Saturday 24 April 2010

Bread not even a mother could love.

I woke up early this morning very excited to try the new recipe I'd been formulating. You see, the French bakery-café downtown (I've mentioned it before) does an artisan walnut fougasse. It looks wonderful. I end up staring every time I'm in there. Of course it's not gluten-free, though - so it was time to make my own. 

I mixed up the dough. A little wetter than I'm used to, I thought to myself, but I'll just work in some more flour and it will be better. More and more flour later, it was still somewhat too sticky and wet. I gave up and shaped it, deciding I'd see what would happen. Maybe it would work anyway, I thought.

I shaped it into a flat oval and cut the characteristic almond-shaped slits through it. It rose nicely. Putting aside my apprehension about its stickiness, I slid it into the oven. Shortly thereafter, delicious smells began to drift from my kitchen. But when I went to take it out...well. 

This is what fougasse is supposed to look like:


(These photos are from BBC Good Food, Wild Yeast Blog, and, respectively.)

's what mine looked like:

It was cracked, and lumpy, and the nice holes I'd cut were now undetectable from it swelling back together. I cringed and waited for it to cool. But when I tore off a piece, I discovered that it was good. Really good.


So now I have this very tasty dough that apparently produces very ugly bread. I'm going to reduce the liquid, among other things, and keep working on it until it looks as good as it tastes. I'll share the recipe as soon as I fix it, of course.

Have you ever baked something delicious but ugly? Or maybe you've had an utter disaster in the kitchen? I feel like there's a lot more to go wrong with gluten-free dough. (Once I had bread overflow from the pan, and end up all over the bottom of the oven!) What's your worst baking bungle?


  1. My vegan drop biscuits are hideous, but we love them!

  2. ha, tasty but ugly -- yeah, i've been there

  3. Ha! I did the same overflowing thing, only it was in a bread machine. Bad! We only noticed what had happened after it began its "bake" function and the dough on the heating element started smoking. An hour and a disassembled bread machine later, I vowed to only make my GF things in the oven from then on!

    Glad you also have a "love" to eat your aesthetically lacking creations. =)