Is Robin the only woman who fantasizes about riding her bike with a baguette in the basket? Ladies, is this a universal female fantasy?
By the time you read this, it will already be done, so I'm not ruining any surprises. In fact, the way we run this here blog, I'll actually have done the surprise, written it up, have Robin proofread the post and then it goes live, so all the spontaneity needs to be up front.
What on earth am I talking about? Well, I'm going to surprise my wife with a picnic in the park. I've got her bicycle basket loaded up. We will hop on our bikes and pretend we are in France. Her wicker bike basket is ready, loaded with red wine, good cheese, strawberries, chocolate and a fresh, homemade baguette (recipe follows).
I've tucked a tub of Gay Lea Spreadables Butter in the basket. It's such a great choice when you want to be spontaneous. Butter seems to be the one item that doesn't go from fridge to table very quickly. When it's cold (and food safe) butter is really tough to spread on bread. Spreadables is always ready to go, whether it's to the dinner table with rolls or to the local park in a bike basket with a fresh baguette. It also has heart-healthy canola oil, no preservatives and is a source of Omega 3 (perfect for that Parisian diet you're trying to copy in your local green space).
Et Voila! Here's the easy baguette recipe I promised...
I've cheated all sorts of shortcuts into it to make the baguette as easy as possible but still tasty and reasonably authentic.
What you need:
- 5 Minute Bread Dough
- Parchment paper
- cooking spray (optional)
- Find your largest cookie sheet and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Your baguette will only be limited by how long the sheet is, so get a big one.
- Cut off a softball sized lump of dough, smoothing it round as described in other 5-minute dough recipes. Roll it out on your counter (flour the surface a tiny bit if needed). Get the dough as long and narrow as possible. Let it sit 2-3 minutes on the counter to retain its size.
- Preheat the oven to 425F. While the oven heats, transfer your rested dough tube(s) to the parchment covered cookie sheet. Leave them to rise for 15-20 minutes.
- When the oven has preheated and your dough has risen at least 15 minutes, score it with a sharp, damp knife. Use whatever pattern you like your baguette to have - I like diagonal slashes.
- I have abandoned using a water dish on my 5 Minute dough recipes; for the baguette, I just spritz a bit of water over the whole thing and get a bit on the cookie sheet too. I use a finger-tip flick of tap water, but the gourmets among you may opt for a dedicated misting bottle.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until it looks browned and baguette-like. Remove to a wire rack. Give a quick misting with cooking spray if you want a shiny baguette crust. Allow to cool and enjoy!.
So, how did the picnic go? I can't tell you how fun it is to enjoy good food (and sneak in some public wine enjoyment) in the out-of-doors. If you haven't done this lately, you really need to. If misdemeanor public alcohol consumption isn't your thing, substitute some quality flavoured soda water for the wine. But don't you dare skip out on the baguette with butter!