The Challenge this month ..Was Julia Child's French bread. I must say, When I saw bread I was a bit hesitant..after the Potato Bread, I wasn't sure I ever wanted to bake bread again. But I am a huge fan of Julia Child, I have 3-4 of her books, and remember watching her on tv often. I remember being very jealous of my Aunt when she got to meet her and have lunch in her home. And to top it off, owns her whisk..grr It should so be mine ha-ha. She was a wonderfully talented woman. So How could I not at least give it a try?? I owe it to Julia!! And then...that flu..that evil infectious thing that is getting us all, made a home in me. For a week and a half...in bed and miserable. I had 1 day and 1 day only to attempt to do it. Luckily it was a day I actually felt ok. So I cleaned the kitchen and busted out the Kitchen Aid. OMG!! It was so very easy. IT came together wonderfully, this smooth elastic wonderful dough. I was proud just watching it knead. This is how bread dough should look, no longer worried at all. This time I was smart and took pics through all the process ..since I had all day to do it ha-ha. So its Dough at its finest, kneading in the bowl, the various stages of rising and its shaping. I Loved this bread and challenge!!
So, I must say, the pages were scary, but I refused to look at it as an actual 9 hr process, when at least 7 .5 of them the dough spent rising unattended in a bowl ha-ha. Though, I will say my house was a bit cold that day, and I couldn't begin baking the bread until about 8 - 8:30pm. I really don't like doing things that late, but..its bread and I wanted it!! So, I shaped the round loaf and the Batard. The round loaf I did first, I will say, it was not fun to transfer it to its baking pan, deflated a bit, and was annoying. So for the Batard, I did the final rise on the baking sheet it was going to bake on. Came out much easier!! I also read the whole steaming thing wrong for the first one, and didn't quite get my color right, but I was still happy over all. Man did the house smell awesome!! There really is nothing like the smell of Fresh baked bread!
So, there I was staring at these 2 wonderful loafs of bread, determined that in the week to come I would use it all in various things, and I succeeded finishing it all off Thursday, the day before the post!! And what do you ask did I make with my Plethora of bread? You get to see!!! I had to have a wonderful hunk, 3 hrs later smothered in butter...mmm. Then the next day I sliced a couple thin pieces and toasted it with some eggs and potatoes for breakfast (made the BEST toast). I had to work late, so Dinner was home made chicken salad between 2 wonderful slices of french bread! The next day, I took the batard, cut it in half..wow 2 perfect 6 in sub buns!! Can someone say Steak subs?? thats right, I first, made them into garlic bread (butter, fresh garlic and some spicy garlic bread seasoning) it was very hard NOT to eat the garlic bread it looked and smelled amazing!! I then took some thin sliced london broil steak and piled it high, some sauted mushrooms toped it and then slices of provolone cheese, open faced they went under the broiler until melted and golden yumminess! They were aweosme. For desert ..yes I have a desert !! I remember seeing Strawberry Bruschetta on Everyday Italian, so in attempt to recreated it, I took 2 this slices and toasted them, a thin layer of butter sliced strawberries and a coating of sugar, and right under the broiler until carmalized..it was wonderful, I am so going to try it with other fruits. Perfect end to the night!! and the last 2 pieces were Lunch on Thursday. Two pieces taken 1 side buttered, the other side smeared with peanut butter, then topped with sliced banana's and a light drizzle of honey. The other piece buttered on one side, and the other side with strawberry jam, place on top of the other piece. Grill until golden brown and gooey...delicious!!
Another great Challenge done!! Thanks for a great experience this month, through the sick I am glad I went on and made the Bread, it was truly a treat and an Ode to the Wonderful Julia Child!!