Since my results from Jan 1 were OK, but not spectacular, I went ahead and made the same recipe again. This time, I tried to keep the dough as “soft” as possible (check out the YouTube video of Julia Child kneading her dough to get an idea of how soft she thinks French Bread dough should be!). I also made only two larger loaves instead of the previous three.
The results on Jan 2 were much improved. The bread has a great texture, rose very well and has a nice crunchy crust.
For 2014, I’ve decided to try and bake at least one loaf of bread each day in the hopes of achieving the perfect loaf!
Yesterday, Jan 1, I tried the original “crusty french bread” by Julia Child. This recipe takes a really long time with three separate rises of the dough adding up to nearly six hours! The results were mixed – the loaves stuck to the parchment paper at the last rise and hence deflated somewhat when placed on the cookie sheet for baking. The bread had a nice texture – lots of bubbles – and quite good flavor.
The recipe I followed was from Barbara bakes Julia Child’s French Bread