It happened one particular Valentine's day in Mumbai some years ago. My husband had booked us a table in a popular restaurant and we were looking forward to a lovely candlelit dinner. We reached the restaurant to find that it was bursting at its seams and the staff wasn't coping. It was absolute mayhem. We really shouldn't have bothered making a reservation. The whole situation would have been really funny if we hadn't been so hungry. In the end we were just glad we got something to eat.
So for the past few years, be it Valentine's day or New Year's eve we prefer to dine in. And every year I try something new always making sure that the menu is not very stressful. This year I planned to make baguettes to go with a simple pasta.
I followed 2 different recipes. I halved the ingredients of this recipe: Easy French Bread and because I thought the crust in the pictures looked a bit soft and I wanted a crustier bread I followed the directions stated in this recipe: Dan Leader's 4- hour baguette . I even sprayed the loaf before it went into the oven and then sprayed it again at the 5th min and then at the 15th minute. At 250 deg C it took 40 min to get a crusty French Baguette. It was just prefect.
I made them into 2 mini loaves since I use the convection option in my microwave oven for baking. The put the second loaf in the refrigerator to bake the next day. Crusty bread needs to be eaten fresh.
Since I did not get pictures of the loaf on the first day the first picture is that of the second day.
I baked another loaf the next day. This time the bread was a little bit dry but just as crusty. We enjoyed it with vegetable au gratin. My husband though did not find any difference in the bread. But then he just loves anything I make :)
We had a wonderful Valentine's weekend. Hope you did too.