The Daring Bakers February Challenge
This is what French bread is supposed to look like: And this is what mine looks like:
So what would this French bread say if it could talk? My guess is it would say something like, "Don’t' look at me, I'm hideous!" No wait, this is French bread. That means it would say, "Ne me regardez pas, je suis affreux."
When I first saw this month's challenge I thought great, another chance to work on my French bread skills. The recipe looked daunting. Twelve pages in length and a total time of close to 11 hours from start to finish. But this supposed to be a challenge, right? So I carefully studied the recipe before the first scoop of flour was measured.All seemed to go well….until it came time to move the bread from the floured towels to the cooking sheets. Even with the heavy dose of flour covering the towel, the bread stuck to it and quickly deflated. Phooey! (I actually said something a bit more colorful) One loaf still retained it's loaf shape while the second one simply collapsed upon itself and folded over into a grotesque mass of wrinkly dough. Not a pretty site. In my frustration, I grabbed it up and rolled it into a boule hoping it could be salvaged. The result was mixed. It rose just like it was supposed to.
Taste-wise it was good if not a touch salty. Texture-wise, a nice fine crumb. Looks-wise, hideous. My first (non-obscene) thought was the loaf looked like a Geoduck . See the resemblance?
While my attempt at Julia Child's French bread was not great, it was a learning experience. However, I have other recipes for French bread that are less complicated and take about half the time to make (not including the starter). I think I'll stick to them.
And many thanks to my brother for posting this for me since I will be somewhere in the air on my way to Malaysia on posting day.