French Lentil and Mushroom Soup

This simple French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe is simmered with a cozy blend of veggies, herbs and greens.  It’s healthy yet hearty, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and total French-inspired comfort food. Anyone else “traveling” vicariously through your cooking lately? Memories have been popping up on my phone the past few weeks from our trip […]

This simple French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe is simmered with a cozy blend of veggies, herbs and greens.  It’s healthy yet hearty, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and total French-inspired comfort food.

French Lentil and Mushroom Soup

Anyone else “traveling” vicariously through your cooking lately?

Memories have been popping up on my phone the past few weeks from our trip to Provence, France a year ago when my husband’s and my parents all came over to Europe to visit us.  And seeing photos of all of those beautiful countrysides, narrow cobblestoned streets, charming cottages, and dreamy local markets overflowing with fresh flowers, produce, breads, cheeses and wines has me feeling some major wanderlust again.  I’m so, so ready for the time to come when we can all safely travel again!!

Sigh, I know it’s still going to be awhile.  So in the meantime, at least, Barclay and I have been re-living some of our favorite past adventures and dreaming about future trips to come through our meals.  And I have to say that this cozy French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe had us feeling all of those Provencal fall vibes again in the most delicious of ways. ♡

This lovely soup was inspired by our trips to the outdoor markets around Aix-en-Provence, where local mushrooms, leeks, greens and herbs were all proudly in season this time of year.  When simmered together with those beautiful marbled French lentils (my favorite type of lentils to use in soup) and finished with a splash of balsamic, they combine to make a simple yet wonderfully satisfying meal that we have been enjoying on repeat lately.  I intentionally wrote the recipe here to make a fairly large batch, since the leftovers keep beautifully for easy lunches and dinners later in the week.  And the recipe itself also happens to be naturally gluten-free, vegan, and packed with good-for-you-protein, making it the perfect healthier counterpoint to some of the more indulgent comfort foods we’ve been enjoying this time of year.

So if you could also use a bit of delicious taste of France in your life right now, gather up these ingredients and let’s make a steaming pot of French lentil soup together.

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mathilde’s tomato tart

I read a new novel, The Margot Affair, last month and loved it. It’s not about about food, but every time a meal comes up, I was riveted by how good it sounded.
“The salt-cured cod was layered with cream mashed potatoes and prese…

I read a new novel, The Margot Affair, last month and loved it. It’s not about about food, but every time a meal comes up, I was riveted by how good it sounded.

“The salt-cured cod was layered with cream mashed potatoes and presented in a small cocotte… the mussels bathed in white wine and garlic sauce.”

“Caramelized slices of pear hid beneath the custard, and the top was sprinkled with shards of toasted almonds.”

“She made it with whole milk and a dash of cream and pieces of dark chocolate. I dipped a piece of buttered toast into the chocolate.”

Read more »

The Parisian Cookbook We’re Escaping Into

It’s an odd time to be thinking about travel, let alone anything outside the four walls of our homes.

While we may not be able to travel, I’ve been finding solace in distraction: in words and images from distant places. Like that of the bartender at L…

It’s an odd time to be thinking about travel, let alone anything outside the four walls of our homes.

While we may not be able to travel, I've been finding solace in distraction: in words and images from distant places. Like that of the bartender at Le Mary Celeste stashing wine for La Buvette chef-owner Camille Fourmont; or Fourmont herself, tinkering with tubs of panna cotta, as a student in her tiny Parisian kitchen; or fellow chef and friend Lee Desrosier poking a cabbage in a fire years ago, and what he might be planning for dinner tonight.

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A Very Good Beef Bourguignon, Made for One

Table for One is a column by Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms.

“As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bo…

Table for One is a column by Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms.


“As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon,” writes Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’ve ever tasted Julia’s famous beef stew in red wine, then you know how good it is. If you’ve ever made Julia’s famous beef stew in red wine, then you know that it’s not exactly a walk in the park.

