French Baguettes: Je t’aime, says Jake

Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, baguettes are a flavourful, classic and versatile bread treat. March 21st is the day to celebrate French Baguettes, and since we like to talk about bread so much, we were très excité to brag about one of our favourite, everyday star products:

We sent our technical baker to France. It’s important to us to deliver an authentic product. So, before we first introduced the French Baguette to the COBS Bread menu in 2009, we sent our Technical Baker to France for an intensive two month course on how to make a French Baguette, which also included how to make a poolish (a starter that is needed to make other products, such as Turkish Bread).

It’s at least a 12 hour labour d’amour. From beginning to end, the process to bake a French Baguette can be anywhere from 12- 20 hours. This includes mixing, proofing, moulding, resting, scoring and baking. (Factors that affect this are variables like the bakery temperature, the properties of the current crop of flour, etc.) Each step is critical. For example, the proofing step allows the gluten to form, which helps the flavours develop and produces that rich, aromatic crumb. The resting allows the layer to form that produces the crunchy golden crust in the baking process.

What does Jake love about it?  Jake loves how much love is involved in the process of baking a French Baguette. The handling of the  dough requires a great care and attention – when moulding it and moving it to the tray, you have to be very gentle. Also, Jake told us that his favourite way to enjoy a French Baguette is an oldie, but a goody- sliced into crisps and topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon. (Another classic favourite- tomato, basil and bocconcini with a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic reduction, pictured right.)

Who’s Jake? So glad that you asked! Jake is the new COBS Bread Product Innovation Specialist. He is here to develop exciting new bread and baked treat recipes which will eventually be released throughout the COBS Bread network of bakeries. He will also use his culinary background as a professional chef to build a robust in-bakery Meal Inspiration library. We can’t wait to see what else Jake will bring to the COBS Bread menu!