There are two kinds of cooks in this world, according to me. The first group of cooks always measure everything to perfection. They never add a grain of salt more than is asked for in the recipe. And then there are others, who like me fall into the other category. Those that eyeball just about every recipe. No, the onions are not cut to perfection, where each bit measures the same as every other. No, the salt is never added by the teaspoon. It’s almost always felt in the fingertips and sprinkled loosely on top of whatever it is that is being cooked. We are the hippies of the culinary world.
Except when I am baking. For me, baking is what prayers are to the devotee. It is my meditation. Right from kneading the dough, to watching it rise, and then shaping it. Watching as it goes into the oven, only to emerge as a crisp yet soft perfection. I knock on the crust to hear the melody of hollowness. I smell the aroma of the freshly baked bread as if it were perfume. I hold the bread in my hand as if it were my baby. Oh yes, I am a baker to the core.
I made the baguette today for the first time.
This is the recipe I followed.
From the moment I made the dough to the time I pulled them out of the oven, it was a bird song. And then when I cut it open to fill it with vegetables for a footlong, the aroma…. the warmth, the freshness! Nothing beats the taste of a freshly baked bread.
I still need to master the shape. But I will get there.