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Big Black Dog: BBA - French Bread and a Delicious Brandy-flavored Crostini

September 15, 2009

BBA - French Bread and a Delicious Brandy-flavored Crostini






I held off on baking the French Bread for Bread Baker's Apprentice because I wanted to try out my new Perforated Bread Pan and it was in the mail! So as soon as I received the pan and had a break in my schedule I got right to work.

I tried two different slashing techiques and I'm not happy with either of them. I really do need to get a good Lame but was wondering if an x-acto knife would work as well?


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First of all I have never attempted to make French Bread and I'd heard horror stories about making baguettes. So I went into this recipe very hesitantly. I even read the recipe several times just to make sure I understood every single step. But from beginning to end, except for the slashing, I had no problems what so ever! I'm pretty much convinced much of my success was due to my new Perforated Bread Pan!



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And I am so glad that my pan was delayed because in the mean time I found the most wonderful recipe for Crostini and it was perfect for the French Baguettes. I found reference to the Cognac-flavored Crostini recipe on Kate's blog, A Spoonful of Thyme, and she had a link to the original recipe on Ju's blog, Little Teochew. So I contacted Ju and asked for permission to reprint her recipe and the ever so gracious Ju said "yes". I was so happy because the Cognac-flavored Crostini is such a unique recipe and I will be making it again and again and I wanted to share it with all my readers. I served the Crostini with Romesco Dip while we watched the Sunday pre-season football games. The Crostini was delicious and we ate every crumb!



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Cognac-flavored Crostini
Reprinted with permission from Ju of Little Teochew

1 baguette
4 to 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a knob of butter, about 3 TBL
1 TBL cognac (or vodka) See **See NOTE
1 clove (or 2) garlic, sliced/smashed
Sea salt
Black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree Celsius. **See NOTE

2. Slice the baguettes into 1/2 inch thick pieces and lay out on a tray.

3. In a bowl, combine olive oil, butter, garlic and cognac, and microwave on high for about 2 minutes, so that the flavour of garlic is infused into the oil (butter should be melted by then). Stir well.

4. Brush both sides of all the baguette slices generously with the flavoured oil.

5. Toast in the oven for slightly over 1 minute, or when the sides start turning crusty and golden brown. Don't take your eyes off them! The bread should still be soft, chewy and pliable in the centre.

6. Take the tray of Crostini out of the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

**NOTE: I did not have any cognac so I used Brandy on half the Crostini and Mole Poblano Vodka, a slightly spicy but mellow hot pepper vodka, distilled right here in IL by North Shore Distillery. And to toast the Crostini I laid it out on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and popped it under the broiler on high until the edges were a nice golden brown.

And my favorite was the Crostini with Brandy. Although the Mole Poblano Vodka Crostini was very good, the touch of brandy with the toasted garlic butter on homemade French Bread was exquisite!


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Below are a few of my fellow BBA'ers, please feel free to click on the links to see their interpretation of this recipe.


Cindy of Salt and Serenity
Sally of Bewitching Kitchen
Kelly of Something Shiny
Jenn of Pete Eatemall




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17 Comments:

Blogger The Little Teochew said...

Two thumbs up and a very wide grin from me! Beautiful photos too!!!

September 15, 2009 at 1:51 AM  
Blogger misterrios said...

Wow! For a first time Baguette, those are really pretty.

Lames are close to impossible to get here in Germany, despite being so close to France. However, I found out about the much easier and cheaper option: a double-edged razor blade and a wooden coffee stirrer. Just watch your fingers!

September 15, 2009 at 2:01 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

YUMMY! I could so survive on bread and water- as long as the bread is GOOD bread like what this french bread and crostini looks like!! I have made french bread before but never in the shape of a baguette, always just big round loaves..love your bread forms...where did you buy those?? Hope you have a super day!!

September 15, 2009 at 2:14 AM  
Blogger ♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Delicious bread and romesco dip!

September 15, 2009 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Glad you recieved the okay to share...Missed it the first time.
Like the Brandy idea...lets be honest, I just like Brandy!!!!!Ha!
will be trying this out on friends, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

September 15, 2009 at 4:51 AM  
Blogger Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I have some of Chicago Metallic's perforated bread pans too, I just love them.
Your bread looks terrific, and what a great idea to add brandy to the butter!

September 15, 2009 at 6:14 AM  
Blogger Engineer Baker said...

Ooo, I'm such a sucker for cool pans, and that one looks like it makes wonderful loaves! As for slashing, I tend to use razor blades (a new one each time), just because then they're really sharp. Basically a lame, without a handle :)

September 15, 2009 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Your bread is beautiful! This is a delightful appetizer!

September 15, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I just finished eating lunch and you some how have caused my over stuffed belly to growl!

September 15, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Lori E said...

Looks good to me but then again all you stuff does.
I have heard about using vodka in pie crusts but not in bread. Hmmm.

September 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

Hi Michelle! The baguettes look delicious! I used my Italian & French bread pans as well to make these...

I love the name of your blog! I have big black dog at home...a lab/newf mix...she's my kitchen assistant & floor cleaner!

Fantastic blog!

=) Angela

September 15, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

My husband and have been working our way through Julia Child's The French Chef series on the DVDs that I gave him for his recent birthday. Tonight's was on making French bread. Loved it! Your baguettes look delicious! ~ Sarah

September 15, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Mags said...

I bought that same perforated pan AFTER I did the French bread challenge, but I'm looking forward to using it the next time I make the recipe. Lovely bread!

September 16, 2009 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Your baguettes are just beautiful. I agree that we will only get better at scoring with practice. I am desinately going to order the perforated baguette pans. Sliding them into the oven is beyond my skill set!
Great appetizer recipe.
Thanks for the mention.

September 16, 2009 at 4:31 PM  
OpenID flowergardengirl said...

I'm stopping by after seeing your home on Front Porch Ideas and More. You have an outstanding blog and I've really enjoyed looking around.

I have a craftsman home and so you know I love your farmhouse. Very clever design!

September 16, 2009 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Pete Eatemall said...

Gettin caught up on visiting everyone's site. Forget how much I love your site. I want some crostini now! Looks gorgeous!Happy baking!

September 20, 2009 at 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

YUM to all of it. Always wondered about those pans and if they were worth the investment, etc. Nice product review. Your bread looks perfect, and who's not to say those are YOUR signature slash marks and they are just perfect. Something a little different, something unique...I say they look very nice!

September 26, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

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