April 26, 2009

French Bread, Julia Child-style

I'm so proud of this bread. A beautiful, crusty, chewy baguette. I have no idea why I baked, photographed, and wrote a blog post about it over a year ago, but never hit "publish". So, in the interest of spring cleaning, here it is: Julia Child's french bread.

I will not get into the topic of what makes a "proper" french bread. This is a much disputed topic. However...proper or not, this bread is damn good. And you can't ask for a more reliable source for a good recipe than Julia Child.

This is the kind of recipe that you must read, reread, then commit a substantial amount of time to carrying it out (although as with most bread recipes, the bulk of that time is hands-off). But don't be too intimidated- it really is ultimately quite simple and very worthwhile.

At The Sour Dough you can find not only Julia's original recipe, but helpful comments and tips from experienced bakers interspersed throughout. There is a wealth of information there. Finally, I believe I've linked to this before, but do take a look at this video of Julia Child and Danielle Forestier making french bread. For a visual learner like myself, it helps to see the recipe, not just read it.