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Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Bakers February Challenge - Julia Child's French Bread


This month's challenge, French Bread, hosted by Breadchick Mary and Sara at I Like to Cook . Now, some may think, french bread is not much of a challenge, well wait till you read the 17 page recipe, you'll think differently. This month had been a lazy month due to the flu, and after reading the book, err... recipe, I just couldn't get motivated enough to make it, until two days ago. I had read others saying they finished at midnight or even 2 am, so I did what someone else did, start the night before. It's cold here, so I knew the rising was going to take longer than what the recipe stated. I think this was a wise decision. I started at 9pm, and we ate the bread for dinner at 6pm, and I cheated on the cooling times about an hour. I thought it was funny how the recipe takes all day to make, and then it says at the end, best eaten the day it is made. I thought, how is this possible? Anyways, the breadmaking process was an interesting one. Instead of the usual kneading, this one gets folded and slapped down. It's just too sticky to knead by hand. My kids were in bed while I was doing this, and Emi asks from her room, Mommy, what are doing? She probably kept hearing the thunks on our dining table and wondered, what the ****? I kept re-reading the recipe over and over, making sure I was doing it right. But things went smoothly except for the shaping part. The loaf somehow ended up being really long and skinny, and wouldn't fit on the baking sheet straight. Oh, what the hell, I'll just bend them. They'll still taste the same, right? After the baking time was up, they looked kinda white, but I took them out anyway for they were thin loaves, I didn't want to end up with a hard loaf no one would eat, despite all the hard work.
Although they look funky, they tasted really good. Real ARTISAN like bread. Now, would I ever make this again, probably not in the near future, but one day when I'll be reminiscing about past challenges, I'll re-visit this one again someday. Thanks to Mary and Sara for hosting this one. It's definitely one I'll remember.

6 comments:

culinography said...

One of my favorite things about being a DB'er is the perseverance that comes with sticking with the recipe even when it doesn't go quite the way I'd planned... congrats on your 'artisan' bread - glad that it was tasty!

Jaime said...

hahaha - i was thinking my neighbors were probably think i'm abusing my husband or something from all the slapping/pounding noises i was making as i kneaded the bread! you should watch the video link on my blog...it was very helpful and showed me how to form the loaves so that they would fit on the baking sheet so you don't have to bend them :) great job w/the challenge!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job facing this month's challenge. I too, wound up with too long loaves and cut them in half to fit on my baking sheet. I do hope you try baking this again, it seems much easier the second time around. Congratulations on completing the French bread!

Jaime said...

thanks for visiting my blog - but i just wanted to let you know that i merely copied/pasted the recipe onto my blog! if it had required typing, i would have just linked it ;)

Molly Loves Paris said...

Good effort. I've been trying to figure out why some people's loaves are whiter than others. We all used the same ingredients. Maybe your oven isn't as hot as you think it is.

Sara said...

Those are definitely hand made loaves of bread! :)
Thanks for joining us this month.