The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

breadsong's picture

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Bonjour, everyone :^)

Susan of Wild Yeast posted an invitation to celebrate Julia Child on August 15th
(on what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday), by baking Pain Français, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2.

What a special way to honor Julia Child! – many thanks to Susan and her baking group, the Bread Baking Babes,
for extending the invitation to participate in this centenary celebration!
Susan has written a wonderful post to celebrate Julia - here is a link: Oh, Julia!

Here are the loaves I baked, to pay tribute to Ms. Child and her Pain Français.

Une rose pour Julia

I have a yellow rose bush outside, called the ‘Julia Child’ rose, named for (and perhaps by?)  Ms. Child…
it blooms beautifully each year. I really love this rose and when I see the flowers, it makes me happy to think of Julia
and her lovely cooking!
Julia’s rose inspired me to try shaping Julia’s bread as pain français en forme de rose.
I loved the golden crust color of the pain français after baking…reminding me of the golden yellow color
of the rose itself :^)


                          a close-up of the ‘rose petals’

The idea for shaping the rose came from this post:
The dough was 63% hydration (quite a bit lower than the original recipe, thinking I would need a stiffer dough to make rose petals).
After rolling out, I brushed the dough with olive oil, prior to rolling up into a cylinder. I hoped the olive oil would prevent the petals from merging/sticking together.
The dough was cut in half lengthwise after it was rolled up, folding open as I cut to expose the cut side (facing up). The two pieces were twisted together, trying to keep the cut side facing up, then the twist coiled up to form the ‘rose’.

A picture of the twist, and the final shaping:

I had some extra dough from this batch so baked a small batard, decorated with another flower for Julia;
the stencil for this an imitation of the one used by MC,
for her beautiful pain de l’Abbaye Saint-Wandrille:


Admiring the decorative fleur-de-lys pattern, a symbol of la Belle France, on the cover of both volumes of
Mastering the Art of French Cooking – which inspired the stencilling on this boule:


For this bake, the dough was 71% hydration.  I am not sure what the crumb is like – I froze this loaf – so hard to not to have a slice to taste after baking, considering the tantalizing aroma as this bread emerged from the oven!

La Couronne des Perles

I watched an episode of ‘Baking with Julia’ on, where Julia and Steve Sullivan of Acme Bakery are making decorative French breads (a wonderful episode!).
One of the breads they made was la couronne, decorated with a ‘string of pearls’.
I thought a bread, dressed up with a string of pearls, was a most lady-like thing to bake in honor of Julia’s birthday!

After I baked this bread, I re-read the beginning of Ms. Child’s book, My Life in France, where she describes her first meal after arriving in the city of Rouen, enjoyed at the restaurant ‘La Couronne’:
“our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection. It was the most exciting meal of my life…”  
I loved that part of the book, where Julia writes about how she discovered her love of French cuisine!,
and was happy I’d baked a couronne, considering the name of that restaurant :^)

The first time I tried making la couronne, it was at 76% hydration; I held back a bit of water from the original formula,
as I was using a soft flour.
I didn’t hold back quite enough water, finding at 76% hydration the pearls flattened out when proofed upside down.
This second try was 71% hydration and this time, the pearls kept their shape during proofing.
             Here is a picture of the crumb:

I was so happy baking these breads to honor Julia for her birthday, and to enjoy the pleasures brought by Julia’s fresh, crusty, aromatic pain français.
Joyeux anniversaire et merci beaucoup, Julia, for this bread and everything else that you taught and gave to us,
through your research and writing!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted, with many thanks, to Susan @ YeastSpotting




Heidela123's picture

Julia Child
Happy birthday!
While others watched cartoons after school, I watched Julia
Her boeuf bourguignon and all it's billion steps is part of our whole family's Sunday dinner rotation

"The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time."
Julia Child

After all these ...this quote I tend to agree, except when I don't

But mostly I do

Thank dear Julia

Ps I hated the movie

breadsong's picture

I didn't see Julia's shows when the originally aired, but have seen a few re-runs; and always, loved to see what Julia was teaching and laughed out loud at her sense of humor :^)
Julia's quotes were wonderful, weren't they?
How lovely your family still enjoys that classic recipe of Julia's - goes to show how enduring her work is!
Thanks for your comment and for joining me in this happy birthday wish.
:^) breadsong

Yerffej's picture

I hold Julia Child in the highest regard and wish her the happiest of birthdays (where ever she may be) ....and could not get through more than about 10 minutes of that horrible movie.


breadsong's picture

Hello Jeff,
Isn't it wonderful how treasured and respected Julia is, and that she continues to be recognized for her amazing work!
:^) breadsong

proth5's picture

Just lovely.


breadsong's picture

Thank you so much, Pat!
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture

Beautiful craftmanship, Breadsong!!  Excellent creativity!!

I only heard of Julia Child From this forum, and she seems to deserve the honor. Happy birthday, Julia.

breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid,
Julia Child is definitely deserving for all she contributed to the art of cooking, in North America.
Thank you so much for offering birthday wishes, and for your compliments - it has been wonderful to join in with others, in honoring her on this day.
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture

tribute to Julia.  She was one of a kind and I'm sure would have loved your baking in her honor.  'The Julia Rose' is just gorgeous - both of them.

My favorite Julia quotes.

Q. Why do you think you lived so long?  A. Red meat and gin.

If you don't want to use butter...use cream instead.

I wouldn't have kept him around long if I didn't feed him well.

