Fendu, and a Bit About Spiking

Fendu batards

This was going to be a post about one thing: shaping a fendu loaf. Then I ended up having to improvise a little with the dough formula, so it will be about that, too.

First, the fendu: I’ve been getting a little bored with basic batards lately, so I thought I’d do something just a bit different. A fendu (French for “split”) loaf is an easy variation that looks cool and offers a nice respite for those with scoring anxiety.

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Sourdough Bagels

I am a morning person. If I’m still in bed at 6:30, even on a weekend, I’ve slept in. I love the stillness before the other creatures in my household are stirring, and sometimes I just spend it over the crossword puzzle and a cup of coffee. But if I’ve started bagels the night before, I have some work to do. Just a little, though: boil and bake, and I’ve got these wonderfully chewy gems in time to take to work, or to welcome my family as they trickle out of bed.

Sourdough Bagels

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Cherry-Pecan Bread

I was delighted when I learned the theme of BreadBakingDay #2, hosted by Becke of Columbus Foodie, was Bread with Fruit. What a great excuse to bake, again, one of my favorite breads: 50% whole wheat, with dried sour cherries and toasted pecans. The earthy flavor of whole wheat, the tartness of the cherries, and the slightly sweet spiciness of the nuts combine to make a bread that is always a hit with my family and friends.

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My New Favorite Sourdough

norwich-sourdough-crumb-wild-yeast
I love baking all kinds of bread, but a basic sourdough loaf is an essential staple at our house. Good with everything from blue cheese to blueberry jam, and quite possibly even better unadorned, we always feel something is missing if there isn’t a loaf resting on the cutting board, ready for a quick snack or a hearty sandwich.
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