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Daring, Daunting… What’s the Difference?

Sooo, I’ve joined the Daring Bakers, and wtf not, I have absolutely nothing else to do, eh?  No, seriously, I’ve looked at their past recipes and honestly look forward to the challenges.  So much so apparently that today I tackled Julia Child’s French Bread recipe


Hey, go big or stay home, as a particularly loathesome ex-boyfriend used to say.  

I was *very* pleased with the dough throughout the entire process…well except for the fact that I took someone’s advice to do the first rise in the oven with the light turned on.  The dough Did Not Like That.  Because I live in Florida, that’s why…the odds of the kitchen being too chilly to rise dough are pretty much nil, you know, a fact to which I should have paid attention.  So, rescued the dough, deflated it and left it in my usual proofing place, on top of the stove, where it did just fine from then on. 

The third and final rise, after shaping, had to be effected not in a couche (unbleached canvas here if you don’t want to spend $20+ bucks), but in parchment paper supported by basically anything tube-shaped that was lying about the kitchen:  spice jars, rolling pin, non-stick spray can.  But it worked fine, and even made the transfer to the peel a bit less than the anticipated nightmare.  But judging from the appearance of the final product, I do think I might have handled it a bit too much (or that first rise in the oven did it no favors), as the appearance isn’t as, er…iconic as it could be.


But the taste…ohh, baby, the taste.  Amazing you can wring so much flavor from only flour, salt, yeast and water.