I’m so hardcore, I’ve been a part of the Daring Bakers since before we were called the Daring Bakers. Yet despite this apparent hardcoreness, I had never made the original Daring Baker challenge of pretzels. All that has now changed. You’ll notice that today the blogs are overrun with Julia Child’s French Bread, and mine is too, but I also have DB pretzels. I somehow feel more complete as a person now… or at least as a Daring Baker.
First up, the actual challenge of the month, Julia Child’s million page recipe for French Bread: This bread is time consuming, (just reading the recipe will take up a good chunk of your time) but not hard to make. I’ve been making a lot of bread lately, especially since I received the wonderful Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and although the Julia Child recipe produced nice bread, I wouldn’t say it was necessarily any better than the uber popular No Knead Bread or any of the rustic loaves I’ve been making from Artisan Bread. That being said, both of the later loaves also take a fraction of the effort and are a lot more convenient to make for the average home baker. They also don’t require kneading, which is a good or bad thing depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Some people find kneading very therapeutic, for others it’s torture. I had no problem kneading to make the Julia Child recipe, but I don’t think I’ll do it again as I’ve fallen in love with speedier ways of making similar bread. That doesn’t mean I’m against kneading, I kinda think it’s fun, but not always necessary.
Up second: Hot Buttered Pretzels from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. This recipe took considerably less time, which was good for my impatient self. I was surprised to see that the pretzels were only dipped in water before being baked as opposed to boiled, but maybe I’m thinking of bagels and thought they would be done the same. I liked these best hot out of the oven and dripping with butter, just how everything should be enjoyed. The only thing missing was a strip of bacon…
To check out hundreds of other attempts at Julia Child’s French Bread, check out the Daring Bakers blogroll. You’ll get more info from these blogs that you ever knew could possibly exist for one recipe. Thanks to Mary and Sara for hosting this month and choosing another challenging recipe!