Philosophizing About Food With Francine: Baguettes


by Francine Black

Four baguettes resting in a couche. 

The French word couche, pronounced Koosh, has several meanings actually, but the meaning when used here is “bed."

Our couche is a sturdy linen cloth liberally sprinkled with flour that cradles the baguettes to keep their shape as they take their final rest before they’re placed in a hot oven to bake. 

Of all the breads I bake, this is by far the easiest one to make. All we need is a bowl, some flour, water, salt and a very small amount of yeast. Next we stir it all around and let it rest. After an hour, we slap it around a bit and then let it rest overnight in the fridge. 

Baguettes are at their finest when eaten the same day so it’s no problem to take out a lump of dough to bake for the day, leaving the rest in the fridge for as long as a week! 

Lucky Boyertown H.S. senior and star of the BASH musicals "Oklahoma" and "Grease," Jack Burrell, arrived at Francine's home for a voice lesson just in time to sample a freshly baked baguette.

High in the mountains above Bally, where the dense groves of treetops seem to touch the sky, is Francine Black, Boyertown’s own version of chef Julia Child. Her daily activities reflect the things she most values: family and friends, music, and lovingly prepared food.

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