Kats’ Kitchen

Pain Francais (French Bread) February 29, 2008

Filed under: Appetizer,Daring Baker Challenges,Miscellaneous — stacielk @ 2:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

bread-11.jpgI am proud to say my first Daring Baker’s Challenge was a success! 

First of all, to explain to those who don’t know who the Daring Bakers are.  The Daring Bakers are a group of people who help each other to broaden their baking skills through monthly challenges. This is not a contest and there are no prizes for best of anything, just dedicated bakers testing their mettle, learning new techniques, and sharing what they’ve learned through their personal blogs.   (Read more at:  http://www.andreameyers.com/2007/10/25/profile-of-a-learning-community-the-daring-bakers/)

Back to the challenge, this month was French Bread.  Not any old plain jane French Bread, but Julia Child’s 15 page French Bread.  When I saw the long lengthy recipe and read that it was going to take me 7-9 hours to complete this challenge, I was asking myself why I joined this group.  Of course this recipe does not take 7-9 hours of actual work,  there is quite a bit of down time.  So one Saturday, off I went to give this thing a try, and it turned out great!  For those who have eaten at Connie’s Pizza in Chicago, this bread turned out tasting exactly like what they serve, possibly even better, so it was definitly worth the time. 

You can find the complete recipe on the blog of one of this month’s hosts Breadchick Mary.  Sara from I Like to Cook was the other host.  You can watch a video on how to make the bread here.  I suggest, if you attempt making this recipe to read it through at least twice and watch the video.  Also, for the rising, I used a heating pad to get the temp to 70 degrees so it wouldn’t take forever to rise, which looked ridiculous but worked great!

Pain Francais (French Bread)

(Recipe by Julie Child)

Step 1:  The Dough Mixture 


1 pkg dry active yeast

1/3 cup warm water, not over 100 degrees

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups tepid water at 70-74 degrees

Step 2:  Kneading

bread-1.jpg     bread-2.jpg

Step 3:  First Rising (3 1/2 – 5 hours at around 70 degrees)

bread-3.jpg     bread-4.jpg

Step 4:  Deflating and Second Rise(1 1/2 – 2 hours at around 70 degrees)

bread-5.jpg     bread-6.jpg

Step 5:  Cutting and resting dough before forming loaves

 Step 6 Forming the loaves


 Step 7:  Final Rise (1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours at around 70 degrees)

 Step 8:  Unmolding risen dough onto baking sheet

 Step 9:  Slashing top of the dough

 Step 10:  Baking – about 25 minutes; oven preheated to 450 degrees


Step 11:  Cooling (2 – 3 hours)


Step 12:  EATING!!!  (Finally)


Now I Challenge YOU to give it a try! :)


12 Responses to “Pain Francais (French Bread)”

  1. lcsa99 Says:

    Those came out beautiful.

    Thank you for posting the videos. That will help greatly with forming any kind of loaf :)

  2. Lucy V Says:

    Excellent looking bread! Really nice step by step!

  3. NinaBeth Says:

    Looks so yummy! Looking at everbodies pictures make me want to make it again. :)

  4. Jerry Says:

    Lovely bread! Great photos, too!

  5. Melanie Says:

    Wow, your first challenge turned out great. Congrats!! Really, your loaves looked absolutely professional!

  6. Great step by step photos! You did a great job on your first DB challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  7. breadchick Says:

    Great step by step photos and your bread turned out fantastic

    Welcome to Daring Bakers.

    Thanks for baking with Sara and I

  8. JennyBakes Says:

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers. You first challenge went great, the round loaves look amazing.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Gorgeous bread! Congratulations :)

  10. kk Says:

    what a great boule!! looks fantastic!

  11. Sara Says:

    Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Thumbs up! The bread looks perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    A blogger next door :)

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