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Bijou Cocktail

This cocktail gets its name from the three main ingredients, and their relationship to bijoux, or jewels or gems. The clear gin is like a diamond, the red vermouth is like a ruby, and the green from the Chartreuse is the emerald. The original recipe called for those ingredients to be used in three equal parts but cocktail expert and bartender Dale DeGroff, who resurrected…

This cocktail gets its name from the three main ingredients, and their relationship to bijoux, or jewels or gems. The clear gin is like a diamond, the red vermouth is like a ruby, and the green from the Chartreuse is the emerald. The original recipe called for those ingredients to be used in three equal parts but cocktail expert and bartender Dale DeGroff, who resurrected the cocktail, refashioned the quantities. I actually prefect a touch more red vermouth than he does so I up that to 1 ounce, but you can leave it as is.

Continue Reading Bijou Cocktail...

Baguette Recipe

This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread. What’s better than a crunchy fresh French artisan baguette? (Almost nothing.) Well, here’s an easy baguette recipe you can make at home! It’s simple to make: there’s no special equipment required! And the only ingredient you need are all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. You will be absolutely amazed at the crunchy texture, tangy flavor, and beautiful long loaf. We have a long list of bread recipes (including our “famous” sourdough bread), but Alex and I agreed this one is our new favorite. The flavor is out of this world. Here’s what to do! How to make this baguette recipe: an overview! Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with this baguette recipe. The process spans 3 days! Day One takes 1 hour (just a few minutes of hands on time) and you’ll need about 3 hours on Day Three to shape and bake it. In between, you’ll rest the dough in the refrigerator for 2 days. This is the secret to the very best baguette flavor! Here’s an outline of what you’ll have to do: […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread.

Baguette Recipe

What’s better than a crunchy fresh French artisan baguette? (Almost nothing.) Well, here’s an easy baguette recipe you can make at home! It’s simple to make: there’s no special equipment required! And the only ingredient you need are all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. You will be absolutely amazed at the crunchy texture, tangy flavor, and beautiful long loaf. We have a long list of bread recipes (including our “famous” sourdough bread), but Alex and I agreed this one is our new favorite. The flavor is out of this world. Here’s what to do!

How to make this baguette recipe: an overview!

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with this baguette recipe. The process spans 3 days! Day One takes 1 hour (just a few minutes of hands on time) and you’ll need about 3 hours on Day Three to shape and bake it. In between, you’ll rest the dough in the refrigerator for 2 days. This is the secret to the very best baguette flavor! Here’s an outline of what you’ll have to do:

Day 1Mix the dough, proof 1 hour, refrigerate (15 minutes active)
Day 2Refrigerate dough
Day 3Proof and shape dough (30 minutes active, 2 hours inactive)
Bake (40 minutes)
Cool (20 minutes)
How to make a baguette
French baguettes and no knead bread

Equipment list for making a baguette (nothing special needed!)

This baguette recipe requires no special equipment! Compared to other artisan bread recipes like our sourdough, artisan, or even no knead, it’s got the smallest list of required tools. There’s no Dutch oven and no proofing basket needed. Here’s what you need!

Required tools for this artisan bread recipe

  1. Parchment paper
  2. Baking sheet
  3. Sharp knife or lame for scoring the bread
  4. Kitchen scale for measuring (optional)

All you need is all-purpose flour

Another feature of this baguette recipe is that all you need is all-purpose flour! Our other bread recipes use flour blends like whole wheat and bread flour. Baguettes are surprisingly simple: requiring only all-puprose flour, salt and yeast.

This recipe makes 2 loaves: halve it if desired!

This baguette recipe makes 2 loaves of bread. If you don’t think you’ll eat two in a few days, here are some options:

  • Make half the recipe. It works just as well with half the quantities: you can follow the recipe to a T.
  • Freeze the second baguette. You can freeze the second baguette for several months, then reheat it from frozen. It comes out a little crustier but the flavor is just as good! See the “Storage” section below.
Easy baguette recipe

Think ahead! A 2 day rest is required.

We said it once, but we’ll say it again. This bread requires thinking ahead a few days. You’ll need to rest the bread dough for 2 days in the refrigerator. Why?

