Friday, February 29, 2008

The Daring Bakers go French



The Daring Baker challenge for February is Julia Child’s French bread. I quite enjoy making bread, but I have never made a plain white loaf and not in the style of French bread.

The bread in France is unbelievable! I am not a big bread eater, but when we spent time in France four years ago, I think I ate my bread quota for about a year in 3 weeks!!! My favourite memories are of a still warm pain aux lardon (bread with bacon in it) and a divine anchovy fougasse. Yum!!!!! The Julia Child recipe was for a plain French loaf.

The instructions for making the bread were very long and thorough. I used the mixer method, rather than the by hand method – I usually use my kenwood for kneading bread. The bread turned out well, but did not have the WOW factor that I would have liked.

I followed the instructions as much as I could–although didn’t leave it to rise as long as the recipe said. My funny old atlas oven is not the best thing to make bread in – It probably doesn’t get as hot as French Bread needs. Also, I don’t have a pizza stone, so made the bread on a normal oven tray. I did put ice in the oven to create steam which is meant to keep the bread nice and moist.



The bread tastes really yummy – especially warm from the oven with some lovely butter on it. But it didn’t go a glossy brown colour and the outside was not as crisp as I would have liked. I made a rather mis-shaped baguette and a kind of a boule. We ate the baguette hot from the oven and I have put the boule in the freezer.

I am not sure that I would make the French bread again. I don’t think I can re-create the French bread oven enough to get a good result. I think I will stick to making things like fougasse and foccacia.



You can see the other daring bakers’ French bread here.

12 comments:

Cakelaw said...

Hi Tammy, Nice looking bread! Congrats on completing this challenge.

slush said...

Looks good to me! I thought this to be a tough challenge, you did a great job!

Rachel said...

This bread looks amazing! Great job. :D

Big Boys Oven said...

Well done you had this recipe spot on!

amanda. said...

Very nice!

I hope one day I'm able to go to France and gorge on bread!

Jenny said...

I froze one of my loaves too, so it will be interesting to see what it is like out of the freezer. Good job on your challenge, and I want to try bread with anchovies (but only in France, mind you).

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy. It is well worth buying pizza stone, they are great for bread making, I get great result using mine for my baguettes.

Baking Soda said...

It certainly looks nice but maybe you're right, un un-cooperating oven and bread don't go along together well. You've done it, that's what counts!

breadchick said...

Great job on your challenge! Thanks for baking with Sara and I

Deborah said...

It looks great! I would be afraid to attempt it if my oven didn't get hot enough, but you have done a great job!

lina said...

Your bread is looking great, the crumb looks very nice and tasty I'd say. (Mm... getting hungry again) Great work!

JennB said...

Nice hero shot of the bread with butter.... and you did a great job. I agree - bread is not my forte, either, although I do enjoy eating it!