Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daring Baker's February Challenge - Pain Francais

The Daring Baker's challenge for February was hosted by Breadchick Mary over at The Sour Dough and Sara over at I like to Cook. Drum roll please! It was Julia Child's Pain Francais. (click here to see more photos of this challenge)

When I first read the recipe given to us by Breadchick and Sara, I was scared, very scared, 15 pages of instructions! WOW, this was going to be the mother of all challenges for me thus far. I was sure I was going to use this as one of my two I could bail on. Then I stared reading other comments from fellow DBs and I became inspired, should we say very inspired or just DAMN INSPIRED! I could not wait!

There was only one weekend in the entire month that I could do this and we were kind of busy - friend in from Hawaii, errands, dinner with friends - but, I knew I could make it work. So, Saturday rolled around and I did errands, worked, picked up the house, blah blah blah and dinner time hit! "Damn, I forgot the bread and now I had plans on Sunday with the friend!!!" But, I was confident that I could make it work ......

I got up early Sunday, started the lengthly process. So, far very good! The first rising was perfect and right on my tight schedule! Got it all ready for the next round of keeping warm and headed out for lunch and shopping with friend. It was hard to cut it short and fast because of a loaf of bread, so it ran a little late. Got home, still perfect! All was working out so well. I was very confident and very happy. Proceeded with the remaining steps and then molded the dough with my new pastry canvas and tucked it all in next to a warm heater and headed out to dinner! We had a fantastic dinner with friends but once dessert ended I started watching the clock and thinking about my perfect little breads at home. Again, I did not want to bolt over a pan of bread, so I held out as long as I could and finally told L. we had to leave. Then they started talking about after dinner drinks - NO!!! Thank god the host decided to kick us out since it was a school night!

Got home and all still looked perfect! I could not believe I had done it and still had a day of fun without sitting at home waiting for all the rising to take place. Now was time to unmold the beauties and get them ready to bake! Only 30 minutes until I could call it a wrap and head to bed!

Well, let's just say - never be over confident when baking bread, especially this bread! They collapsed! They were flat baguettes! The color as beautiful! The texture was fantastic! The flavor was well, very french! But, something happened when I unmolded them - lost all their air, they were flat!

Moral to the story ..... Never be over confident until they come out of the oven! Was it a challenge - of course! Was it fun - definitely! Will, I make them again - on our next rainy weekend!!

23 comments:

L Vanel said...

There are lots of flat baguettes in the boulangeries in France, and we still love them! I do think that although they didn't get as round and you wanted them, you still baked some nice loaves.

Andrea said...

I bet they tasted great, even if they were flat!

marye said...

They look fine to me!t

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Bread comes in many heights. Beautiful color on your crust. And your story about your day around the bread shows it can be done. I would suspect that the final rise was just too long for them to hold up but I totally understand not being able to leave a party.

Mary said...

I would eat them. They look great to me.

Namratha said...

They look great, what's in shape as long as they taste good :)

Anzj said...

Your bread is either a somewhat flattened French bread or a really succesful Italian ciabatta.

Baking Soda said...

As long as texture and taste are fine who cares about appearance? (Think the last rise might have been a tad too long, that's about the only critical phase) Your story shows that it can be done while having fun, this bread doesnt need you to hold its hand.

glamah16 said...

Looks good to me.With all the waiting , you can get things done for sure.

breadchick said...

Any bread that tastes good is still a success!

Glad you enjoyed the challenge

Thanks for baking with Sara and I

Gretchen Noelle said...

They look good, they tasted good. That is what counts. My first few "unmoldings" were unsuccessful and things deflated horribly. The more you bake, the more you will know how much flour to use and how to carefully turn things over. just keep trying!

Sheltie Girl said...

Your loaves look beautiful, even though they deflated.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Joy said...

They don't look flat to me! It's a good job that you did make the most of your day - imagine how peeved you would have been if you'd sat at home waiting all day and they still didn't turn out how you wanted!

Jaime said...

even though they flattened a little, they still look great!

Big Boys Oven said...

Looks so good! I mean your bread! baking them againhmmmm.... will let you know, but not for now, need a rest! lol!

Sara said...

those breads look tasty!

Allison said...

haha how awesome that you made time to make the bread, and then spend all day thinking about them when you were doing other fun things! they look great, even though you say they were flat!

Deborah said...

They still look tasty to me!!

Jenny said...

I had a little flattening too, but I pretended not to notice when I ate them. I didn't want to hurt their feelings, you see.

Veron said...

your bread looks awesome! But I agree, not to be overconfident until it comes out of the oven. I was so sure that all was going well after the first rise that when it came time to shaping it I realized something was wrong.

jeena said...

Hi there my name is Jeena and I have started a food recipe forum that I thought you would like to join here Click here for food recipe forum

I would love to see you on there to chat about food and cooking you can talk about anything you like and start your very own topics. :-)
or see my main food recipe website Jeenas food recipe site

Hope to see you soon

Thanks

Jeena x

Lesley said...

PRactice makes perfect...I'll be doing them again and again til I get them just right!
Yours look great though!

Pixie said...

Great job with the bread, looks delish!