My first experiement was with Julia Child’s French bread recipe. It did not go well.
I love The Art of French Cooking mostly because it was a thoughtful and generous gift from CBC a.k.a Manfriend. However 1960s recipe writing really wasn’t focused on how the recipe was used. For example, I had to flip three pages to see what step I was on in the recipe and how the dough should be kneaded.
In the end the bread came out hard, dense and burnt. The final loaf of the three I made came out the best, but I wasn’t very proud of my baking efforts. It took a good seven hours for me to make the bread and it was a frustrating failure.
A few days later, I decided to take on an easier recipe. I used Emeril’s Basic Italian Bread recipe. This time the process took about half as long and came out about twice as good. Perhaps I just needed less time to lose my patience. The bread was much tastier and althought still dense, I’ll take Manfriend’s suggestion and be careful to not let it overrise next time.
I’m really enjoying the baking this week, but I definitely need to be more committed to staying at home when I bake. Next up: Powdered Sugar Cookies.