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Friday, 29 February 2008

Daring Bakers: A Tribute to Julia Child


It's time for another Daring Bakers' Challenge - this time, just reading the recipe proved to be a real challenge: To reproduce Julia Child's version of French Bread, you have to work your way through not one or two but a staggering 15 pages. Making the bread was a lengthy process, too, that required three rising times. That said, the recipe wasn't difficult at all and the result was well worth the effort. Due to a rather frantic schedule, I made it quite a while ago knowing that there wouldn't be any time for baking adventures later in the month. That hasn't changed yet (not much cooking and even less blogging going on here at the moment as you might have noticed), so please forgive me if I keep this one short. (There's even another bread baking event closing tomorrow where I've participated but nothing's posted yet...)

I'm really glad that our hosts, Breadchick and Sara, chose this particular recipe. Otherwise, I would never have known that simple all-purpose flour makes for such a lovely loaf! What impressed me the most was its keeping quality: Even with no pre-ferment or sourdough involved, it still tasted perfect after two days. I think one of the two loafs made it to a fourth day or so, got turned into toast, and then his life span was definitely over. Despite the long time from start to finish, the recipe doesn't require a lot of work and I quite enjoyed the long kneading time. Usually, I would stop in between and give the dough a rest which shortens the kneading time quite a bit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this bread - keep those bread challenges coming!

You can check out the recipe here and don't forget to visit all (ok, some of the 500something) of the Daring Bakers as well as our non-blogging members.



25 comments:

Susan said...

I'm glad you made time for this challenge. Those are lovely loaves!

Joy the Baker said...

Your bread came out just beautifully! And the simple fact that you're not a procrastinator is pretty amazing too!

Meeta said...

Eva, my your bread looks spectacular. You did a great job. Our did not even last that long. We ate it all on the first day!!!

L Vanel said...

Really really beautiful photos and a nice writeup. Thank you!

Y said...

I agree. I was surprised by the use of plain flour too. Equally surprised that part of your bread made it to day four. Mine barely lasted two days :) If only there wasn't so much waiting time between wanting the bread and making, proving and baking it!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Eva I'm so with you on this one, it is tasty bread and it does challenge one to read the recipe!!
Yes, I could be happy with another bread but you think we could get two in a row . . . I'd be surprised if there isn't sugar and butter in the next one.

Nora B. said...

Hi Eva,
a-ha! I see that all-purpose white flour has now gained some respect from you ;-) Your loaf looks great, very rustic with the flour dusting. The flavour was great, I think it's from the long rising process.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your loaves look great! Well done! I really loved that challenge...

Cheers,

Rosa

Mer said...

Those loaves look like they belong in a food magazine! Beautiful.

And I agree about bread challenges. We want more of them! :0)

Brilynn said...

Glad you enjoyed the challenge, well done!

Jenny said...

Your loaves look great!

zorra said...

Im Gegensatz zu dir fand ich das Brot an Tag 3 nicht mehr so gut. :-) Frisch hat es mir am besten geschmeckt. Betreffend "Löcher", ist schwierig zu sagen, so von der Ferne. Hättest du ein Bild vom Teig?

Es sieht jedenfalls sehr lecker aus, auch mit "fester" Krumme.

ostwestwind said...

Die sehen doch gut aus, deine Brote!
Die unregelmäßigen Löcher an der Seite können daher rühren, dass du nicht genügend entgast und beherzt genug geknetet hast. Ich hatte das auch.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Good Morning Eva,
Just a short note to let you know that you have won IFP poll!!
Follow this link to collect your trophy:
http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=1582

Have a great day, Margot

i shot the chef said...

I too am surprised your bread made it to 4 days! We ate it all in less than 2 days. Wonderful looking bread! - Candace

Half Baked said...

Beautiful bread. Love the floury outside. I'm jealous that's how I wanted mine to look:) Maybe one day with lots of practice?! Nice job on this challenge.

Tartelette said...

Perfect bread Eva! I share your love of starters and poolish and I was kind of happy to go back to a more imple bread making session. I was also surprised on how flavorful it was. Bread will never cease to amaze me!

Eva said...

Thank you, Susan! I really appreciate that!

Thanks, Joy, unfortunately, I'm not always a good girl...

Meeta, we're only two people to eat it all - but I did have to pace myself..;-)

Thank you very much, I Vanel!

Y - After two days, I was getting really curious to see how long it would taste good. An original French baguette would taste a bit differently but it would certainly start to deteriorate after just a couple of hours (from my opinion).

Tanna - On the other hand, it would be the perfect excuse to indulge in something decadent..;-)

Nora - I'm still trying to figure out how to use a floured cloth (guess, mine are not stiff enough for the job) but it at least covered up my insufficient scoring..;-)

Thanks, Rosa, me too!

You're too kind, Mer!

Thanks, Brilynn and Jenny!

Zorra - Ein Bild hab ich leider nicht, aber mein Teig ging immer sehr schnell, die Gehzeiten musste ich alle verkuerzen - aber vielleicht war ich auch zu voreilig? Umso mehr hat es mich ueberrascht, dass es geschmacklich so gut - kann ich nicht von all meinen Weissbroten sagen...

Kann gut sein, Ulrike. Im Rezept stand ja auch, dass man alle Blasen rigoros zerstoeren soll, aber das hab ich wohl nicht so genau genommen...

Thanks so much, Margot! I'll put up my badge asap! Still trying to figure out how to do it though...

Candace - I'm the main bread eater at home - that's why - and I thought I'd better not devour it all too quickly...

Thank you, halfbaked! I made quite a mess with the floured cloth..;-)

Thank you, Helen! The recipe proved that one should never underestimate bread. Cos beforehand, I would never have guessed that it would turn out so good!

marion - il en faut peu pour ... said...

how gorgeous ! your bread looks so fantastic !!! congratulations !

breadchick said...

That is what I love about bread, what normally is four ingredients and simple, not sexy ingredients, makes one of the best things ever! Your loaves look wonderful and glad they lasted so long.

Thanks for baking with Sara and I

Eva said...

Thank you, Marion!

Breadchick - it was a real pleasure!

Deborah said...

Your bread looks great! Well done!

Aparna said...

Eva, this looks lovely. This was one challenge that had me stumped, results-wise!

Sara said...

Fantastic! Thanks for the great post.

Eva said...

Thanks Deborah and Sara!

Aparna, I've just had a look at your results and I think that they don't look bad at all! But of course, sometimes things just don't turn out the way we've anticipated it. Chapeau that you tried twice!