Monday, February 7, 2011

A Challenge: Part I and II

I've FINALLY! decided on my theme for this year..One big theme for the year, and a "focus" for each month. (You might recall the focuses I tried out last year) This year's theme is:

"Every day an Adventure"

This includes but is not limited to one adventure per day. It's time to shake it up! So I will be posting each day...ok every other day...ok as often as possible on the adventures of that day. Let's begin!

Day 1

Adventure challenge: Become a French baker by baking the perfect loaf of French bread.

With the assistance of for recipe and following pics


Soundtrack: Edith Pilaf -La Vie en Rose, La Foule etc..
Garou- Les Cloches
Lara Fabien Je t aime
Notre Dame de Paris (Garou...) or Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack
Vanessa Paradis

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs. (2 packages) dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes - foam should form on the top.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough becomes a smooth ball and knead for 5 minutes. ( Kitchen Aid with the dough hook)

Cut in half and then shape into 2 baguettes. To make them smooth and pretty, roll each half of dough into rectangle and roll up lengthwise. Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat) with seam down. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a very sharp knife gently make a slash down the length of each baguette. This will give it that authentic look. Pour water in a cookie sheet and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Half way through, brush the bread with melted butter.

Results: Instead of gourmet French bread, I ended up with Italian flatbread sans herbs...

On the right, I folded the loaf over to add some 'omph'
and can tell it had about as much body as a limp noodle.

I guess I should confess that I also forgot the pan of steaming water underneath. I've tried this before with the pan and the results were not much better than this:

I purposefully stacked them to give them some height ::snickers:: I also used wheat flour in mine although that doesn't account for the pasty white sunless look my loaves artfully achieved.

Flavor: 9/10. If you're a Salty Dog you'll love how much salt this packs in but for the rest of us, I'd use less salt since the butter also adds some.

Overall, I still think I will be saving up for a bread machine. Ha! I will continue to admire the recipes on Sisters Cafe as it is one of my favorites, and keep working on this flatbread-I mean baguette!


  1. Great! Love your theme and love that you took on the challenge of bread. I think you were successful. Keep up the good work. xoxoxo

  2. Good for you with the daily challenges! I think your bread looks yummy anyway. My guess for the flatness would be to blame the wheat flour. It really does make a difference, but hey, it's a balancing act between pretty and healthy. Be proud of yourself for accomplishing a little of both! :)

  3. lololol "I purposefully stacked them to give them some height ::snickers:: I also used wheat flour in mine although that doesn't account for the pasty white sunless look my loaves artfully achieved."
    i love how funny you are about even everyday things!

  4. A good idea and a good try...if you want a really easy bread recipe that turns out every only takes 90 min. from start to finis with no second on my sidebar on the bread, it will take you to the recipe, follow it exactly. Many have been making it and it always turns our for them. It it so much better than a loaf from a bread machine! :D


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