The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Reformed Recipe Slave

phxdog's picture

Reformed Recipe Slave

This weekend I baked 4 French Bread boules (a recipe by Danielle Forestier from a PBS segment with Julia Child). Iv'e always had good success following this recipe, but these loaves were great. They did not collapse during the final proof. I scored them in one stroke rather than my normal hacking several times. The crust was golden, crisp and actually "sang" as I pulled them from the ovens (I had begun to think you guys were all high when you mentioned this could happen). The crumb was perfect, and they tasted great.

I kinda wish I had taken pictures, but you all know what a good loaf looks like. Some of you get those kind of results repeatedly. While I'm still very much a novice, I finally had the courage to follow the advise of some of those of you I consider the superstars (Mini-O, Mike Avery, Floyd, Susan from San Diego, and a bunch of others); I still weighed everything but trusted what I 'felt'.

I held back some of the flour because the hydration seemed just right without it. The kneading time changed a bit to suit the mixer I was using. I let the first rise go a bit longer than called for because the bread was not ready based on conditions in my kitchen. The final proof went a bit longer for the same reason.

It's not like I climbed Mt Everest or anything, but I turned a corner in my baking experiance. I guess that's why a lot of us bake bread. It's a personal sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, and has the added benefit of being able to share the end result with family/friends.

If I ever get a good as a some of you, I hope I am as patent and willing to share as you all have been with many of us that ask the same rookie questions again and again. Thanks for the help! This is a great forum.

Scott (Phxdog).

dmsnyder's picture

Congratulations, Scott!

Just so you shouldn't worry, there's lots more to learn ... like, forever! But, it's a great feeling when you can hear the dough telling you what you need to do.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yes, you were on Mt Everest!  Still there maybe.  It is such a good feeling when things work well.  Thanks for sharing your moment with us.  You have to take all the credit though.

Thank you,  Mini O

Susan's picture

See the bread, be the bread.  Ommmmmmmmmm...

Susan from San Diego

SulaBlue's picture

EAT THE BREAD! Mmmmmmmmm!

photojess's picture

congrats!  I do know what good dough feels like, and I know how good it feels to get excellent results, so good for you. 

Relish in the glory, and keep pushing the envelope.  Next time, be sure to post some pics.  No one gets tired of looking at them!