Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Baker's February Challenge: French Bread

French Bread Loaf


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!



French Bread


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.

35 comments:

Nora B. said...

Nice loaf, Warda! Love the golden colour of the crust. I see that we both chose to make a boule.

I'll remember to do the haka for the next challenge ;-)

Joy the Baker said...

Your bread looks great! And I'm not saying that because it looks just like mine. The recipe sure was daunting, but you did wonderfully! Yay for Daring Bakers.

Gigi said...

Beautiful boule! It looks so scrumptious ...I wish I had olive oil to dip it in.

Dharm said...

I'd have loved to see you do the Haka!! Well done - great looking bread!

Mandy said...

That's a beautiful loaf, Warda. I am so envious of your golden crust. Mine turned out pretty pale~

Gretchen Noelle said...

Warda, beautiful job! I too love the golden color! I enjoyed this bread quite a bit as well. Too bad I forgot to to do the haka first!

Anne said...

What a gorgeous loaf. The crust looks to die for :)

Shayne said...

for some reason I can't imagine you screaming like that in you kitchen and hitting yourself. i am sure that it put that bread in it's place.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful crust on your bread.

cookworm said...

Very nice crumb and crust. Great job!

Breadchick said...

Your bread is lovely and the crumb just right.

Thanks for participating with Sara and I this month.

Cheers,

Andrea said...

It was a long process, but your loaf looks so wonderfully crusty! Beautiful!

Rebecca said...

This bread looks fantastic! Thanks for giving me some courage- making french bread has always been SO intimidating to me. Daring Baker, indeed-though I'm sure the haka dancing would be even more intimidating! ha!

Big Boys Oven said...

this is so beautiful, i think next time i will do the big round one! congratulation to you!

Quellia said...

Yes, bread is my weakness, fresh, warm bread. Yours looks lovely!

Brilynn said...

I'm sure it was the All Blacks haka that made all the difference!

L Vanel said...

Warda, that is a beautiful looking boule.

Meeta said...

What a beautiful golden color you have there Warda. Looks absolutely gorgeous!

Cakespy said...

The inner texture looks so good, I could almost write a poem about that. Wonderful work!

Deborah said...

Your bread is beautiful!

Baking Soda said...

Look at the gorgeous shine on that bread! A+ in the looks dept!

creampuff said...

Beautifully done!

Lesley said...

Gorgeous gorgesous bread. I am dying to get that shine!

Jenny said...

Looks great!! I really think the last rise was the hardest to wait for.

Dayna said...

that is one stunning crust you have there. i hope no one was injured during lunch!

zorra said...

Well done, and regarding the dense crumb, perhaps your dough was too dry?

marion - il en faut peu pour ... said...

that's the apron & haka effects :)))))
WOnderful job, as usual ! I knew you were going to succeed in the last hours of the challenge :)
I'm coming with the home-made jelly ok ? ;)

ostwestwind said...

Your bread looks so appetizing,

Congratulation!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

It must be hard, after waiting eight hours for the dough to rise, to wait any longer! But yes, I think you're right that the crumb would develop more fully with a bit more rising time. No matter -- your boule looks lovely and I would be happy to help polish off any leftovers!

Aparna said...

Your bread looks so delicious. Congratulations.
I am convinced that I need to give this bread one more chance (in the future).

mima said...

Quel beau pain !Et je pourrais dire j'en suis sure"quel bon pain !!"
Il a vraiment belle allure .Rien de tel que du pain sur une table,çà met en appétit,c'est l'aliment par excellence,irremplaçable.Alors s'il est fait maison c'est le top .bravo et biz.

Molly Loves Paris said...

That is a really gorgeous boule! And the idea of the All Blacks Haka before baking is great. I've got to show that to my son-in-law who is a wresting coach. Thanks for the laugh.

lisa said...

Hi, my first visit to your blog and I will surely be back. Just the kind of food I like to drool at! Beautiful photos too, well done. I'm not brave enough to join the Daring Bakers yet, but who knows, perhaps one day!

Tartelette said...

Well,with the All Blacks on your side,that is success allright! Beautiful job!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

What a gorgeous looking loaf! Its absolutely beautiful!!