  • The 2 day rest makes a complex, tangy flavor. Resting the dough in the refrigerator is also called “fermenting”. As the dough ferments, it develops a naturally tangy and complex flavor. (We also suggest this with our best pizza dough.) You can truly taste the difference!
  • It doesn’t have to be exactly 48 hours. There is some wiggle room, so don’t worry if you do about 1.5 days instead of a full 2 days on the rest time.

How to shape a baguette (video!)

The part of making this baguette recipe that requires the most technique is folding and shaping the dough. It’s easiest to learn how to shape the dough by watching. So, we made you a video! Here’s Alex demonstrating how to shape a baguette. We highly recommend watching this video before you start!

How to score a baguette

See those beautiful lines on the top of the baguette? Those are called score lines. Scoring is slashing the top of the dough with a sharp knife to allow it to expand when baking. Here are some things to know about scoring the baguette (also watch the video above):

  • Use your sharpest knife, or a lame. You’ll want the knife to be ultra sharp. We purchased a lame for this, since we make lots of bread recipes. But a knife works just as well!
  • Make shallow, diagonal overlapping cuts. You want to cut just the surface — if it’s too deep it collapses, if it’s too shallow it bursts. Make the pattern look like the one in the video above, where the cuts overlap diagonally.
French baguette recipe

Storage & reheating info for this baguette recipe

This baguette recipe has no preservatives, so the storage is different from a bread you might buy from the store. Since this recipe makes two loaves, you can freeze the second one and eat it later! It comes out a little crustier than the day of baking, but it’s still fantastic and the flavor is perfectly preserved. Here’s what to do:

  • Room temperature storage (2 days): Once you’ve baked your French baguette, it is best eaten within 48 hours. Store it wrapped in a towel at room temperature.
  • Frozen (3 months): Let the baguette cool to room temperature, then wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a plastic bag. Freeze for several months.
  • Reheating: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap the baguette and add directly to the oven grate (from frozen!) and bake about 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through.
Baguette on cheese board

Ways to serve this baguette

There are so many ways to serve a baguette! Likely you already have ideas. Here are some of our favorites, including some ways to use stale bread:

  • On a cheese board. See above! Add a variety of cheeses, olives, nuts, and jam and you’ve got one incredible cheese board for entertaining.
  • With salted French butter. One of the very best taste treats: this baguette with salted French butter. Look for French or European-style butter at your local grocery.
  • With dips. Try it with our Spinach Artichoke Dip: it’s delightful.
  • Crostini. When it’s starting to go stale, turn it into Easy Crostini and top with toppings, or make Goat Cheese Crostini.
  • Garlic toast. Another idea for Day 2, make it into this insanely garlicky Garlic Toast.
  • Breadcrumbs or croutons. If you get to the point where it’s pretty stale, make it into breadcrumbs or croutons! You can also use it for panzanella or bread soup.

This French baguette recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy free.

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Baguette Recipe

Baguette Recipe (Easy with Video!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large baguettes (about 40 slices)
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread.


Ingredients

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour (4 cups)*
  • 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 12 grams kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
  • 350 grams warm water (1 1/2 cups)

Instructions

Day 1: Make the dough (15 minutes active, 45 minutes inactive)

  1. Mix the dough: Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  2. Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Resist the urge to add lots of flour. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  3. Proof 45 to 60 minutes: After the kneading is finished, form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl. Proof until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Place each dough into a separate covered container, with room for the dough to double in size.
  4. Refrigerate 2 days: Place containers in the refrigerator for 2 days to ferment (this is where all the flavor comes from!).

Day 3: Shape & Bake (30 minutes active, 2 hours inactive, 40 minutes bake, 20 minutes cool)

