French Baguette & Sacré-Cœur, Paris, will bring two of the most loved things about Paris, France right to you! Many tourist arrive in Paris with a bucket list of places to see and things to do… Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Place du Panthéon, and Sacré-Cœur Basilica are popular destinations for sure! A year ago, I was able to visit many of them including the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which is now in ruins. I feel so very grateful to have experienced it before the incomprehensible devastation took place. On my trip this summer, I again worked on my Paris bucket list by visiting the Sacre Coeur, Chartres Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower, which I’ll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks. I have to say one of the most endearing things about France to me, is that each day at about 4pm you begin to see a beautiful sight… baguettes in the arms of everyone walking home from work. I LOVED it so much! Everyday I’d wait and watch and sure enough at the appointed hour, they would begin to appear all over the streets– Baguettes! Oh my. I love Paris and Baguettes! So now you can see why it was necessary for them to be together today in our French Baguette & Sacré-Cœur, Paris post. 🙂
A match made in France: French Baguette & Sacre Coeur, Paris
The baguette is the symbol of France. Did you know that 320 baguettes are eaten every second in France? That’s half a baguette, per person, per day, with 10 billion consumed every year! While it’s a challenge to make “real” baguettes at home, this version is probably as close to an artisan bakery version as you’re going to find. The ingredients in baguettes are pure simplicity: flour, water, salt, and yeast. It’s the baker’s technique that turns an average baguette into an all-star. Don’t expect perfection the first time around, but the more you practice your baguette-baking techniques, the better the baguette you’ll make!!
When was the first baguette invented?
The baguette would have been invented in Vienna by an Austrian baker called August Zang and imported in France during the 19th century. The first steam oven was brought (in the early 19th century) to Paris by officer August Zang, who also introduced Vienna bread (pain viennois) and the croissant, and whom some French sources thus credit with originating the baguette.
The art of Baguette making & baking!
A long, slow rise is an excellent way to develop flavor in simple breads like this baguette. As yeast grows, it releases organic acids and alcohol, both of which are flavor carriers. French national law dictates that “French” bread only contain 4 ingredients – flour, yeast, salt and water. It is difficult to make a baguette at home due to the simple fact that most of us do not have a commercial steam oven in our kitchens. I love this recipe from King Arthur Flour that I’m sharing today because with a little practice you can make a very lovely baguette at home!
AND here’s a flash from the past– this photo is from when I made baguettes in Culinary School! 🙂
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica
A popular landmark and the second most visited monument in Paris, the basilica stands at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur Basilica is above all a religious (Catholic) building, shown by its perpetual adoration of the Holy Eucharist since 1885, and is also seen as a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and for the socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular devotion since the visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.
The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919. Tourists and others are asked to dress appropriately when visiting the basilica and to observe silence as much as possible, so as not to disturb persons who have come from around the world to pray in this place of pilgrimage, especially since there is the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
Read more HERE
A French Baguette is delightful be sure to enjoy some of our other French recipes too!
- Starter (poolish):
- 1/2 cup (113g) cool water
- 1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 1 cup (120g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (255g) lukewarm water
- all of the starter
- 3 1/2 cups (418g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
- 2 teaspoons salt
- To make the starter: Mix everything together to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; overnight works well. The starter should have expanded and become bubbly.
- To make the dough: Mix and knead everything together — by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead for about 4 minutes on medium-low speed (speed 2 on a KitchenAid); the finished dough should stick a bit at the bottom of the bowl.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased medium-sized bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rest and rise for 45 minutes. Gently deflate the dough and fold its edges into the center, then turn it over in the bowl before letting it rise for an additional 45 minutes, until it's noticeably puffy.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Gently deflate it, and divide it into three equal pieces.
- Round each piece of dough into a rough ball by pulling the edges into the center. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes; or for up to 1 hour, if that works better with your schedule.
- Working with one piece at a time, flatten the dough slightly then fold it nearly (but not quite) in half, sealing the edges with the heel of your hand. Turn the dough around, and repeat: fold, then flatten. Repeat this whole process again; the dough should have started to elongate itself.
- With the seam side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 16" log. Your goal is a 15" baguette, so 16" allows for the slight shrinkage you'll see once you're done rolling. Taper each end of the log slightly to create the baguette's typical "pointy" end.
- Place the logs seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet pan or pans; or into the folds of a heavily floured cotton dish towel (or couche). Cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise until they're slightly puffy ("marshmallow-y" is the term we use in our baking school). The loaves should certainly look lighter and less dense than when you first shaped them, but won't be anywhere near doubled in bulk. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature (about 68°F).
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F with a cast iron pan on the floor of the oven, or on the lowest rack. If you're using a baking stone, place it on a middle rack. Start to heat 1 1/2 cups water to boiling.
- If your baguettes have risen in a dish towel or couche, gently roll them (seam side down) onto a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. If you plan on baking them on a baking stone, roll them onto a piece of parchment, and lift the parchment onto a baker's peel.
- Using a baker's lame (a special curved blade) or a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make three to five long lengthwise slashes in each baguette.
- Load the baguettes into the oven. If you’re baking on a stone, use a baker’s peel to transfer the baguettes, parchment and all, onto the hot stone. Carefully pour the boiling water into the cast iron pan, and quickly shut the oven door. The billowing steam created by the boiling water will help the baguettes rise, and give them a lovely, shiny crust.
- Bake the baguettes — on the pan, or on a stone — for 24 to 28 minutes, or until they're a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack. Or, for the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven, crack it open about 2", and allow the baguettes to cool completely in the oven, until both baguettes and oven are at room temperature.
- Store any leftover baguettes in a paper bag overnight; freeze for longer storage. Thaw and reheat just before serving.
This recipe is from King Arthur Flour
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Enjoy a taste of France with our French Baguette & Sacre Coeur, Paris!
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