French Bread

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Week #14 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is French Bread! As I’m writing this, I’m noshing on some of this delightful bread dipped in Olive Oil (hopefully in the process, avoiding any sticky fingerprints on my laptop). All of this I do for you, of course, so that I may fully express in words the deliciousness that is homemade French Bread…ah mon cheri you see how much I adore thee? Tee hee.

I must admit that I now completely understand why Artisan bread costs so much at the bakeries or in the high end deli/bakery section of the grocery. If you don’t, you should just make some homemade yourself and you’ll know immediately what I mean. But with that said, I truly believe that putting the effort into homemade breads is worth the effort. As is the case with cooking in general. You get out what you put in! No?

This is another 2 day bread, but as I’m finding out on my bread baking journey, fermentation is key & fermentation takes time. You start out by making a Pate fermente’e (don’t things just sound fab in French?) which is then tucked away into the fridge overnight. Next up, I grab Marta who whips the dry (Flour, Salt, Yeast) & wet (water) ingredients along with the pate fermentee into a nice dough. She makes it look so easy (but HELLO, I had to do a few of these breads by hand when Alice *tear rolling down my cheek* left me & it’s NO easy task!)

Then the dough needs to rest (sit around and puff up). I still find this amazing to watch. Ah the power of yeast. Next after it’s turned into a blowfish in the bowl it’s time to cut it into pieces to shape the Baguettes! This wasn’t as hard as I had imagined. Once again it was time to let the now shaped baguettes sit around and rise. After they’d sufficiently plumped up it was time to score them. Although the scoring didn’t turn out as I might have liked. I didn’t have one of the fancy lame’ (razor type knife used to score breads) I had to use a serrated knife & it tore the dough a wee bit, boo hoo. You did this right before it was time to pop them in for their steam sauna. Ah, the baking, where the beautiful smells waft out of the oven & fill the house – bringing babies & hubs up from other floors to ask “is it ready yet?”

This bread is so full of flavor! I’ll be making some Bruschetta tonight with my French Bread!

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Here’s what went into making z French Bread….

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Sneak Peek: Next Weeks Challenge: Italian Bread! Evviva!

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10 Comments

  1. 1

    Mmmmmm….homemade French bread, doesn’t get much better than that! I agree, once you’ve made an artisanal bread yourself, you totally understand the prices!

    • 1.1

      Ah Thanks Rachael! I’m learning so much from Peter Reinhart’s book. His bread recipes are amazing.

  2. 2

    Just gorgeous Paula! I’m making the French Bread this weekend. Already made the Italian Bread recipe into breadsticks…delicious!

    Michelle

    • 2.1

      Grazie Michelle! We polished off another baguette tonight with Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Am REALLY looking forward to baking the Italian bread this weekend.

  3. 3

    Just made my bread yesterday. Even with a lame, scoring takes practice! Your loaves look a lot better than mine…

    • 3.1

      Thanks Frieda! I think I put a little too much pressure on the knife instead of letting it do the work for me. Def need some more practice with that :)

  4. 4

    Nothing beat homemade french bread. I love dipping it on olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Even a spread of butter would be fantastic.

  5. 5

    Great job on your baguettes. Beautiful holes. This is the next one I have to work on.

  6. 6

    Wonderful , beautiful , INSPIRING blogsite-I love the pictures!!! Thank you!Betty http://www.geothermalquestions.net

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