  1. Proof 1 hour: When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place dough onto lightly floured counter and pull ends under dough to form a boule shape (watch video for this and all following steps). Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 1 hour.
  2. Fold the dough & rest 10 minutes: After an hour, flip the dough over and pull out the left and right ends. Fold the ends into the center of the dough and gently roll into a log. Pinch the seams on the sides. Be careful not to press too hard while rolling to avoid deflating the dough. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Pre-shape the dough & rest 5 minutes: Sprinkle the doughs with flour. Flip the dough and pat it gently into a rectangle. Fold in half and use the heel of your hand to pinch the seam and form a log shape. Flip and repeat the process. Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 5 minutes.
  4. Shape the dough & proof 45 minutes: Place a clean towel on a baking pan and dust it heavily with flour. Starting from the center of the dough, use your hands to roll the dough into a long baguette shape the almost the length of your pan. Make sure to roll your hands all the way past the ends of the dough to create the tapered point. Carefully transfer the dough to the floured towel and tuck it on both sides to provide support. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and proof for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a cast iron pan or your thickest baking sheet on the rack just below and off to the other side of oven. You’ll pour water into it later to create steam.
  6. Score the bread: After proofing, carefully move each dough out of the towel and transfer it directly onto the pan. Ensure the dough is straightened and dust it lightly with flour. Use a sharp knife or lame to score each bread 4 times at a slight diagonal, just overlapping pattern.
  7. Bake at 475 degrees: Place the tray in the oven and add steam: cover your hand with a towel and very carefully pour 1 cup of water onto the cast-iron pan or baking sheet, then immediately close the door. Bake 16 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees: Open the oven door and fan it a few times to release moist air. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.
  9. Storage instructions: Store at room temperature wrapped in a towel for up to 2 days. To preserve the second loaf, you can freeze it: wrap in foil and place in a plastic bag. Store for several months in the freezer. To reheat, bake from frozen for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

*If you’d like only 1 loaf, cut the quantities in half. The recipe works just as well!

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Baguette Recipe, French Baguette,

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

No Knead Bread

My favorite no knead bread recipe is incredibly easy to make, perfectly crusty and golden on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside.  Two versions included — one with a traditional (overnight) rise, and one with a faster (1.5-hour) rise. Interested in trying to make no knead bread? ♡ Well today, I thought […]

My favorite no knead bread recipe is incredibly easy to make, perfectly crusty and golden on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside.  Two versions included — one with a traditional (overnight) rise, and one with a faster (1.5-hour) rise.

No Knead Bread Recipe

Interested in trying to make no knead bread? ♡

Well today, I thought I would share my two favorite no knead bread recipes with you — the traditional recipe that I like best (which requires the dough to rest 12-18 hours) or a faster method (which requires just a short 1.5-hour rise).

Both of these no knead bread recipes are incredibly forgiving and easy to make, with just 15 or so minutes of active hands-on prep time.  They both bake up magically in the oven to yield artisan-style loaves with the most gorgeous golden crusts and soft, flavorful interiors.  They call for just 4 basic ingredients, plus an extra teaspoon of honey or sugar for the faster version.  They are guaranteed to make your entire home smell like the yummiest, coziest French bakery as they cook.  And best of all, they both taste downright heavenly served warm and fresh outta of the oven.  (And — my breakfast-loving husband would add — fabulous toasted up the next morning too!)

So whether you are brand new to bread-baking, or just looking for some tried-and-tested recipes to add to your repertoire, I highly recommend bookmarking these recipes if you would like to give no knead artisan bread a try!  If you are planning ahead and have the time for an overnight rise, I would recommend going with the traditional version (my favorite) which gives the dough time to develop more of that yeasty, sourdough-like flavor and yields a more airy, porous crumb on the inside.  But if you’re pressed for time and just want a hot loaf of crusty homemade bread in a hurry, this faster version is a great option to try too.  Both versions can be made with any extra seasonings that you would like to add in, and baked up with however light or deeply golden of a crust you prefer.

Alright friends, let’s make some no knead bread together!

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Lemony Artichoke Soup

My mother-in-law’s famous lemony artichoke soup recipe is easy to make in just 30 minutes, it’s made with simple pantry staples, and it’s so lovely and flavorful! Here today by extremely popular demand… …my mother-in-law’s famous lemony artichoke soup recipe! ♡ Last week, I posted on Instagram about how we had to pivot on the […]

My mother-in-law’s famous lemony artichoke soup recipe is easy to make in just 30 minutes, it’s made with simple pantry staples, and it’s so lovely and flavorful!

