Friday, February 29, 2008
Daring Baker's February Challenge: French Bread
First and most of all, I would like to thank Mary and Sara for their hard work explaining every step in making Julia Child’s French bread. Thank you, ladies!
I was very pleased with this month’s challenge, as I love bread very much. I love to eat it, to smell it, to touch it’ and to watch it rise slowly in the oven. I don’t imagine a table without some crusty bread. And a salad; but that’s another story.
As I said before, I was pleased to be making French bread, but also very nervous. Especially after the “assiduous student” told us how much it took them to make this bread: ten hours. Yes, ten!
After days of insomnia and hot flushes thinking about the ten hours, I finally get the courage to make it two days ago. I read the recipe over and over again. I read my fellow Daring Bakers advices and misfortunes. I set my ingredients, tied my apron around my waist, performed The All Blacks Haka and started making French bread. The dance really helped!
Although the recipe is very long, it took me about eight hours from start to finish, it wasn’t that complicated. It’s mainly flour, water, yeast and salt mixed together, and most of the time was about the rising of the dough.
The only thing I did differently from the recipe is reducing the amount of salt to 1½ tsp as a lot had complained about the bread being too salty.
Overall, the bread developed a nice crust and a beautiful golden color. But the crumb was a bit dense and chewy. I am presuming it had to do with the last rise where I was in a hurry to bake it.
Thanks again Mary and Sara for this wonderful challenge and for all your efforts and generosity. For more information about the recipe, head over to their blogs; and don’t forget to visit my fellow Daring Bakers chef d’oeuvre.