Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bread!!!!! French Bread!!!!

It's the end of a looong three... no four...wait... nope 5 days that I've been hacking the Lung Twins out in small pieces. When I laugh, I sound like that wheezy dog Mugsley from 1970's Cartoon Land. It's guaranteed to crack my son up every time he hears it. Cracks me up to, which results in more Mugsley-wheezes.

But at long last I have resurrected myself to put up pictures of my loverly French Bread from February's Daring Baker's Challenge! And what better challenge in the Month of Love than the staff of life itself?


First in this adventure comes the kneading. All truly good bread in kneaded, then left to sit to develop all the wheaty goodness. BUT the original makers of French Bread must've been angry bakers indeed, as the process of kneading involves literally slapping the dough on on the counter, roll it over, whirl it through the air, and slam it down AGAIN, over and over for several minutes.

Such angry, angry, bakers. After many many angry kneads, the dough begins to soften, and slowly becomes a glossy, velvety ball of silkyness.

After the rest, and the second kneading, it begins to look something like this:

Pretty, huh? Doesn't it look like the cutest thing nestled in that gingham kitchen towel? It's inspired me to make many bread towels out of gingham, and I have the perfect duvet cover to re-purpose for it :) Here's another picture of it when it's all risen and pretty:

After the rising and and the deflating and the rising again, it's time to shove it in the oven again. I went with the 1/4 cup in the cookie sheet method of steaming the oven. I forgot to turn down the oven after I tossed the water in the pan, so my bread came out a wee dark,

But it was still very, very tasty. In the background, you can see the whole wheat versions ready for their turn in the oven. I think I'll modify the recipie a bit, using a scotch more yeast, and definitely less salt. It was surprising how salty the wheat bread was! ON the plus side, the wheat version was much easier to shape.

The bread got rave reviews from the Nino and everyone else, and was promptly gobbled up. So overall, it was a fantastic success, and I'd say it's something I'd be willing to have a go at again once I figure out how to fit the 2 and three hour rising times into my schedule.

Now.... on to the next challenge-



Angel said...

Woot!!! Your french bread looks fantastic. You totally pwned this challenge! I so want a bite.

breadchick said...

A little late comment but what lovely loaves you have there. Julia would have been proud of the slamming of the dough. That was her favourite way to knead.