Lemony Artichoke Soup Recipe

Here today by extremely popular demand…

…my mother-in-law’s famous lemony artichoke soup recipe! ♡

Last week, I posted on Instagram about how we had to pivot on the dinner reservation that I had made weeks ago for Barclay’s birthday, and spend the day doing some creative socially-distanced celebrating here at home instead.  So for a fun surprise, I messaged my mother-in-law to ask if she would send me the recipe for her famous lemony artichoke soup that Barclay has absolutely adored since childhood.  And you guys, I just wish you all could have seen the moment of sheer delight on Barclay’s face when I set his bowl down in front of him.  It was the cutest moment — he was thrilled!  Nothing beat’s mom’s soup!

My Instagram inbox also instantly lit up with dozens (and dozens and dozens!) of messages from you all after I shared a quick pic of the soup, asking if we could pretty please share the recipe.  It seems like all of us could use a good bowl of this soup right now. ♡♡♡  So with big thanks to my mother-in-law, Jen, for graciously giving me the green light to share her family recipe with the world — I’m here to share her lemony artichoke soup recipe today!

The good news for all of us is that this artichoke soup is incredibly quick and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.  And as a bonus — especially helpful right now while we’re all stuck at home — this recipe also happens to be sourced entirely from pantry and refrigerator staples.  I’ve also included tips for how to make this soup gluten-free and/or vegan, if you prefer.  And I highly recommend leaving all of those cute little artichoke petals intact, as Jen does, instead of blending them into the usual artichoke soup puree.  It makes for the loveliest presentation and feels so special and decadent.  And when served up with a big piece of crusty bread, my husband and I agree that there’s nothing better.

So gather up a few jars of artichoke hearts, and let’s make some lemony artichoke soup together!

(more…)

Crepes Dentelle cookies (Gavottes)

These may be the best cookies in the world. Okay, they’re not really cookies, per se. At least not in the French sense. Les cookies refers to chocolate chip cookies and these ultra-thin, ultra-crisp, and ultra-buttery tasting crêpes dentelles are so different, yet so good, you’ll find yourself eating your way through several of them in no time. To prove that point, as a courtesy, the…

These may be the best cookies in the world. Okay, they’re not really cookies, per se. At least not in the French sense. Les cookies refers to chocolate chip cookies and these ultra-thin, ultra-crisp, and ultra-buttery tasting crêpes dentelles are so different, yet so good, you’ll find yourself eating your way through several of them in no time. To prove that point, as a courtesy, the company that makes them places two crêpe dentelles in each shimmering foil packet because they know that it’s impossible to eat just one.

The other great thing about these cookies (let’s just go with that, in English), is that you can pick up a box in any French supermarket, yet the cookies are grand and elegant enough so that restaurants in France have no problem serving store-bought cookies to customers. At least I’ve never heard any complaints. French grandparents and others are known to crumble cookies over a dish or bowl of ice cream to dress it up at home. (For the record, I like to think that I still fall into the “others” category – even though a young man offered me his seat on the métro the other day.)

Continue Reading Crepes Dentelle cookies (Gavottes)...

How to Make Puff Pastry, According to the Fearless Baker

I’ve always had a thing for dough. Bread dough, pie dough, biscuit dough…I love diving into a big bowl of ingredients and coming out of it with floury hands and something delicious to show for my efforts. This is why, despite being one of the m…

I’ve always had a thing for dough. Bread dough, pie dough, biscuit dough...I love diving into a big bowl of ingredients and coming out of it with floury hands and something delicious to show for my efforts. This is why, despite being one of the more complicated recipes on my long list of doughy loves, I adore making puff pastry. 

Puff pastry is made using a method known as lamination, where a block of butter is wrapped fully and sealed inside a dough. The dough then goes through a series of folds, where it is rolled out to a certain thickness and folded over onto itself. The first fold creates a series of layers (thin, alternating layers of dough and butter). The subsequent folds increase these layers, ultimately creating a versatile dough that can be used to make a huge variety of impressive desserts. (The dough for puff pastry can also be yeasted, which is then used to make things like croissants and Danish, and while the method is similar, this article focuses on a non-yeasted puff.) When the dough hits the heat of the oven, the moisture inside the thin layers of butter evaporate, creating steam, which creates the crisp, insanely flaky dough that is puff pastry. 

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