Joy the Baker

French Bread with Julia Child

February 29, 2008

Baking bread from scratch always makes me stop and really appreciate baking. This French Bread, a classic recipe from Julia Child, is like being in a sometimes difficult, but always rewarding, 9 hour relationship. You have to figure out what this bread needs from you, and the bread might not tell you in a language you understand. Is it too sticky? Does it need more flour? Is it too dry? Does it need more water? Does it need time alone? Should you break up? What it comes down to is feel, intuition, and love. Yes, you must put yourself out there and love your bread. Put it all on the line, and dedicate yourself to a loaf. It might sound silly, but it’s critical. French bread is made up of 4 ingredients- flour, salt, water and yeast. None of these ingredients are a taste treat on their own. They come together, into what I think is one of the most fundamental and simple pleasures. I think what makes these 4 ingredients join so beautifully is the secret 5th ingredient. Yes- it’s love.

This French Bread was the February selection for Daring Bakers. Thank you Sara and Breakchick Mary! This recipe certainly put the Daring in Daring Bakers. It’s a 9 hour commitment, and not for the faint of heart. But the product is a light, flavorful, soft and crusty French Bread. And the whole house smells like fresh baked bread, which is just priceless. If you’re afraid of commitment, or don’t know how to fall in love, this multi pages recipe and bread making experience just might teach you a thing or two. And that’s no joke.

 Would you like the recipe?  Well here it is!

French Bread with homegrown avocado slices and sea salt.

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