Ahhhh! Are you kidding me? French bread? In my crappy oven? And by the one and only Julia Child? And the recipe is a minimum of 13 pages long? Yes. And I did it. And it was really good and easy actually.
The only real problem I had was when I was supposed to pat out the dough into the 8 x 10 inch oval to begin shaping. My dough kept retracting and wouldn't stay in place. Too gluten-y? I was a bit rough, even though Julia told me not to, but there was no other way, even after resting it and keeping my fingers crossed.
I made two batards and then with the third, I used kitchen shears ,which were pretty sharp, and cut into the dough and them moved it to the sides to create an epis style bread. It actually came out pretty well. The picture above had already been eaten some, thus the missing two epis.
(This isn't me. My arms are nowhere near this hairy. I boosted it off the internet to show you how I did it.)
The crust was decent, not the best but amazing that it came out of my oven, and I didn't take the step to make the simulated bakers oven. I just couldn't handle it. I just painted water on the surface and sprayed the oven with a mister.
This was the most amazing challenge ever. I want to thank Breadchick Mary from The Sour Dough and Sara from I Like to Cook because this is exactly why Daring Bakers is so awesome.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could do this. Thank you DB and I can't wait for the next challenge.
Check out the other DB'ers and their amazing French Bread creations.