Some Thoughts on Baking

This here, above, was my first attempt at making a French baguette.

What does a fashionista eat for breakfast? Two Fabergé eggs and a Fendi baguette.

Pardon the corniness. That was an old joke I made up while I was a student at Parsons School of Design. I thought about it the other day when I tried my hand at making a French baguette from scratch. We finally installed an oven so we've been experimenting with baking. My hope is that I'll soon advance to making croissants/pain au chocolats because there's nothing I miss more in the morning than having a croissant/pain au chocolat with my coffee, like the ones from Le Bergamot or Ceci-Cela or Patisserie Claude–not the fake ones that they sell at Costco. That might be a lofty ambition because I haven't baked a single thing from scratch for over a decade! I once tried to make a loaf of Irish soda bread that literally turned out to be a brick and hung up my apron in defeat shortly thereafter. Besides, eating baked goods was quickly going out of fashion amongst the New York set, where keeping a svelte figure reigns supreme. And the thing about baking is that you usually end up eating whatever it is that you bake. I love tearing into a yummy carb as much as the next person, but–oof–makes feel like have a tire around my waist! I guess I've sort of abandoned the idea of dieting since moving to the mountains. You know how you're either predominantly left-brained or right-brained? Well, I always thought of myself as predominantly a cook in the kitchen rather than a baker. I like to cook intuitively and never gave too much credence to the measurements in recipes. With baking, it's more of a science. You have to be accurate with measurements and rising times and baking times, and temperatures. It was beyond my left-brained self. I figured, there were so many fabulous bakeries in the city–why go through all the trouble when you can just point-and-pay? Now that I'm out here at the ranch, though, I've discovered the joys of baking. It's not as hard as I thought it was! Nothing ever is when you take the time to figure it out, I suppose. There's something so lovely about getting flour on your hands, kneading dough, and just going through that whole process. Makes you appreciate these sorts of simple pleasures a whole lot more.