Monday, November 16, 2009

BBA - French Bread

This week's Bread Baker's Apprentice was a marathon, not a sprint, and a hearth bread, too. I wasn't smart enough to be filled with angst over it, given the miserable fail of my last attempt at a hearth bread. In fact, I interrupted the preparation of this bread so many times, with the dough going in and out of the fridge over a period of days that I wouldn't have been surprised if it failed.

It didn't. It was the ugly duckling of French breads, but it was crisp, deeply flavorful and yes, had holes inside. (imagine me skipping to work the day I made it!) My slashing left a lot to be desired and I mangled it getting it from the cloche on to the baking stone, so it wasn't the most beautiful looking bread, but it was delicious and, yes, authentic. My coworkers loved having fresh French bread for breakfast. Peter Reinhart's steam technique gave it an amazingly crunchy crust. I wish I could speak coherently about this bread, but I'm so blown away by its success that I can't!

The victims after the slashing

Make sure you check out the other members of the Slow & Steady subgroup of the Bread Baker's Apprentice event (and they are Nancy (of Corner Loaf), Cathy (of The Tortefeasor), Audrey (of Food From Books), Jessica (A Singleton in the Kitchen), Melissa (of From Laptop to Stovetop), Kayte (of Grandma's Kitchen Table), Sarah (of Blue Ridge Baker), Di (of Di's Kitchen Notebook), Margaret (of Tea and Scones) and Natalia (of Gatti Fili e Farina). I know they will be able to hold themselves together and describe their breads more eloquently than I am able to.


Jessica said...

That French bread looks amazing! I can tell just from the pictures how tasty it must have been. Maybe you brought some special French bread mojo back from Paris with you.

I haven't made mine yet. I think I might try to make it this weekend -- wish me luck!

Megan said...

Wow - that's all I can say.

margot said...

Wow, great job on the French bread, very impressive. I think baguettes must be my very favorite type of bread.

Steph said...

When I made French bread, I was too lazy to do the steam thing and my bread ended up looking so pale, I thought it was raw.

I guess I have to do it the right way if I want mine to have the nice crust that yours have. Slashing is so hard. That's exactly what happened to my loaves too.

Karen said...

This dough is so soft and silky, it is hard to get it to the oven without mangling it! It is really tasty, though, isn't it?