la ricetta in italiano qui
It's been a long time I have not been following Bread Baking Babes but when I read on their Facebook Group this month special baking occasion I could not keep my oven off and put my hands into kneading again for many reasons. First of all, I am a big fan of Julia and could not miss this special anniversary. Besides I am still spending some days in France, enjoying baguettes and whatelse almost every day. Last but not least I hosted BBD#52 last month with French Breads, so no doubt I will be a happy Baking Babe today :-).
Today all Babes will post together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Julia Child's birth baking Pain Français (French Bread), which was published in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 in 1970.
Susan of Wild Yeast will then collect our breads in a super round up in honor of Julia.
Here below a summary of the recipe Susan kindly gave us, but don't forget to refer to Julia's original master recipe, 20 pages from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 for detailed instructions (very useful for pictures too and we all should have that book in our culinary library!), in chapter 2 dedicatind to Baking, pages can vary according to different editions, in my book from page 89 to 114, including self-criticism about limited success or how to improve the product :-).
You can decide to make different shapes, the dough will be good for:
3 baguettes or batards or boules, or 6 short loaves (ficelles) or 12 rolls (petits pains)
It's a long work, will take about 8 hours but definetely worth it.
one cake (0.6 ounce or 17 grams) fresh yeast or one package active dry yeast (0.25 ounce or 7 grams)
1/3 cup warm water (not over 100 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups (about one pound) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups tepid water (70 to 74 degrees F)
- Combine the yeast and warm water and let liquefy completely.
- Combine the yeast mixture with the flour, the salt, and the remaining water in a mixing bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a kneading surface and let rest for 2 - 3 minutes while you wash and dry the bowl.
- Knead the dough for 5 - 10 minutes. See the original recipe for details on Julia's kneading technique.
- Let the dough rest for 3 - 4 minutes, then knead again for a minute. The surface should be smooth and the dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.
- Return the dough to the mixing bowl and let it rise at room temperature (about 70F) until 3 1/2 times its original volume. This will probably take about 3 hours.
- Deflate [fold] the dough and return it to the bowl.
- Let the dough rise at room temperature until not quite tripled in volume, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rising surface: rub flour into canvas or linen towel placed on a baking sheet.
- Divide the dough into 3, 6, or 12 pieces depending on the size loaves you wish to make.
- Fold each piece of dough in two, cover loosely, and let the pieces relax for 5 minutes.
- Shape the loaves and place them on the prepared towel. See original recipe for detailed instructions.
- Cover the loaves loosely and let them rise at room temperature until almost triple in volume, about 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, Preheat oven to 450F. Set up your "simulated baker's oven" [p. 70] if you will use one.
- Using an "unmolding board," transfer the risen loaves onto a baking sheet or peel.
- Slash the loaves.
- Spray the loaves with water and get them into the oven (either on the baking sheet or slide them onto the stone).
- Steam with the "steam contraption" or by spraying three times at 3-minute intervals.
- Bake for a total of about 25 minutes.
- Cool for 2 - 3 hours.
This recipe is also my entry to this week Susan's YeastSpotting.