ganache or lemony powdered sugar icing...and don’t forget the sprinkles!

bon appétit!

Vegan MoFo Day XX : Caramel Pecan Cookies

I can’t even tell you how delicious-amazing these cookies are.  It’s not because it’s a secret, just because how can I verbally express such things?  These cookies are the most buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies I’ve ever made.  You’ll need caramel syrup, (like the kind baristas use for your coffee) to get them just right.  You could probably use brown rice syrup, corn syrup (if you dare) or golden syrup, but they won’t be quite the same – though still muy delicious.

Guppy prefered them without the pecans, so the for my second batch I made them plain – so I guess these cookies are just caramel cookies.  Either way you make them, you’ll end up making them again and again.

Caramel Pecan Cookies

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup soy milk

1/2 cup oil

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp caramel syrup (or rice or golden)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

About 24 lightly-roasted pecans

Heat your oven to 185°c/365°f and prepare 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or silplat.

Using a metal whisk or a fork, combine vigourusly all but the last three ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until smooth (it’ll look like a thick caramel).  Now sift in the last three ingredients and stir until you’ve got a smooth, easy to work with dough.  If it’s still very sticky, just add a little flour until you can work with it easily.

Now roll the dough into golfball sized balls (or larger if you want big cookies) and pat them a bit when you set them on the baking sheet to make a disk.   Set a pecan on each cookie to make them look beautiful.  These spread quite a bit, so set them a few inches apart, then bake for about 14 minutes or so.  You want to remove them from the oven just before they are fully cooked if you prefer soft, chewy cookies (we do!).  Let them cool a few minutes on the baking sheet to be sure the bottoms are browned, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

Don’t forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win some chocolate!

Vegan MoFo Day XVI : Berry Scuffins & Bright Berry Glaze

Or would you prefer Berry Moans?  I didn’t think so.  Scuffins.  It’s fun to say, it’s even more fun to eat!

These scones weren’t doughy as I find some scones to be.  Rather, they have the delicate, cake-like texture of muffins, but with the ease and not-needing-to-wash-the-muffin-tin practicality of scones.  I’m all about ease, and washing the smallest amount of dishes possible.  You know, it’s better for the environment to use less water and soap, er, ahm, it has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t like doing the dishes.

I can say in all honesty these were the best scones I’ve ever made, or eaten.  Guppy called them “mini-berry cakes”, and that’s kind of what they tasted like.  You be the judge!

I know this isn’t the best photo, but I wanted to snag a picture before the scones disappeared.  Stealthy photo action.

Berry Scuffins

400g or 3 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

30g or 2 tbsp baking powder

1 pinch of salt

60g or 1/4 cup granulated sugar

60g or 1/2 cup powdered sugar

300ml or 1 1/2 cups soy milk

30ml or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

75ml or 5 tbsp vegetable oil

about 250g or 1 heaping cup of berries (I used mixed berries)

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c or 400°f and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silplat.

First, combine the apple cider vinegar with the soy milk and let curdle.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt.  Add the oil to the milk mixture, then make a well in the flour mixture and combine using a wooden spoon.  Next fold in the berries.  If they were a little extra juicy, just add a bit of flour – don’t worry if there are some dusty-floury bits, it’s ok!

Divide the mixture into about 14 normal sized or 8 jumbo sized scones.  Bake for about 14 minutes or until slightly browned on the bottom and firm to the touch.

These are just perfect as is, but if you’d like to eat them dressed in their Sunday finery then just give them a drizzle of some of this!

Bright Berry Glaze

60g or 1/2 cup powdered sugar

15ml or 1 tbsp berry juice (I just snuck some of the juice from the bowl of the thawed berries.  This is for colour, so if that doesn’t bother you just use lemon or orange juice.)

Using a fork, briskly mix the juice into the sugar until a smooth glaze develops.  Add more sugar if necessary.


Enjoy your scones.  Or scuffins.  Whatever.

Thank you so much for all the great comments and pointers you’ve shared with my Auntie J who at 70 has gone vegan.  If you’ve got something to share, please do!

Vegan MoFo Day IX : Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

It’s Vegan MoFo Day IX already!  I am so impressed by all the amazing recipes and formidable camaraderie taking over the blogosphere.  One thing I’ve been particularly enjoying is discovering so many new blogs and bloggers!  Don’t forget to visit the Vegan MoFo Blogroll and spread the love!

Now for the cookies!

These are really like big thumb print cookies, but bigger is better, right?  As far as cookies go, I’m thinking yes!

