The Daring Bakers, fresh off the Lemon Meringue Pie challenge, are ready to tackle bread. And not just any bread: Julia Child’s French Bread.
What can I say. I have a weakness for bread. The yeastier, the better. Nothing makes me feel more domestic than kneading a loaf of bread… with my stand mixer while I sit at the kitchen island flipping through a magazine. I call it “delegation.”
Breadchick Mary of The Sour Dough and Sara of I Like to Cook are hosting this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. To get the full recipe, complete with modernized notes, click here.
The restrictions to the recipe were:
– No additions to the dough itself but toppings are okay
– One loaf must be completely plain – no toppings
– Loaves must be free-form – no baguette pans and the like
I opted for Pan d’Epi, breadstick-thin loaves shaped like an ear of wheat. My favorite part of a good french bread is the crust. With Pan d’Epi, you get a much higher crust-to-chewy-inside ratio.
The bread itself was delicious. A nice, thin, crispy crust on the outside; a light, chewy crumb on the inside. If you’re interested in shaping your own loaves like a wheat stalk, you can find a wonderful pictorial on forming the Pan d’Epi here>.
I just watched the episode where Julia made the exact bread/shape you did last night! Your loaves are gorgeous!
Oh la la those epis look excellent! Really wonderful!
Gosh I like the way you make your bread, like leaves! lovely and so classic. Mine was bad, really bad, it got burned! lol!
wow these are so pretty!
Love how you shaped your bread, it looks so pretty and yummy!
Beautiful, just beautiful. But I have to ask, did you cut the epi before the last rise? After? I tried one and it puffed into a zigzag. Nothing like yours! They are just gorgeous epis! Great job!!
Lovely Pan d’epi! Wonderful job!
Gretchen – I cut the bread *right* before I put it in the oven.
They look beautiful!! What a fun shape to try. Congratulations on yet another successful challenge.
If any of you haven’t read Julia Child’s My Life in France book, I recommend it. There’s a whole chapter on how she perfected her French bread.
WOW- that looks FABULOUS!! You did a beautiful job :O)
That is so beautiful! They look so professional!
I am still trying to perfect bread recipes. I always seem to get a little heavy handed with the flour while kneading and my bread turns out dry. Your loaves look amazingly beautiful!
Oh My Gah! I think you win. Ok, well, if there was a contest, you would win. Those are some of the most beautiful Pan d’epi’s I’ve ever seen!
brilliant job! your photos are stunning!
I love pan d’epi – it’s the perfect way to serve dinner rolls!
This looks delicious! I wish I could work up the nerve to make my own bread!
Gorgeous little epis. Great job
You are a true daring baker – going above and beyond the basic expectations of the recipe (like boring me). I absolutely adored your Pan d’Epi’s and really can’t wait to check out the tutorial. Thanks for including it. Your photos are brilliant.
i love the shape of your bread! i’m weird though and i don’t like the crust, so i wouldn’t really like the increased crust to crumb ratio 😉
Stunning!! What a fantastic job!
Oh these are so perfect looking! Wonderful job!
Nice bread! I like the shapes.
I have a huge weakness for bread too, I gobbled up my loaves in a day and a half. Alone.
Your bread really looks beautiful!
Your epis are fantastic looking
Thanks for baking with Sara and I
My next loaf I’m trying that shape! Beautiful!
Wow! Your bread is so pretty, as is the rest of your site. Yum.
Shawnda, those look fantastic!! Well done! I’m grateful that you included a link to the post on how to shape those – I can’t wait to try it at home myself!
I don’t know if it is just the photo, but the epis look like baby stalks, and are so perfect! Nice job on this challenge.
Those turned out fabulous!
You bread looks fantastic! That was one of the shapes I was tyring to go for but I didn’t cut deep enough the first time so it just sort of deflated. But yours looks amazing! Congrats!
Your bread is amazing! Thanks for sharing with us.
Those epi look wonderful! So beautifully golden!
The epis turned out gorgeous! Is there anything you cannot do?:)
Great Job on this! (Lil’ behind in my DB list….)