This was my first month being part of the "Daring Bakers": a group of people who bake the same recipe and if they blog post it on the same day together. I've been very impressed by past recipes from the Daring Bakers and was in awe of their talents. Well I decided maybe I should give it a go and try learning something new and a little out of my comfort zone, so I signed myself up.
When I heard that it was to be French Bread, I felt relieved thinking bread can't be too complicated can it? As soon as I looked at all 17 pages of the recipe I felt nauseous. I read the equipment list and almost cried cos I had very little of it, ingredients were fine though, nothing too complicated there. I asked around people at church for equipment to borrow and gave up on finding things like canvas pastry cloths, thermometers, and cardboard/plywood, so I decided to be creative and use things from around the house like stiff teatowels with books, candles and rolling pins as supports.
Anyways I'm so glad I tried making this in the end because it wasn't as complicated as I first thought, but takes a fair chunk of time to make. they turned out fantastically well and the smell in my kitchen after it all was incredible! If you ever get the chance have a go at making this.
Daring Bakers - Julia Child's French Bread
Makes 3 - baguettes (24” x 2”) or batards (16” x 3”)
or 6 – short loaves, ficelles, 12 – 16” x 2”
or 3 – round loaves, boules, 7 – 8” in diameter
12 – round or oval rolls, petits pains
1 – large round or oval loaf, pain de menage or miche; pain boulot
1 cake (0.6 ounce) (20grams) fresh yeast or 1 package dry active yeast
1/3 cup (75ml) warm water, not over 100 degrees F/38C in a glass measure
3 1/2 cup (about 1 lb) (490 gr) all purpose flour, measured by scooping
dry measure cups into flour and sweeping off excess
2 1/4 tsp (12 gr) salt
1 1/4 cups (280 - 300ml) tepid water @ 70 – 74 degrees/21 - 23C
The full 16 page recipe can be found here. This is a very very VERY abbreviated version.
1. Make the dough
2. Knead the dough
3. Leave to rise for 3-5 hours
4. Deflate and leave to rise for 1.5 - 2 hours
5. Split the dough into the amount of loaves you are making and rest for 5 minutes
6. Shape the dough
7. Leave to rise for 1.5 - 2.5 hours
8. Move the dough onto a baking sheet and cut slashes in the top of the bread
9. Bake for 25 mins at 450˚F/230˚C
10. Leave to cool 2-3 hours
This recipe took me 10 hours (not counting cooling time - I went to bed soon after I finished), but it was well worth it.
Thank you to Breadchick Mary at The Sour Dough and Sara from I Like to Cook for this month's challenge!
Have a look at the results of everyone else's bread at The Daring Baker's Blogroll
I'm excited to see the next challenge now.