Sunday, January 31, 2016

Betty Crocker Cookbook #31: French Bread (pg. 84) - 160131

My first yeast bread from this recipe book for this project! I decided to make this, as well as do some needed household chores, instead of going for a Sunday Drive this week. Every recipe in this book comes with a time estimate, usually broken down by major stages: prep, cook, stand, etc. The totals, however, can conceal a pattern of work / rest with more steps than simply "prep", "rise", and "chill". Betty Crocker's French bread suggests 25 minutes of preparation, 3 hours 15 minutes of rise, 4 hours of chill, and 20 minutes to bake.

These totals are probably accurate (except the bake time). There are three rise stages, each about an hour long, separated by blocks of preparation. I've baked bread a few times before, so I consider myself to know my way around kneading and yeast-handling. The big variant here is the repeated applications of sprayed-on water, and the pan of water in the oven during baking. This helps to develop a crispy crust, apparently.

The baking time was described as "18 to 20 minutes" but I think my oven struggles to acheive and maintain high temperatures, so I left the loaves in the oven for about 30 minutes before they looked the right colour to me.

French Bread 1

French Bread 2

I goddam love fresh bread. I couldn't wait, so I cut one loaf using an oven mitt to hold the hot loaf and smeared butter on the cut pieces. Fantastic!

1 comment:

TheBrummell said...

There are 15 yeast bread recipes in this book, so I can maintain an average of less than one per month and I'll be OK by the end of two years. Charlie made a the point that I should still have a 1-year goal (half of 634 is 317) to keep myself honest. I'm just over 1/day so far, which is just fine.