Hungry Reader Challenge: Baguettes from Les Miserables

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Here's one last entry in our Hungry Reader Challenge. We had a lot of fun last month remembering some of our favorite food from books. Novels, essays, plays and poetry have inspired our cooking, eating, and enjoyment of food and deepened our understanding of the role that food plays in life.

It seems fitting to close out the challenge with this entry from reader amyd99 who made a simple loaf of bread from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Read on for her inspiration and more photos.

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Why this book?

I am currently reading Les Miserables and wanted to make something that represented it. As the book deals with poverty and oppression, there seems to be a lack of food rather than anything to truly inspire. Still, I did not want to give up on this idea...thus, an inspiration from the simple meal which Jean Valjean received from the bishop. Although they had rye bread at this meal, I chose to make a baguette since no one in my family is fond of rye. I used Rose Levy Beranbaum's baguette recipe from The Bread Bible.

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Book quote:

Meantime Madame Magloire had served up supper; it consisted of soup made of water, oil, bread and salt, a little pork, a scrap of mutton, a few figs, a green cheese, and a large loaf of rye bread. She had, without asking, added to the usual dinner of the bishop a bottle of fine old Mauves wine.

Great job amyd99 - your copy of American Artisanal is on its way.

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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