Julia Child’s French Bread

I am officially a Daring Baker!!! :) :) :). For the past few months I have seen Daring Baker entries and thought, wow that group sounds cool, I should join. But I always found some reason not to. Well one of my New Years resolutions is to cook more, so last month I finally sent the email to join. I eagerly awaited instructions for my first challenge, checking my email several times a day. And then finally I got it. Yes!!!
This month’s challenge was French Bread by Julia Child chosen by Breadchick Mary (The Sour Dough) and Sara (I Like to Cook). I have never made bread before so this was definitely a challenge in more ways than one. Thn I printed the recipe & instructions, and my nitial thought was WHOA! The recipe was really simple (only four ingredients) but the amount of the instructions was overwhelming (I think that is why I waited until the Wednesday to make my bread).
Once I started the process I realized that it is really not complicated, just time consuming. It took me about 10.5-11 hours to make this bread (including cooling time). I tried to follow the directions 100% but I really think I kneaded the dough too much as my loaves didnt really rise during the 3rd proof and were a little flat. I had some trouble with the cuts on the top of the bread, the razor was not slicing thru, so I tried my chef’s knife. It worked a little better but I still didn’t get the effect I wanted. Once the timer went off and I went to remove the bread I thought it was a little pale, but once I removed it from the oven the color started to set it (phew!)
Even though you are not supposed to, I just couldn’t resist eating a couple of slices right out of the oven. I love warm bread with butter and this was really good. My intentions were to keep one loaf, give one to my mom and the other to my aunt, but i wound up eating two loaves (yes they are finished) and giving the other to my mom.

All in all I am happy that I joined as this was a great experience, a great recipe which produced some wonderful bread – but I don’t think that I would make this again due to the amount of time it takes.
Be sure to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see more bread!