Julia Child's French Bread

By kylew, Mar 12, 2016 | | |
  1. This is an older piece I did after the passing of Julia Child.

    Since the recent passing of Julia Child there has been much discussion of her French bread recipe. Here is my first attempt.


    It's a direct method dough, but it uses long fermentation and proofing. It comes close to a preferment.


    On the left is the just mixed dough. On the right is after the second rise. The blue line is where the first rise got to. The first rise was just over 3 hours. The second was about 2. As printed, the dough was 87% hydrated. I thought this a tad extreme, even for a baguette. I brought it down to 64%.


    Before and after a 2 1/2 hour proof.


    Flipped, scored and ready to bake. The dough was reasonable light and started to expand when cut.


    I think I may have pulled them a bit soon. They were nice and brown and light.

    But the crust was not quite as crisp as I want it.


    The crumb opened nicely, but I think next time I'm going to tweak the hydration back up a bit.

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  1. chefross
    They do look good.
    I make a sourdough version of Julia's several times a week.
    I have used her recipes a lot and have had many successes.
    Good for you. 
  2. casanaa
    Hi. They look really good. I remember, at the institute, they told us to take the air out before making the final form of the bread. Your take the dough and squeeze it gently againts the table at least twice, then you let it rest. After first fermentation time, you do it again and form the final bread form you want.  Then you let it grow for final fermentaiton. We must be very patient when to make bread. it takes time.