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.
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.
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? :)
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
Lemon Meringue Pie