Friday, February 29, 2008

French Bread

Just like most of the other Daring Bakers, the 15+ pages of the February Challenge gave me jitters. When I went through it the second time, I realized that it was the minute details given by the hostesses for the month (Way to go- Mary and Sara) that made is so lengthy.

I had made bread earlier, but in a loaf pan, and the idea of making Baguettes really appealed to me. I always eyed the Baguettes in the bakery, got them home sometimes and now the idea of making it from scratch made my adrenalin pump. Everything was going smoothly for the Baguettes…till I realized that the 24” Baguettes would not fit into my Oven. So tossed the idea of Baguetes, and it was decided to make Batards or Boules.



I set aside a weekend for the task, as other days kept me terribly busy. D-Day dawned and I was up pretty early, while my family slept blissfully. The previous day, my hubby got me a 10 Kg. packet of flour (Ha ha..he must have thought that from now on visits to the bakery would be drastically reduced… he was not very happy when I told him to perish the thought !! ;))

The mixing of the dough was a piece of cake. The bowl with the dough was nicely wrapped in a towel and kept in a warm place for the first rise. After 3-1/2 hours, the dough was humped to a slight dome and rose exactly to the ‘mark of the 10-1/2 cups’ (That was a good idea Mary & Sara..the 10-1/2 cups idea ;) ).

I plopped the dough on the kitchen counter and deflating and pinching the dough gave me a real kick. After flipping and flopping it as per the instructions, it was ready for the second rise.

After the second rise, I shaped the Boules, I wanted to make three similar looking Boules, but just could not. The dough had a mind of its own..so I had three funny looking Boules ready. I did not have a canvas-cloth..so kept them on a stiff- cotton cloth for its final rise.

When my hubby woke-up, the Boules were slashed and were ready to go into the oven. He laughed at the funny shapes and promptly woke up the kids and they all had a gay time making fun of my hard efforts.

While the breads were baking, the full house was engulfed with the lovely aroma of freshly baked bread..and it really smelled great. ‘How soon will they be ready?’ …was the Question that was asked many times. I cooly informed them that the bread needs to be cooled for 2 hours before anyone could touch it. Mama was busy that day, so breakfast came from a nearby restaurant.


Finally the loaves had cooled…. It was time for the tasting session. My hubby loved it and so did the kids. The verdict was ‘You are a cool baker’ !!!!. I said, a Cool and Daring Baker too !!!! Howzaat folks !!!!!

Thank you Mary and Sara…it was an awesome challenge.

For those who want the recipe…please check out this link : http://breadchick.com/?p=336


7 comments:

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

they look really fab, wish I had made boules now!

L Vanel said...

Me too, I didn't make boules but there are so many lovely ones including yours!

Aamena said...

great looking bread! and trust your family (sibs in my case) to make fun of just about anything!

Jenny said...

Personally, I had to condense the recipe to make it feel less overwhelming and that really helped.

Who cares if the loaves didn't match, the taste and texture are what matter. Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I think it is great that everyone liked them so! Good job baking your boules!

breadchick said...

Your boules are perfect! Great job on the challenge.

Thanks for baking with Sara and I

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

HA HA...you had me in splits over the 10kg sack!! High hopes...but what fun.I'm sorry you wrote a long comment & it didn't get there. What a pity? No problem...Great boules (with or without a mind of their own!!) Lol