ARTISAN BAGUETTES, BATARDS, & BREAD BOWLS,
In a now famous advertisement, Orson Welles would confidently proclaim in his lovely low baritone voice: “We will sell no wine before its time.” At Rustic, we take a similar patient approach with the preparation of our artisan breads. It takes three days to achieve that buttery, airy inside and the crunchy, golden brown crust outside. Three days? It seems a little excessive. But when you break it down, each stage is equally as important as the last.
Day 1: “Poolish” This Polish word sounds silly, but is actually a necessary preferment in order to achieve our Rustic bread. Flour, Yeast, Water. Combine, cover, and let sit overnight. It’s that simple. This step is included in our process to strengthen the dough’s structure and achieve a superior flavor and quality.
Day 2: Don’t be surprised when we tell you that the next step also includes only water, flour, yeast (and some salt). When combined with the poolish, this dough is placed in big plastic containers where they have room to expand to over three times its size. Truly magical. After about an hour, this dough is ready to be shaped into big blobby dough circles and continue to grow overnight.
Day 3: This is where everything comes together. Our bakers work hard to make sure every measurement and step is exact so that the dough can be shaped and baked into our famous Rustic bread. After baguettes are stretched longs, bread bowls are formed tall for ample room for soup and chili, and batards are formed in an oval to ensure large panini slices, they are all placed in our oven “Big Bertha” to steam and bake into that buttery inside and crusty outside.
We were so proud of the handmade hand-inscribed wood menu we created to welcome our customers at Rustic as they enter the front door. We spent well over two months creating the menu… carefully placing each letter in its proper location. Then, just one week after our grand opening, all of our pride was quickly deflated when we received a nicely-worded polite email. The email informed us that we had a typographical error in the title of one main menu categories -- “Baguettes and Paninis.” What? A typo? Where? The email commented that the plural of “panini” is just “panini” not “paninis.” Ugh! We got it wrong. Rip down our menu and redo it? Nah!
Despite the typographical error in our menu, our customers love our panini. Our panini are started with sliced ½ inch artisan we have done our best to develop the most delicious variety of sandwiches on our fresh baked bread. Ranging from tri tip to turkey & avocado to nutella & fluff, we have created a panini for everyone. But no matter how many we serve every day, they are all just panini.
When trying to develop the perfect bagel recipe, we called up the kingdom of bagels: the state of New York. They had a secret to share: boil your bagels. This is the only way to achieve the perfect shiny crust, chewy bite, and authentic NY bagel taste. No method could ever compare. This is why Rustic has adapted and mastered the boiled bagel technique.
Yukone or “Tangzhong” method: Yet another strange term, this time of the Japanese origin. If you thought the poolish was wimple, making your yukone is even easier. Simply combine flour and water and cook on a stovetop until it turns into a thick, gelatinous paste. This important step increases the water content which will help it retain some of the moisture content in the final bagel, giving it that chewy, soft texture.
Dough: Unlike the bread process, this dough only takes one day tomake. The yukone is mixed with two kinds of flour, honey, yeast, and warm water. Once the ingredients are combined, the dough will have started to appear slightly shiny. At this point, we allow the dough to rest so it can grow big and strong for the most important part: the boil and bake step.
Boil & Bake: This is where we make New York proud. After forming the bagels into a ring shape, they are plopped into boiling water for a little over a minute where they form their shiny outer shell and soft, flavorful inside. Finally, toppings like cheese or rosemary & salt are added and the bagels are placed in “Big Bertha” for everyone to enjoy. (Disclaimer: once inside Big Bertha, the bagels are teleported to New York where the elves of NY bagels add their magic touch and transform them so they come out of the oven NY authentic.)