Sunday, March 2, 2008

Daring Bakers February Challenge

Daring Bakers:
Bakers who dare to do recipes that are outside of our comfort zones.

Bakers that live on the wild side whether it is melting mixing bowls by accident, or setting off smoke alarms.

Bakers that share each others successes and defeats, holding each other up giving advice and encouragement.

Most of all Daring Bakers HAVE FUN!!!

Well I certainly strive to be a daring Baker!

Well this month I was going to cop out, but the Daring baker in me just wouldn't have it.
It was so hard to find time, for this marathon recipe and I wanted to do it justice.
So here with out much ado, is my attempts at our February challenge provided by the beautiful and talented Mary and Sara
They chose an epic piece by Julia Child's. Her amazing French Bread. Here is the Recipe.

I started with kneading the dough by hand. I don't have a kitchen aid so it was the good old fashioned way like my Grandmother and Mother both do.
This cute little dough ball I named "Doughy" and I spent much of the kneading time singing and humming to doughy and begging him to grow up into a nice set of bread.

Doughy was kind of tired after so much kneading so I laid him to rest in a nicely greased bowl for a nap. He even has a little blanket to keep him warm.
What a spoiled dough!

Doughy slept for a very long time, but it was time to get him up again.
He was kind of gaseous and needed to be burped.
So I flattened out all the gases in him and kneaded him a bit more for good measure.

Then I placed him back in his bowl to finish his nap.

Doughty liked his nap soooo much he grew three sizes bigger.
What a big boy!!

Don't you think he's cute? I thought so.
but then something went horribly wrong ....dun ... dun ... dun

Then came the time to cut and shape him. He tried really hard, I really can't think that it's his fault. So it must have been me. I think I either didn't shape them right, or perhaps I didn't cut the pieces evenly. Either way poor Doughy was kind of small and skinny and looked a bit weird.
I think he was probably the geeky kid in dough school.

Well after all that time spent I wasn't going to just give up, although a fit of hysterics did feel pretty close to the surface. I sprayed them with some cold water and put them in the oven.
I even added the tray of water in the bottom of the oven hoping to help.
They looked a bit burned to me when they came out of the oven.

Yet they had a nice golden color to them.
I once again brushed cold water on the crusts and left them on my cooling racks for the two hours.
This was hard because I wanted to see if the insides were all hard or not.

Two hours later we checked them ... and.......

Much to my delight even though not the best shapes the crust was the perfect crusty texture somewhat hard, and the inside was nice and soft and fluffy.
The taste of it was phenomenal.

Good Job Little Doughy You've grown into some beautiful breads in spite of my mistakes!

We celebrated this wonderful turn out by slicing up one of the thinner ones into little crackers and having them with some polish sausage and sharp cheddar cheese.

This was a truly delightful and European meal to finish off the baking marathon.
I think next time though I will cut it into two portions instead of three, and make two nicely sized baguettes instead.


SweetDesigns said...

I want cheese, sausage and bread now..damns hungry!! Woot Am so glad you decided to make the bread, it was wonderful bread, and the taste is ultimately all that matters, and they don't look that bad silly :P mm bread!!!

Quellia said...

Well done to you and Doughy!

Claire said...

Oh, this looks wonderful! That tray is like a wonderful French picnic!

Madeleine said...

Wow!! your bread browned so well... mine's dont'!! :(

Great job!!!

carmachu said...

Come on, where is it? Where's the picture of it that you promised me?


uncle car

MamaB said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge. Didn't it taste great! I love your sausage and cheese platter, it is making me hungry for lunch.

enza said...

this is one of the most beautiful challenge I've ever seen.
and all of you had surprising results!
right now I haven't so much time to measure myself with this kind of preparation but it's in my top ten!
I'm looking forward the march challenge, I'll be in!

Angel said...

Kitten- Thank you. I still think they look funny. Also I'm glad you did yours because it's what made me do mine. I was so jealous looking at your pretty loaves I had to try making my own.

quellia- Me and Doughy both thank you. "he's such a good dough"

claire- Thanks! It felt like a wonderful European dinner to go with the French bread.

madeleine- Thank you. I think you are to hard on yourself. I can't wait to see what you do for next months challenge.

uncle car- I'm getting to it, I'm getting to it. These things need to be presented with style.

mamab- Late but still fun. It did taste fantastic. Highly recommended dinner.

enza- I look forward to seeing what you do with the March challenge. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Baking Soda said... did it! They do look good, bit dark on the outside but hey.. that platter is seriously looking yummy, nice crumb!

Megan said...

Love the story about doughy! Thanks for entering my contest. I put a ticket in the hat for you. Good luck!