I've been meaning to do a post on bread for a while now, so here it is.
This post is about professional bread baking and references what I've learned here at Maison Carratie as well as at a previous internship at Amy's Bread in NYC. I could talk about bread baking for a long time because I find it so fascinating, but I've tried to keep it brief so you get a good overview of the process.
Baguettes are simply water, bread flour, salt and yeast. And a piece of dough saved from the previous day's batch (in French it's written in the recipe as "vieille pate"). The older dough helps give the new dough better flavor.
In the bakery, the dough is mixed and shaped the day before it is baked. The longer dough sits in the refrigerator, the more chance it has to develop better flavor and texture (the technical name for storing dough in the cold to develop flavor and texture is retardation.)
This machine divides the dough into equal pieces. You place the
This machine rolls the baguettes. Typically, plain baguettes are rolled by the machine and baguettes with special fillings that would clog the machine (like olives) are rolled by hand. The black knob on the left adjusts the the length of the baguette and the knob on the right adjusts the thickness. You toss a piece of dough into the metal chute and a perfectly rolled baguette comes out the below. You can toss in up to 12 pieces of dough in a row, but not at the same time. I threw four into the slot at once one time (by mistake of course) and it spat out one incredibly gigantic baguette.
This machine mixes the dough. Their are two speeds on this machine, one denoted by a picture of a rabbit and the other by a picture of a tortoise. Heh.
the gross-looking cloths
Once rolls or baguettes are shaped, they are placed in between folds of cloth atop long wooden boards---no sheet pans, loaf pans or special metal baguette pans that you buy at
This is the oven and the conveyor belt (and some baguettes in the oven baking!). The belt can be raised or lowered to fit into one of the eight slots of the oven (it's similar to a stretcher in a hospital). You use a