Friday, 29 February 2008

Daring Bakers - French Bread

This is Sarah reporting for the Daring Bakers the time - 15:00, the date - 29th Feb, the challenge - to make French Bread that takes about 10 hours and blog about it today!!

Step by Step

Bread & I are not friends. I can make a fab no knead loaf and a brilliant low GI seed loaf but they both have one thing in common - they are easy. They represent no challenge to anyone, you simply mix, leave to rise and then cook. Julia Childs French Bread on the other hand is a long winded as a French lunch break.

15:05 - I have messed up already. I have halved the recipe as we don't eat much bread and I am not certain enough to give any away. I forgot to halve the water. I was wondering why the hell the dough was sloppy, its because I used double the amount of water I needed. Instead of being intelligent and just making up more yeast and measuring the flour I have been daring (stupid) and just added until it feels right. Oh God this is going to be a disaster but for comedy's sake I will continue with the challenge.

15:24 - maybe everything will be fine I have battered the dough gently with my dough hook and it feels silk soft maybe a little tacky but my add flour instinct may be right after all. I am putting my baby to bed for the first rise, I will walk the dog during this period.
15:25 - Maybe everything won't alright I have no plastic with which to cover my bowl to enable my baby to rise. I hope aluminum foil will work just as well....

16:30 - It rises! It rises! I couldn't resist peaking, I am nervous and excited what if I don't love my baby?

16:50 - I am going to need drinks to see me through this long dark night. I am thinking raspberry daquiris and lemon drops will help. I am going out for supplies.

17:30 - I have my first bubble. I can't stop peeking which may of course ruin the end result...

17:35 - My first bubble has deflated. I must stop peeking...

18:30 - It appears to be growing warts, I am not sure I am going to love my baby...


18:54 - Dough deflated and turned into a puffy, yeasty pillow. Have sent boyfriend to collect drinking, I mean baking buddy for the evening. I can not leave such a young baby on its own.


19:00 - I must make supper, starting to chop tomoatoes for salsa, need to make burgers, potatoes and salad. Must also make a start on cocktails oh yeah must do that!


19:30 - 1 lemon drop down, 1 bag of chips with guacamole and 1 quesadilia. Oh yeah baby is rising again tough little sucker!

20:00 - Another lemon drop, scared but take a peek at baby. Its time. I remove carefully whilst Claire makes more drinks. The blender is off putting but I manage it without mishap. I shape the soft baby into 2 vague rounds. (Lemon drops are potent, 2 shots of lemoncello & triple sec in each). Now I must, no they must rest....

20:30 - Another lemon drop. We eat homemade burgers, a little dry, with rosemary potatoes, a little overcooked, I forgot the garlic - damn. I must not cook when drinking!

20:40 - Rise my pretties. Rise.

20:50 - Another lemon drop.

21:10 - another lemon drop.....

21:20 - another lemon drop.....must rise, please rise....

22:03 - must put in oven, must have another lemon drop. Have now turned doughy pillows and placed in oven hoping for the best. Bugger have also burnt my finger. Double bugger have also drunk best part of a 2 bottles of booze. Also burnt thumb, I hate my baby.

22:21 - last lemon drop. Me & Claire now tired need sleep, bloody baby keeping us awake. Could do with another lemon drop or hot chocolate with cream and whiskey.

22:35 - Finally it is done. History will either celebrate or curse me. I can not try it until tomorrow .

22:54 - I am tired. I must go to bed. Please excuse the poor pictures but the professional photographer I live with has left his cameras in a safe at work. The shame. I will update tomorrow after tasting the unattractive baby.

Goodnight and sweet dreams. X

UPDATE: My bread was surprisingly good! The crust was crispy and it had a nice crumb and good flavour. I always get a great deal of satisfaction making bread but it was a very long recipe! Thanks so much to Mary and Sarah who must have spent hours making it such an easy to follow recipe and for challenging us with an 11 hour recipe, I really enjoyed it.

10 comments:

Mary said...

How funny! I love your play by play description!

Jenny said...

I have this sudden craving for lemon drops....

Baking Soda said...

Ah..lemon drops can soothe tooth aches and baby problems at the same time! Love your write-up

Joy said...

I love your post - very funny! Your willpower is impressive. If I'd been drunk and in possession of freshly made bread it would definitely have taken a hit.

breadchick said...

Great post (especially the lemon drop drinking) Hope the bread tasted good

Thanks for baking with Sara and I

Barbara Bakes said...

Your post was so fun to read. I think I need to have more fun in my kitchen!

Deborah said...

It's great to see you got it done - even if it was at the last minute!!

Aparna said...

Looks like your bread really rose to this challenge!!

Sara said...

hee hee! we're still waiting for that update!

lina said...

My, that's really daring to make it last minute like that. Your bread is looking great though, how did it taste?