These are a healthier peanut butter cookie baked with a big ‘ole slob of ganache in the middle – what could be better?  These make a lot, like 3 dozen, so get ready to share!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

3 to 3.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (milling is very different here, so start with 1 cup and add more as needed.)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

generous pinch salt

1/2 cup brown sugar (plus a little extra for rolling)

1/2 white sugar

2 tbsp canola oil (this might not be necessary, depending on your peanut butter)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cups natural peanut butter (chunky is fine)

3/4 cups non-dairy milk

1/4 water

about 1/2 cup ganache

A quick note about the ganache.  If you use the recipe here you’ll end up with just enough left for making some Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (recipe coming soon!), but please use any kind your little heart desires, ok?

Like two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Stir the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just mixed (too much mixing makes for gummy cookies).  This is a thickish/dryish dough, so if yours is too liquid to handle, add a little more flour until the right consistency is reached.

Now for the fun part – roll the dough into balls, a bit bigger than a walnut.  (Like two walnuts?) Roll it in the brown sugar (this is optional), then place it on the baking sheet.  Flatten it a little, then move on to the next one.  When all the dough has been rolled, you’ll need to make little holes in each cookie – the easiest way is just to wet your index and poke a hole.  Like so:

Now put them in the fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour.  While they are chilling, you can make your ganache, have a cup of tea and read a few blogs.  When that’s done, you’ll need to fill them with chocolate.  My method is to use one of Guppy’s old aspirin plungers, but you could use a spoon or whatever.  Before you start, pre-heat your oven to 165°c/325°f, then get to work!

Now it’s time to bake!  They’ll bake for about 20 minutes, depending on how thick/flat they are.  When they’re done, leave them to cool on the baking sheets, that way, they’ll brown a little more on the bottoms without burning the chocolate.



Vegan MoFo Day VII : Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Scones

It’s the weekend!  Take a few minutes to make yourself some fragrant, fabulous and fibre-filled scones!  Now that you have your pumpkin and your roasted hazelnuts, nothing is stopping you!

Pumpkin Hazelnut Scones

This recipes makes six jumbo or 12 regular drop scones

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c or 400°f and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silplat.

3.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup fresh ground, roasted hazelnuts

1 cup pumpkin purée

2/3 cups soy milk

2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup sugar (we don’t like it very sweet, so add more if you do!)

4 tbsp neutral vegetable oil

First a word about the ground hazelnuts : don’t feel like you must grind them into hazelnut butter (though that would be tasty!).  Personally, I like a little crunch, so when grinding I was sure to not grind it too fine.  As you like it, kids!

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all other ingredients except the hazelnuts.  When well mixed, add the hazelnuts and stir.  Now carefully add the wet to dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon.  Try not to over-mix or you’ll get tough scones.  It’s ok if there are a few floury patches – don’t worry! Be happy, you’re going to have scones!

These are drop scones – my personal favourite – a lovely compromise between a biscuit-y texture and sconey taste.  Decide if you want to make 12 normal scones or 6 jumbo scones, and drop the batter accordingly.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until they are slightly browned on the bottom.


You can add a little ganache and some chopped hazelnuts to take this from breakfast to sexy brunch or even dessert!

Vegan MoFo Day 3 : Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread (virtually fat free!)

Who wants some Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread? I bet you do! It’s easy and delicious! And if my calculations are correct, almost fat free! People like fat free, right?

This isn’t ordinary pumpkin bread, it’s more like a British pudding in both texture and density.  What I was going for was basically a crustless pumpkin pie in a “cake” form (here in France we call anything, savory or sweet, baked in a loaf pan a cake).  It’s almost like a custard bread.  Still haven’t decided on a name.

The impetus of this creation was from talking with my newly vegan Auntie J (I’ll tell you more about her soon. Let’s just say she’s a rock star.) who was shocked at all the fat in the vegan and vegetarian cookbooks she’d seen. I agreed. And we were both craving pumpkin.  This was a few weeks ago, before I actually had pumpkins in my possession.

After giving things some thought, and thinking of ways to replace oil and give a dense, pumpkin custard sort of texture, I opted for apple sauce.  I tried puréed prunes, but they really changed the flavour.  The flaxseeds add some fat I suppose, but it’s pretty low as this makes two “cakes”.

I want to repeat – this is not your typical pumpkin bread!  Please don’t email me telling me that your bread turned out more like pumpkin pie than a loaf of bread. I know.  That’s what it’s so many kinds of awesome.

Now that you’ve got your pumpkin purée, nothing is holding you back, so let’s go!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread

3 tbs ground flaxseeds

1/2 c. water

1/4 c. brown sugar*

1/4 c. sugar*

1 1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce

1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée (about 400g fresh)

3 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

(*This is plenty sweet for my family, but if you like boost it up to 1/2 cup.)

