Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Bakers - French Bread!

I am now officially a Daring Baker!  Go me!  And I am so happy to be one right now because this month's challenge was truly wonderful.  It was hosted by Mary (Breadchick!) of The Sour Dough and Sara of I Like to Cook, and they had us bake (daringly!) Julia Child's French Bread!


When I saw that this was to be my first challenge, I admit that I was freaking intimidated.  I had never made any kind of bread or baked anything with yeast before!  Oh my...  what to do?  But I was determined to conquer the bread, and I decided to get in on the chat that Breadchick was hosting where I could make my bread with the company and support of a few other Daring Bakers.  This proved to be a good idea when at around 7:30 in the morning I was frantically typing something like, "Oh no!!  I just realized my yeast is instant!!  Aaaahhhhh!!!"  to which the wonderful Breadchick responded with a big "Don't worry," which is exactly what I needed to hear in my panicky and half-asleep state.  


So I got my yeast working, my bread rising, and enjoyed my yeasty smelling apartment while chatting with the other bakers.  It was way fun, and a happy way to spend the day!  

Luckily, I had no other problems until it came time to unmold my batards after their third rise.  As you can tell from the picture above, one of my batards completely deflated in the unmolding stage.  But I learned from this and was more gentle when handling the other two.  I made three, but only two are pictured because my roommate and I ate a whole batard before I could take the pictures!  Ahhh we were too hungry.

Even though my bread wasn't perfect (and one batard was pretty flat), my roommate and I enjoyed it immensely.  Yeah... we pretty much ate it all in one night... 


And this is how we ate it, because it has always been my favorite way to eat French Bread.  We sliced the bread into thin slices, buttered them lightly, and toasted them in a pan.

Then I made some hot chocolate (with the chocolate you saw in the first picture that was posing with the bread), and we dipped the toasted bread in the chocolate.  We ate this for dinner on Sunday night, but it really makes an awesome breakfast, if you can wait until morning!


I am so glad that this was my first Daring Bakers challenge, because I think it really forced me to experience what the group is all about.  While there are many things I have never tried to bake before, bread has always been kind of the big thing that I just didn't do.  I don't really know why, but I've just never felt compelled to bake bread before.  This probably would have continued for a pretty long time had it not been for this challenge.  

So, Mary and Sara, thank you so much for this challenge; I can honestly say that I have grown as a baker because of it, and that's awesome!  Oh and even more thanks to Mary for hosting the chat on Sunday; it was so helpful and I had fun chat-baking!  =)

If you want to make this bread, check out the recipe here.  It's long, but definitely worth it!

Also, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see what all those other bakers made!

27 comments:

Tracy said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers and great job on your first challenge! I would have panicked if this were my first experience with yeast. I give you a lot of credit.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Allison - great job on the DB challenge! Even though things may not have come out exactly what you were hoping for, the taste it really what counts! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

CB said...

Your bread looks fabulous! Great job! and welcome to DB!
-Clara
http://iheartfood4thought.wordpress.com

marias23 said...

Allison, such a wonderful first challenge! Doesn't it feel awesome to complete that first bread? *winks* It gets better, I promise! The recipes aren't usually 10 pages long :)

Mer said...

You did fantastic! That baguette is long and beautiful.

Congratulations on being a Daring Baker! :0)

Gigi said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! You did a fantastic job on your bread.

coco said...

I love the light coloured bread! It looks so fine, so professional! (you didn't have to say the bread was flat, I though you shaped it like that! :))

Katie said...

Congratulations on your first challange. It looks so authentic. What a great way to eat it too - yum

Princess of the kitchen said...

beautiful bread. Well done for your first challenge

Half Baked said...

Great job on your first challenge! Mine deflated to when I unmolded them. There must be a trick to that:) Yours look great!

Breadchick said...

Allison, WHOO HOOO!!!

That bread looks absolutely fantastic!! No way can you tell you have never made anything with yeast.

It was a joy having you on the baking chat that day. I hope you'll join us for this months!

Thanks for baking with Sara and I this month.

i shot the chef said...

Great job! Bread and hot chocolate for dinner? I'd totally do it too :)

michelle said...

Congrats on a wonderful first challenge!

Dipping the bread into hot chocolate? Brilliant!!

Deborah said...

I can't believe you've never made bread before - this looks so wonderful!! Great job on your first challenge!

PheMom said...

Your bread looks great. I love hot chocolate but I've never tried this. I will now! Yea for new DB's! (and congrats on the internship! Seriously cool!)

Carrie said...

Your bread looks great... and so does that hot chocolate!

Lunch Buckets said...

Great job! The little toasty slices look -so- good :)

Jaime said...

congrats on your 1st challenge (this was mine to)! i'm very impressed, esp since this was your very first time working with yeast. my first experience yielded a dense, lump of a rock! LOL

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Welcome! Your loafs look great! Good job!

Emiline said...

I love bread and chocolate! I can't think of anything better to eat.

Sara said...

Looks great, and dipped in the chocolate - yum!

jane said...

I never thought to try my bread as biscotti... Next time.
Great job on the challenge.
Jane of VeganBits.com

jesse said...

...I'm kicking myself right now for not thinking of dipping my bread into cups of obscenely thick hot chocolate... hrmppph.

And yeah, I named all three loaves. The twins are called Left Twin and Right Twin, and the lone loaf is called Allison ;)

Jenny said...

Gah! Quit with the chocolate and the bread! I have already consumed an entire batard on my own....

Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Astra Libris said...

Allison, your bread is gorgeous! It looks especially yummy dipped in the hot chocolate - wow!

Lesley said...

OH HOLY SMOKE is that baguette dipped in hot chocolate? Youv'e sold me, I want to re-make this recipe just to do that!
Great job, your bread looks just great!

Quellia said...

Yahoo, what a great first challenge!