Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge - French Bread!

This month's Daring BakersChallenge (my first!) was hosted by Mary at The Sour Dough (this link is where the recipe is at) and Sara at I Like to Cook .

They chose a recipe from one of my most favorite people ever - Julia Child. Her 18 page-long recipe for Pain Francais (French Bread) seems daunting at first, but once you get going, it's not difficult at all, just time-consuming. All told I spent 8 hours making this bread! It is so very worth it, though. My own bread certainly didn't turn out bakery-pretty, but it was absolutely delicious!

Here's my bread making day in photos:

Flour - I used King Arthur's unbleached bread flour - and salt.



Dissolved yeast.



Everything together.



Dough formed.



The kneaded dough ready to rise.



Three batards shaped and risen.



My state-of-the-art unmolding board.



The finished-if-not-so-pretty bread.

27 comments:

L Vanel said...

On the contrary - I think your loaves look excellent! A lot of loaves in France look like this. It is very pretty.

Ranae said...

Oh yum! Where did you get those bread pans though? They are too cool (& I've been looking for some).

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your bread! They look so rustic and yummy.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Anne said...

L and Sheltie--TY so much! You're too kind.

Ranae--it's a towel ;o)

Heather said...

Looks delicious! Makes me want to fly off to France today!

Anne said...

Heather, not without me, you don't!!

Neen said...

They look fabulous, but how did they taste? :) If you'd like a less-time-consuming alternative to JC, as much as we all love her, try Richard Bertinet's "Dough" cookbook. Absolutely divine homemade French bread with far fewer steps.

Anne said...

Hi, again, Neen- I'll refer you right back to the top of the post!

"My own bread certainly didn't turn out bakery-pretty, but it was absolutely delicious!"

I make French bread very often, but the challenge here was the method that Julia Child put down.

Ben said...

Congratulations Anne. I think it looks really good, it looks better than mine :-p Another challenge conquered yay! :)

Anne said...

Ben San! I think yours looked totally awesome! I left a comment but got booted right after-so I hope it's there!

Mary said...

I think your bread looks great! And I love your state of the art unmolding board!

Cakes said...

Nicely done. Looks so yummy!

So, the latest recipe I want to try has you leave a starter for 12 hours before making the dough. Did you do this? I've only ever used a starter for sourdough.

Anne said...

Mary, thank you! Thanks for stopping by, too.

Cakes, I dunno! I've only ever used a starter and gone right on from there--this wasn't sourdough this time, though!

Mansi Desai said...

looks like the bread came out well for you Anne!:)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Beautiful loaves! Great job making the French Bread! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Anne said...

Mansi and Gretchen--thank you! I hope this is the start of a long and beautiful baking relationship :O)

Mirz said...

They have such a rustic, old world look to them. I'm sure they were amazing. Now I have to run out and buy some (I am not good at baking at all). Congrats on the challenge!

KFarmer said...

I loved watching Julia as a youngen as well as her on the show with that other frenchie, Jock?

Any who, your bread does look pretty~ and tasty too. My teeth want to bite down on a piece so bad, I can hardly stand it~ :)

Breadchick said...

They may not be "bakery" pretty but from they sure look right and perfect tasting.

Thanks for baking with Sara and I this month!

Carrie said...

hmmm... your state of the art unmolding board looks very similar to mine. ;-)

LizzyT said...

My mouth is watering, I love the smell of fresh bread.

Anne said...

Mirz-you cheater! LOL Buy extra for me, I don't have an extra 8 hours today!

K-I loved seeing Julia on TV, she was a real character and so much FUN!

Breadchick--thanks so much for stopping by!

Carrie-phew! I'm in good company, then!

Lizzy-it really was VERY good--worth the time and effort.

Lunch Buckets said...

I think your loaves look great - good job!

Jaime said...

i think you're too hard on yourself! they look great!

Sara said...

Looks pretty to me!

Jenny said...

Looks like they tasted really good. Great job completing this challenge - I like the looks of the dough in the middle, looks supple and smooth!

Andrea said...

I think your loaves turned out great, very rustic looking, just the way I like. :-)