Bread

Chocolate Chip Baguettes

I am a firm believer in the philosophy that adding chocolate improves anything and everything. Obviously, I had to try this recipe for baguettes with chocolate! Week 12: Chocolate chip baguettes.

Chocolate chips are a magical concept. They hold their shape through ridiculously high temperatures, and add a nice, melty chocolate moment in every bite. Apparently, there is less cocoa butter in chocolate chips than in chocolate bars. The reduced fat helps the chips retain their shape longer than the higher-quality eating chocolate. However, like most of the world, I find that chocolate chips taste delicious by themselves. This is why I end up eating way too many of them during the baking process. A handful for the dough, a handful for me . . .

 

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Baking yeast is normally not my friend. I get distracted by everything, so having to get the temperature of the water just right and making sure the yeast is all happy and bubbly can be a challenge. Luckily, it worked out this time! These baguettes aren’t supposed to rise to great heights, so that also factored into the success.

 

 

See the difference between the left and the right? Foamy = happy yeast. The best temperature range for the water to be between is 100 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine sat a a stubborn 99 degrees, so it could have gotten even foamy and happier if I had managed to get the water up to 105 degrees. Next time! (And there shall definitely be a next time, these were so easy to make and yummy to munch on!)

I’ve always been under the impression that the reason you add sugar to yeast is so it can eat it and create bubbles and thrive. I’ll have to do more research on that. Let me know if you are a yeast expert! I’d love to learn more.

 

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This is after adding 5 and 3/4 cups of flour to my oil, salt and yeast mixture. I think I’ll add a little more flour next time and use the dough hook in my stand mixer so my hand doesn’t hate me. Incorporating the flour became increasing difficult as the cups added up. Near the end, I used my hands instead (much more fun!)

 

 

While the dough “proved” in a warm place (on top of my preheating oven), I got ready for the kneading portion of the process. As you can tell from my past posts, I don’t bake bread much. Hence why I used bread flour as my work-surface coating – I haven’t had another use for it! Even this recipe called for all purpose flour. Cest la vie.

Bread flour has slightly more protein in it than all-purpose flour so it allows for a stronger dough that can rise higher. As this was not necessary for these little loaves, I decided to stick with all-purpose. I’ll find a use for the bread flour soon, I’m sure.

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Studded with chocolate jewels, priceless. Then I split it into six sections and did a little kneading. I recommend coating your hands in flour before attempting so it doesn’t get too clingy. Dough is so kneady. (Couldn’t resist.)

 

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As you can see, my loaves didn’t end up as long as normal baguette. My goal next time is to get them to be 8 inches long (these were only about 6 inches.)

The recipe suggested greasing the plastic wrap before covered the loaves so it doesn’t get stuck to the dough. That was an experience, let me tell ya. Have you ever tried to spray oil onto plastic wrap that is folding up on itself? Oof. It definitely helped though! No dough-sticking problems in this kitchen.

 

 

All baked! Post-sauna, they are golden on the outside with a soft crumb inside.

 

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As shown here, you want to pay attention to the color of the bottom of your baguette. The darker color indicates a fully cooked baguette with a nice crust and the pale color indicates and under-baked loaf. Luckily, I love slightly underbaked treats. And if you don’t, well, more for me! Send em my way.

 

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Good for breakfast, snack, lunch and everything in between. Happy munching!

 

Recipe from: http://www.ihearteating.com/60-minute-chocolate-chip-baguettes/#_a5y_p=3307159

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