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c/350°f and spray two loaf pans (I used 20cm)

Mix the flax seeds with the water until frothy, then add the sugars, applesauce and pumpkin and mix well.

In another bowl, simply stir together the remaining ingredients until combined, then combine with the wet ingredients.  Stir until just mixed and don’t fret it there are little floury spots.  Have faith!  It’s going to be fine!

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about an hour, probably more.  Test for doneness after about 45 minutes with a toothpick just to be sure, though.

Here is the most important part – wait! Do not cut into this right away, in fact, for optimum pumpkin pie deliciousness, I would lightly cover in tinfoil or in a sealable container over night.  I know it’s a long time, but the results are worth it!

Vegan Rhubarb Crisp (with GF option) & My Rockwell-esque neighbourhood.

As a young child I was very lucky to live in an almost Norman Rockwell-esque neighbourhood.  Everyone knew everyone else, and folks did chat with one another while hanging their laundry on the line.  The neighbourhood was composed of almost exclusively blue and white-collar families, and most everyone had a picnic table, plastic kiddie pool and a swing set.  Indeed,  everyone seemed to either have young children tearing down the gravel alley on their bicycle, or older kids who would obligingly babysit the little ones for pocket-money.

Growing up, just about everyone in that neighbourhood had rhubarb growing in their gardens.  Even families who didn’t have a proper vegetable garden seemed to have a bushy showing of rhubarb in the corner of their yard.  Since fresh fruit seems to be the siren song all children heed, these acidulate stalks weren’t safe for long as our little group of “neighbourhood kids” always seemed to find our way into everyone’s yard, obeying an almost primal instinct to “help ourselves”, whether we’d been invited or not.

With the exception of an elderly neighbour or two who weren’t particularly keen on having a motley crew of 7 or 8 kids stomping their tulips or mussing their lawns, most families didn’t seem to mind our hostile take-overs, and in fact most of the time an adult would open the screen-door to turn on the garden hose to rinse off the fruit, armed with a tiny Tupperware container filled with sugar.

Sugar? Why yes, for dipping of course!

This was pretty much the only way I’d eaten rhubarb, raw and dipped in a little sugar, until I reached my teens when rhubarb cake and crisp made  it into the family’s dessert repertoire.  We’d since left that special neighbourhood in search of home to house our ever-expanding family, and with that came a much bigger back yard complete with a large vegetable garden and, you guessed it, a whole mess of rhubarb! All that fruit meant that simple munching on stalks wouldn’t be enough.

Crisps have always seemed so magical to me because of the elegant simplicity.  With just a few ingredients and mere moments of preparation you have a delightful, seasonal treat.  This basic recipe would make Mister Rogers proud with its whole wheat flour and reduced sugar, but it’s pretty lovely.  The aroma of the freshly sliced rhubarb brought all those memories back for me, so I’ll share a bit of crisp with you!

Vegan Rhubarb Crisp

Most any crisp recipe can easily be made vegan. Simply replace the butter with non-dairy butter.  Make this crisps gluten-free by using barley or oat flour (be sure to check that your oats and oat flour are GF).

For the filling :

  • 500g or 5 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 55g or 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine everything in a large bowl, stirring well to coat.  Set aside.

For the crisp :

  • 60g or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 95g or 1 cup whole oats
  • 55g or 1/2 sucanat
  • 110g or 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Combine everything in a bowl, using your fingers until it resembles wet sand.  Pour the fruit mixture into a shallow baking dish, then sprinkle the crisp topping to evenly cover.  Bake at 175c or 350f for about 30 minutes (more depending on how thickly the rhubarb has been sliced).  Let cool completely and serve with vegan ice cream or whipped cream.

BBA Poolish Baguettes

This was a both gratifying, exciting and delicious adventure in baking for me.  I have never made, or even really thought of trying, to bake baguettes.  I mean, come on. I’m surrounded by boulangeries on every side, the tempting aroma of baking bread wafting through the air and all through the neighbourhood.  Baking your own baguette in France just seems so, well, extravagant.

But I did it.  I was thrilled at how easy and delicious they turned out.  I can see the danger in baking these, because now I want to bake them all the time!

This is much less of a time-commitment than the Pane Siciliano I posted about last week.  You can make your poolish up to three days before using, you just mix it up and leave it in the fridge.  Bread baking day is a little more complicated because of the 3 rises, but it was pretty easy to choreograph into my day.  And worth it. So worth it.

This bread has been YeastSpotted!