Friday, 29 February 2008

DB February Challenge: French Bread

This month's challenge, hosted by Mary and Sara, was French Bread. This wasn't like my first bread or anything, and yeast is a friend too :P but it had been ages that I had baked a bread. I remember a funny incident from years and years back, I was baking those braided loaves, I had seen a recipe on TV, and had wanted to try immediately. I remember the chef lovingly calling them his pregnant ladies, as the braids were filled with nuts! Anyway the recipe yielded three loaves, and as I was at third, I couldn't, for the life of me, make that braid! The more I tried, the more the strands kept getting longer! Finally I had to ask my brother and he did it for me!

Anyway that's neither here nor there! Am finally through with my challenge, and thanks to Mary and Sara for kindling some old memories. As I said baking a bread wasn't a first for me, but what was a first was reading and re-reading and re-reading... n times, a recipe this long! Well, that's the fun of being a Daring Baker, doing something you wouldn't otherwise do!

Here's my dough after the preliminary stages.


It wasn't sticky, it wasn't dry, yet I felt it needed some water, so I added a few tablespoons but that didn't make much of a difference I think.


After the first rise, I was kinda pleased with it :P


After the second rise.


Inverted onto a kneading surface...


I decided to make small rolls, the only reason being that I really couldn't make out how I was to transfer the dough from the canvas to the baking tray using a cardboard without completely flattening it. For the small buns (petit pains) it said you had to carefully pick them up and place them on the tray, and that sounded infinitely easier. Here's one of the balls. I don't think they quite tripled, and also I managed to deflate them considerably during slashing.



And yeah that isn't a piece of canvas or linen towel. When it comes to cloth and their types, I am dumb. I was going to ask my mother for the cloth and when I needed it (trust me not to have asked for it before hand) she was taking her afternoon nap, so I waited, waited some more, and then dusted a piece of parchment paper generously with flour.

In the oven.


I think I should have taken these out earlier, it looks a bit over done. And that white flaky thing on top is the flour which got stuck to the bottoms during the final rise!


I found it difficult to slice the bread because of its crust, and found it chewy to eat.


I think this isn't something I'd be making again, but I definitely enjoyed this challenge!


To find out how the rest of the DBer's tackled this challenge visit the blogroll.

Update: I just had one, slicing it in half and toasting it slightly, buttering it generously, finishing with some jam, yum! Also the crust is no longer hard.

38 comments:

Jenny said...

Great step by step pictures! It was a fun challenge this month!

DawnsRecipes said...

Love the pictures...especially the one with the buns in the oven!

Deborah said...

Great job!!

Tartelette said...

The rolls are fantabulastic! I love how round and plump they turned out! Great job!

Jaime said...

your loaves turned out great! good job!

Breadchick said...

Thanks for baking with Sara and I this month on the DB Challenge!!

jasmine said...

Great job and nicely photo'd

j

Gigi said...

Awesome pictures! I love all your little rolls ...perfectly done.

judy serrao said...

Hi there ! Wonderful pix. You did a good job with the French Bread.

Princess of the kitchen said...

Greayt bread. WEll done

Pixie said...

Looks great and I like the step by step photos. I had the opposite problem and had to keep adding flour!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a great job on your bread! I love your story about having to get your brother to braid your bread when you were younger. My brother could have done braids too...it was doing Boy Scouts and learning all the knots and things you could do with rope.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Cakespy said...

Your little loaves look just fantastic. It is nice to see your "play by play"! The shot of them in the oven...mmm.

culinography said...

My crusts softened up overnight, too. That was the inspiration to throw the last two rolls into the oven and top them with chocolate and ddl.

(By the way, pictures have been fixed. :) Sorry about that!)

Half Baked said...

Cute little buns;) Nice job on this challenge!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Your loaves look divine...very pretty indeed!

Brilynn said...

The oven pic is great! Well done on this lengthy challenge!

~Amber~ said...

Your bread looks wonderful. Congratulations on a successful challenge.

zorra said...

I will bake it again. I loved it and yours looks delicious, too.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Beautiful bread! The recipe length was a bit intimidating but once you were into it, things just all came together. Great job making little rolls!

Big Boys Oven said...

suc a perfetct bake! well done!

Megan said...

I love backing with memories!
And yer a very long recipe.

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly Loves Paris said...

Really nice looking bread. I think that there is an easier way, more easy going should I say, to make this bread. It's all those directions that made it seem difficult. Your family will always love it when you make bread.

Claire said...

Great job! The bread looks great.

bbaking said...

it looks pretty fab to me! beautiful crust!

Peabody said...

Butter and jam always make things better! Great job on the challenge.

coco said...

Aamena, your bread looks great! :)

Aparna said...

Looks like this month's challenge was certainly successful. Lovely bread.

Sarah said...

Your bread looks great, I couldn't get mine to brown that much and sadly didn't taste it on the day I made it so my crust was soggy!

Suzana said...

Lovely buns! Great job on the challenge.

Jenny said...

My bread, which had much fewer air pockets than I had hoped, was best toasted. Great job with this!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your rolls look so cute hanging out in the oven. Good job on the challenge!

aisha said...

Darn, i missed the challenge! Too bad you won't be making this again Aamena, the bread looks fabulous, i wish i could reach in an break off a piece!

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Those rolls look wonderful! I think you have a beautiful crust on yours but I like hard crusts on breads most of the time. I did find it a little chewy too, but mostly it was too salty for me.

Gabi said...

I love your little rolls! Great job!

JennB said...

Very nice shot! I feel the same way about bread, but it was nice to have something that was a challenge that took me out of my comfort zone.

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