Friday, February 29, 2008

The Daring Bakers Bake French Breads

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This month's Daring Bakers challenge is perfect for me. Ever since the weather turns cold, I have been wanting to horn my skill at bread baking. Of course I occasionally bake dinner rolls, but I am mostly grounded in my comfort zone. Making something like French Bread that takes 7-9 hours has certainly never crossed my mind.

I am really glad that the past challenges have pushed me to bake some cool stuffs that my normal lazy self won't have attempted on my own.

Our hostesses for this month- Sara of I Like to Cook and Mary of The Sour Dough have picked Julia Child's French Bread as this month challenge. It has been a challenge indeed from the very beginning. Even before I dip my measuring cup into the flour. Reading through the looooong recipe, had me feeling exhausted, before I get started.

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But once I got over the reading part, everything else was a breeze. Ok, maybe not as easy as I had envisioned, but hey, after two attempts, I got these batards you see here!

Did I just mentioned I made this recipe twice? Oh yes, that's right. When I first made the recipe on Monday, my dough was unbelievably sticky and the little petits pains that I baked turned out looking anemic. Even though they tasted great, I was quite sure that something wasn't quite right, so I repeated the recipe again on Thursday. Learning from my first experience, I adhered to the recipe more closely, and shaped my dough into batards, like many of my fellow Daring Bakers do.

french bread


Although there are many areas that my french bread can be improved on, I think it will be awhile before I bake french bread again. Don't get me wrong, I love this recipe, and the flavor of this bread is quite addictive. I can eat it without anything topping or spread. It's merely because I have 2 batches of these in the freezer now.

We are going to reheat some petit pains and spread withNutella for breakfast, and the batards, with smoked salmon, apple, spinach and cheese for our weekend dinner and lunch. I wonder how my fellow Daring Bakers are going to eat their French Bread? :)

pink_db


For the recipe of Julia Child's French Bread, see Mary's entry with nice step-by-step photos here

To read about the other Daring Bakers takes on the French Bread Challenge, head over to the Daring Bakers Blogroll.


The past Daring Bakers Challenges:
Tender Potato Bread
Yule Log
Lemon Meringue Pie

45 comments:

L Vanel said...

Mandy, your bread looks wonderful! Your perseverance definitely paid off!

Big Boys Oven said...

This is so cool! I still wonder how we can be punished ourself to go through those 15 pages of recipe! lol!

Manggy said...

Hi Mandy, I'm glad you decided to push through with it. Experience is priceless :) And it gave you nice loaves too!

Anne said...

wow your patience is truly admirable for you to make it twice. I on the other hand only made it once but swears I wouldn't do it again. Not because I didn't like it, I just feel it takes too much of my time :) Mine wasn't evenly brown, it was more like overly brown :)

zorra said...

I love to dip it into a stew.

Pixie said...

Twice! There are a few of you out there who did this and I'm amazed. Looks fabulous!

KJ said...

Fantastic bread. You did a great job!!

Dinha said...

liked it very its blog, is the first time that I am visiting! Pretty bread, with butter and coffee is very good! Until more.

Dhanggit said...

oh mandy your french bread turned out beautifully!! great job for this month's challenge!!

mari said...

Isn't it great when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone! Congrats on your "daring baking" session(s)!

Sarah said...

Your bread looks great! Got to love how the Daring Bakers challenge us to go outside of our comfort zones!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Well, they look great. Can having a freezer stuffed full of batards really be such a bad thing?!

Aran Goyoaga said...

Very nice bread Mandy! The crumb looks perfect and I like the rustic shape of the loaves. Well done!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Beautiful batards Mandy! Bow to you...& to everyone who tried it twice! Once was enough for me...it took a WHOLE day...but I enjoyed it when it was over!Good for you...Lol
Deeba

Brilynn said...

Good for you for attempting it twice, that's more than I did!

Warda said...

Your bread might be pale, but the crumb is what I like the most about it. It crumblicious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice looking bread! Well done! I love it's airy inside...

Cheers,

Rosa

Tartelette said...

Kudos for doing it twice! It turned out gorgeous! I hope that a bowl of soup and a couple of slices will make you feel less homesick :)

Jerry said...

Good job of sticking with it!

Veron said...

Oh Mandy your bread looks wonderful. I love the crumb on yours ...so perfect!

Jenny said...

Looks great! It's been fun to see what everyone has done with their loaves!! Fun challenge.

Deborah said...

I ate mine just straight with a little butter! Your bread looks absolutely wonderful!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Good job on your bread. It looks terrific! I love the texture you got on the inside. I loved mine with bruschetta. And Nutella. And butter.....I loved it all!

Carrie said...

Gotta love french bread x 2!
;-)
Looks great!

ostwestwind said...

You managed it, congrats!

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Mary said...

Wow your bread looks awesome! And I'm impressed you made it twice! I ate one bread with nutella, gave one away and ate the other one with just plain butter. Mine is all gone, so I may be making this again soon!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Mandy, great looking loaves. Good for you for baking it again. I love your photos, once again!

Half Baked said...

Gorgeous bread! I have some in the freezer too. Way to go making it twice!

breadchick said...

Great job on your challenge this month

thanks for baking with Sara and I

Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi Mandy~

You bread looks great~

I agree with you that DB got me doing what I normally would have avoid =)

Joy said...

Your bread looks delicious - I love the Gallic towel that it's wrapped in!

kellypea said...

Hats off to your for doing this challenge more than once! One of these days, I'll be able to do that when I learn not to be a procrastinator! Your batards turned out very nicely -- the crumb is great!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks great! I love the holes in the bread!

Jenny said...

I will definitely be trying Nutella on the last loaf in my freezer.... just sounds too amazing to pass up!

Peabody said...

You got great curst and crumb...job well done.

Jigginjessica said...

I also found the reading exhausting! Your bread looks wonderful!

Sara said...

Fantastic bread! Thanks for sharing with us.

Medena said...

Hi Mandy! Great job, awesome pictures!

You may have been tagged before, I have no idea, but I have tagged you with "meme", hope you don't mind! :)

http://cafechocolada.blogspot.com/2008/03/meme.html

Cakespy said...

This looks simply wonderful. I love your picnic-y presentation too--it just makes me think of how tasty the bread would be after a long walk...

Claire said...

This is beautiful. So nice and crusty. I bet the Nutella was great on it!

Ginny said...

Delicious! Can I have a slice?

fyi: I tagged you in a meme.

Barbara Bakes said...

Lucky you to have tasty bread in your freezer. Mine is long gone.

Michelle said...

Your bread looks wonderful! Great Job!

Mandy said...

thanks everyone for your kind comments! you guys totally rock!

Dazy said...

These French breads sound interesting. I don't like breads much though. Authentic!

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