I'm so glad she is on TV here every day.  On PBS at 4 PM today they are doing a tribute to her for an hour and at 4:30 AM she is baking with Lora Brody using bread machines on her 'Baking with Julia' series.  She was the pioneer for food on TV.

Your baking in Julia's honor is inspiring.


breadsong's picture

Thank you very much, dabrownman, for all of your kind words!
I loved Julia's quote about the 'red meat and gin', as I did her other quote:
"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." 

So glad you liked the roses! When I learned there was a rose named for Julia, I had to plant one in the yard.
:^) breadsong

dosidough's picture

A beautiful tribute to Julia. Your breads are stunning.


breadsong's picture

dosidough, I am so glad you liked this tribute!
(I hope it was worthy of this great lady!)
With many thanks,
:^) breadsong

wally's picture

Breadsong - and especially the forme de rose!  A truly lovely tribute to a force-of-nature, once-in-a-century woman who took us from Swanson's frozen to the real deal! 


dabrownman's picture

Julia invented TV dinners, not Swanson, where we could eat very nice French food, while watching her on TV, for dinner :-)

breadsong's picture

One of the things I've enjoyed most about watching Julia on TV or on video is how real Julia seems, that is, 
she was always being herself, and never seemed to be scripted; her cuisine certainly is the 'real deal', as was she! :^)
I'm so glad you liked this post, and I really appreciate your compliments on these breads for Julia!
Thanks so much,
:^) breadsong


ejm's picture

What beautiful shaping to make the bread into a golden rose! And oh my! The flower stencil is equally stunning. As is the couronne. And the inner crumb looks brilliant.

I remember reading "My Life in France" and feeling the same thrill right along with Mrs. Child as she described her introduction to French food. Imagine how it must have been, when you consider the generally dull as dishwater food that was being served in most of North America at that time. 


breadsong's picture

Hi Elizabeth,
That first French meal must have been such a taste epiphany...and to consider what it inspired!

Thank you for all the nice things you've said about Julia's breads!
It was lovely to have so many beautiful examples to work from, given guro's beautiful twisted bread,
MC's artistic, gorgeous loaves, and the wonderful instruction provided by Steve Sullivan and Julia in the
'Baking with Julia' episode.
Julia and so many others are so generous, sharing their techniques and knowledge - I'm so grateful!
:^) breadsong

Farine's picture

...breadsong! First the rose (wow! the shaping on that bread... Incredible!), then the fleur-de-lys (I especially love the miche with the three lys and by the way, thank you so much for mentioning the pain de l'abbaye, and then the pearl-decorated couronne. Such creativity!  And what a beautiful hommage... I too loved the book and I can almost hear her delighted laugh at seeing what you baked for her!

breadsong's picture

Thank you so very much!, and I do hope Julia would be happy with these loaves :^)
Inspiration came from many places when making these; I couldn't forget how gorgeous that stencil of yours was -
one of the prettiest I've ever seen!, and I wanted to include a pretty bread like yours in this post for Julia.
After baking Julia's bread the first time and rediscovering how much I love pain français (Julia's recipe is wonderful!),
I wanted to keep on baking this bread!
I'm so glad you liked these breads, and your compliments mean the world to me, given how much I admire your creativity and beautiful, artistic loaves!
:^) breadsong

Janetcook's picture


Your creativity always delights me and this latest addition is no exception.  In fact, I think it is your best so far :-) I am sure Julia would be honored by all of the breads you baked for her birthday.

Thanks for sharing in your celebration of her birth!

Take Care,


breadsong's picture

Janet, thank you so much for your sweet and kind comments - truly!
I do hope Julia would like this, and all of the other tributes that must be pouring in for her, today!
:^) breadsong

dmsnyder's picture

I know I'm far from unique in baking my first loaves (and croissants!) from Julia's incredibly detailed recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That was in 1972. 


breadsong's picture

Thank you, David :^) ... and now I know what I'll be reading next!
:^) breadsong

Syd's picture

Just beautiful baking breadsong. Your breads are stunning and that crumb is to die for. I really enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia and one baking video that I watched many times over was this one with Julia Child and Danielle Forrester on baguette making.  I love your stenciling, too.  



breadsong's picture

Hi Syd,
So glad you're back! :^)
David's referred me to Julia's baguette recipe, and you've kindly provided the link to this video; baguettes are moving up on the 'to-bake' list.
Thank you so much for your compliments - I'm so happy you liked these breads!
:^) breadsong

HeidiH's picture

Those are gorgeous breads!

If y'all loved Julia and haven't watched PBS's mash-up song of Julia, you ought.  It will give you a warm smile and leave you singing "Bring on the roasted potatoes!"

breadsong's picture

Thank you for the compliment, and for this link! - I enjoyed listening to this :^)
The video clips chosen captured in Julia's voice her love of cooking and appreciation of good, fresh ingredients  -
for me, that was the best part!
Thanks again!
:^) breadsong

susanfnp's picture

Stunning and creative! Originals all, just like Julia herself. Thank you for baking with Babes in tribute to her.

breadsong's picture

Hi Susan,
Thank you, and your baking group, for organizing this tribute to Julia.
And thank you so much for your kind words about the breads.
Your tribute to Julia was lovely, and your bread presented so beautifully - it looked 'gift-wrapped' to me, 
a wonderful birthday present I'm sure Julia would have absolutely loved!
:^) breadsong

ananda's picture

A wonderful Couronne, Breadsong; great tribute

Best wishes


breadsong's picture

Thanks so much, Andy :^) 

 (I'm glad you liked this post - so kind of you to comment - hope you had a lovely time on holiday!)
:^) breadsong