The best way to start this post off is by saying Julia Child is a genius. Not that it needs to be said, y’all knew that already. There ain’t nobody who can teach you how to put on your fancy France Pants and shake it in the kitchen like her! Therein lies the problem with me though, I ain’t French enough. Not even a little really, heavy butter and cream makes me run the other way and I ain’t fond of… to be honest… more crust than crumb. Y’all can tell this is going in a good direction already.
Making the bread was a good experience as far as the company goes! Anytime I get to do something with CB and Nikkiis the absolute best, and we found ourselves happily clucking away in a little hen’s nest Breadchick had pulled together to all do our thing at the same time. The Belles Of The Bread Ball were very helpfully, and there was much chatting, bad joke telling, and general nonsense as we tried to type with floury, oiled up hands.
The bread… y’all, I don’t like fussy recipes. French bread for me is usually a three hour affair and a simple shaping. This bread was very long, and my poor yeast seemed to be tired of the whole thing by the time I was because the third rising resembled my family after Thanksgiving. Kinda bloated and just laying there. The batard was making a half butted attempt to rise, but the first slash with a knife that I know to be razor sharp made it give up again and the poor thing deflated. It was, in my opinion, a rather wussy dough. Mind you, I’m used to doughs that are developed to be just fine with several toddlers hanging off your pants leg. Doughs that might punch you back when you punch them down and call you names.
The shaping directions and me didn’t get along at all, and that’s my fault. Y’all who can translate written words into spatially valid directions have my admiration, I gotta see and feel it to make it work. Long directions like that ain’t for us tactile learners. Somehow, it got rolled into a relatively oblong shape, and this is what happened to it afterwards. Hah!
This one was braided and covered with garlic and herbs. It wasn’t bad, as this failed attempt went. Ain’t got any pictures of the little round rolls, we ate those too quickly. The oven got pissy on me and they bottoms for some of the bread burned, which didn’t improve anything. In short, this recipe was too much crust and not enough bread for us. The French apparently like their bread this way. (crusty, not burnt) A round loaf was made too, and it came out the very best. It was overly salty to me, and got dry too quickly but it was edible. Then it gave us heartburn, as a little insult to injury. This house ain’t French. If y’all are, get the recipe here. Go look at the pics from people who had a success.