Something about a good loaf of bread and potato soup always hits the spot for me. It makes me feel at peace, and relaxed (a rarity). That moment when you take a bite into the crunchy crust and slurp down the thick stew, everything just seems so perfect.
I finally got to meet up with my best friend Sabrina today, and I decided to make some baguette and soup as she's never had my cooking before. Very lucky for her, my baguette actually turned out, and she got to try the soup I always seem to make (no recipe, sorry).
Looks pretty good, no? I think my only trick with the soup is that instead of adding flour, butter and heavy cream to thicken the soup. I take a potato masher and mash up the potato chunks to release the starch to help thicken the soup. Makes for a much healthier soup and tastes just as good.
As for the baguette, one turned out a little gimpy looking, but it tasted super delicious. I adapted the recipe from here. Here's what I did instead:
1. Combine 1 cup of warm water, 1 1/2 tsp of yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Allow it to proof (takes about 10-20 mins).
2. Add 1 tsp of salt and 2 1/2 cups of bread flour to the mixture. You may need to add more or less flour depending on your consistency. Knead it on a well floured surface for about 6-10 mins. I did 8.
3. Placed in a oiled bowl and cover with damp towel. Let it rise until it's doubled in bulk. Be careful of not over oiling. Just enough so that you can lightly cover the dough. Sort of like a second skin.
4. Punch the dough down, and roll it into a long cylinder. I found the measurements not super helpful, since I'm bad at guessing heights and lengths. Cut it in 1/2.
5. Roll two halves out and round off the edges. Place onto a cooking sheet about 2" apart. Make diagonal slashes all the way down about 2" apart as well.
6. Cover again and let it rise for another 30 mins. At this point you can preheat your oven to 375F.
7. Mix 1 tbsp of water with an egg white. Egg whites apparently make it crunchier. I found that this worked really well in getting that authentic crackle. Brush on before you place in oven.
8. Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown.