Saturday, May 8, 2010


I never did enjoy watching tatoo reality shows on tv because I never could understand the joys of tatooing. But now I know. Painting on an object is quite different from the painting of an object. Putting in all those intricate details on skin is very much like putting in all those intricate details on crust. Like graffiti on walls. Minus the pain of your subject. And minus the authorities. But total satisfaction.

So I decided to make baguettes as a canvas. For 2 reasons. I was intrigued by the way they were shaped and to feed my family.

The recipe for the baguettes comes from a blog of a young chef in training, Dylan, on his blog, From Cook to Chef. The post came with a wonderful you tube video which I have downloaded as well. 

It is not simply the rolling and rolling that gives the baguettes their perfectly cylindrical shape but the building up of a 'backbone', sealing it, flapping the dough and repeating the process at least 3 times before finally rolling the dough into the cylindrical shape that you see above. And below.

I first saw painted bread on Monique's blog...La Table De Nana. A blog by a very artistic and nice woman. But that was so long ago that I had forgotten all about it until I saw it again on Chef Tess Bakeresse blog. My mouse finger grew as stiff as a baguette. I couldn't get it to unclick for a long long time. They were absolutely lovely. The painted bread I mean.

So I dove in. The 'paint' is simply egg yolk and coffee combined. I love the colour it makes. It reminds me of henna. Dust it with a little flour and you get rustic.

You can brighten it up with more colours, particularly red and green, either by using food colouring or natural colours from herbs or fruit. I have yet to go thus far. But go I will. My heart's a-thumping and my fingers' a-dancing. Nothing's stopping me now. 

Burger buns here I come! 

Some doodling I did while waiting for the chicken to stew. On kitchen paper.

Most of the designs I did were very basic S's, squiggles and curlicues that almost anyone can do. Just be brave and paint. If you don't like what you paint feel free to eat it up and put an end to it's existence.

This recipe has been submitted to YeastSpotting.
The recipe for the baguette ~

5 gm dried instant yeast 
280 gm water
482 gm flour
10 gm salt

Mix the dry ingredients together then add the water and bring mixture together. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Don't take any shortcuts says the young chef because it will affect the finished texture of the bread.

Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl until double in size or you can make a belly buton and it stays. 

Take it out of the bowl once risen, deflate it and shape. I made 3 small baguettes because my oven would not be able to take very long baguettes

On how to shape the baguette please watch the video. It's really quite simple to do and I know you will be successful.

On the painting ~

Prepare the paint ~

1 egg yolk
1 or 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules mixed with very little hot water to dissolve. 

When the coffee has cooled mix it with the egg yolk until you get the desired darkness that you prefer. You don't really need the whole amount of egg yolk. Half the amount would be sufficient to paint all 3 baguettes from this recipe.

Bake the baguettes plain (WITHOUT an egg wash or any sprinkles on top) until only half way done that is until very lightly golden. Take it out of the oven.

Paint on any pattern you like then pop it into the oven again and bake until golden brown.

In didn't time my baking but please refer here for baking time.

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