Daring Bakers Take on Julia Childs Labor Of Love , French Bread

This is my fifth Daring Bakers Challenge, and I must say the most challenging. But that’s the whole point of me joining, to push my limits and explore all aspects of baking from savory to sweet. When Mary at Breadchick and Sara at I like to Cook, took on hosting duties, they went all out. Our challenge reflects Julia Child’s own obsession with mastering French Bread. Last year I read Appetite For Life, The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch. Julia, ever the perfectionist, spent years mastering her bread with her ever patient husband Paul at her side , encouraging,tasting, and critiquing. Its reflected in Volume 2 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. 18 pages are dedicated to this recipe that consists of just flour,water, yeast, and salt. Go figure. I was pretty confident I could do this and set aside one Saturday as it takes about 10 hours in total of rising, shaping, etc. I had purchased the baking tiles, a tool for slashing, prepped my muslin as the pastry clothes.All seemed well until it started getting around dinner time , and Certain Someone was impatiently waiting. I had purchased Brie,charcuterie, etc for us to have sandwiches on my homemade baguettes. The end result at around 10:30 pm was a hard pale,misshapen baguette. we ate the sandwiches , or shall I say gnawed. It was edible but had a hard shell to it that wasn’t what I would call crusty. Nevertheless I vowed to attempt it again and finished up the rest over the next day. Not awful , but not right. I figured with Certain Someone gone on a golf outing,I would have time. But I got a cake commission that took my whole weekend and had to put it off. So on the final Sunday of the month I woke up at 6:30 am determined to have a decent bread to post about. I decided to one large Boule. I didn’t feel confident enough to shape the baguettes again. All went well and at 5:00 we had some slices with raspberry jam and butter. A pre Oscar Night snack.I liked the color and the outer shell softened as it cooled down. Certain Someone was happy about that, and so were his teeth. He said it was good.One thing I learned for sure is that bread making demands your respect and attention. Whatever distractions and disruptions in your life will show up in the final result. Its not ironic that bread is symbolic and referenced in religion.Bread is life.My month has been trying to say the least. But all my fears and worries about my life and job were resolved by the time I made the second round.

The recipe is long,so I will post it to Coco’s Recipe Box and you can check it out here.Meanwhile check ot the ever expanding Daring Bakers and what they produced.