3rd Daring Bakers Challenge – Julia Child’s French Bread

29 February, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Posted in » Daring Bakers, » Fresh Breads & Buns | 11 Comments
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It’s been sometime since I have baked any breads… and I had a strong feeling that this month challenge will be on breads and boy how right could I get ! I was stressed out when I saw this month’s DB Challenge recipe… it was like 11 – 12 pages long!!! Really can faint! I have to read it a few times, dig out all my bread books to research on the technics, and then think of how to do it before I can get myself started on it….

But thanks to our sweet hosts for this month, Breadchick Mary of The Sour Dough and Sara of I Like to Cook, I was able to have a go at this lovely Julia Child’s French Bread, which again I have never done before… Since young, I have been very fond of French Bread and never would I have thought of myself baking it until now…

The recipe is actually very simple, just Yeast, Water (warm & tepid), Salt and of course All-Purpose Flour. So how difficult can this be right? Just add all the ingredients together and mix lah…. if it’s really so simple, the recipe will not be so long and I would not have been so stressed… Yes, the ingredients are very basic… but the steps/technics are not…. I never known that making French Bread could be sooooo tedious!! And the waiting time for the dough to raise and to be totally cool down after baking is really long…. the total time stated from start to end for this recipe is 7 – 9 hours…

We are given the options to make the bread into several shapes and size shown below:breadshapes.jpg

I  have chosen to make mine into tire-bouchons for easy consumption and save the hassle of cutting the bread. It is required to make 1 loaf of plain bread without any toppings, as for the rest of the remaining loaves, I have added roasted white sesame seeds, shredded pasley, chopped garlic and powder cheddar cheese respectively on the top for different type of savoury flavours…

All is well until the first raise… it was suppose to raise up to about triple the original size… but after 3 hours plus, it’s still at it’s doubled size… so I just went ahead with the next step… the second raise & the final proving seems ok…

This is how it looks like after I took it out from the oven, it’s looks quite deciving from the outside…

but inside…. =( 

My bread crust turns out to be crispy…. but it’s too hard… and the inside is quite dense… unlike those I bought from those bread shops… =(

Nevertheless, hubby says the taste is not bad… but the crust too hard… For me, I think the yeast smell is too strong, dunno why…

Even though it did not turn out quite well for me, I would say this month is a very good challenge for me… all thanks to the hosts Breadchick Mary and Sara for coming up with such a wonderful recipe.

I would definitely try to make french bread again… but most likely not with this recipe… it’s too tedious. I will try using my other Bread Books for this.

You can read how the rest of my fellow Daring Bakers did here.

P.S. I’m not going to post the recipe for this month as it’s too long, however you can get the recipe here.


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  1. gosh! I got respect your talent! so beautiful! Got to say I wish I can, i still yet to master bread making! lol! What do you thing about bread maker machine?

  2. hmm… bread maker? it’s convenient and easy to make bread…
    but I have never used one before… I preferred to do it by hand… =)

  3. Well done!

  4. It really is beautiful and I thought it looked rather lovely when cut. good job!

  5. i think it looks great! the inside of mine looked very similar to yours…i was just happy i didn’t end up w/rocks 🙂

  6. I think your bread looks lovely. I bet it was wonderful toasted.

  7. I didn’t get big pockets of air either, but thought it still tasted good. And I bet yours did too!

  8. I think both the outside and inside look incredible! Great job!

  9. That first rise is super important on getting the dough going but all in all, your bread looks nice

    Thanks for baking with Sara and I

  10. Sorry you didn’t love it, but it looks great!

  11. in order to get the right texture of this, yst i even went to a bread shop to buy a small loaf of it home for reference.

    Hope the next time i make this it will be better.

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