Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: The French Bread Also Rises

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I was determined to complete February's Daring Bakers challenge, as I missed the Lemon Meringue Pie from January. I had no idea what it would be, but when I discovered breadchick had declared it French bread-making time, I couldn't have been happier.

See, I was planning to make dinner for Alex's teacher, and the menu included a loaf of French bread. This meant I could feed his teacher and get my challenge done, all in good time.

At first, the recipe seemed a bit...complicated. But then I realized that the basic instructions themselves were quite simple; it's just that each step had been carefully and fully explained. Bread-making, for some, can be quite daunting. Detailed how-to's can make you feel as though you know what you're doing!

But in fact, the dough...and the bread itself...was a dream. I was fortunate to have a bowl with amount-marked sides, so the first rising was simply a matter of allowing it to happen. It rose, I punched, it rose, I shaped, it rose, I rolled, it rose, I baked it. It cooled, and I wasn't sure I could wait out the next few hours (see, I have to take thyroid medication, which requires both an empty stomach and no eating for at least an hour after) to taste it.

I wrapped up one loaf for the French meal Matt was delivering to school that morning, and 'forced' a piece on Matt for breakfast. We couldn't believe how amazing it smelled, and when I finally got around to having some, was blown away by how flavorful the bread was. It was just a tad salty, but spread with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, it was perfect.

Matt & I agreed the bread had to be eaten that day; it just wouldn't be as good the next day, so we managed to make the second loaf disappear less than twelve hours after it came out of the oven!



I'm just one of the many who've taken a stab at French bread this month; please visit the other Daring Bakers for carb-overload!





We're going a bit crazy this month: Blog Party#31 is a Fried Food Frenzy!

You have till TONIGHT to get your fried finger food entries to me; hope to see you there.




Tagged with: + + + + +

30 Thoughts for food:

At 3:16 PM, Blogger L Vanel said...

Ooohh yes. That looks very very nice.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Your baguettes look amazing! So perfect!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Katie B. said...

Great job!! Haha, I like that you and Matt "took one for the team" and took care of that loaf! Sounds like what we do!

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Gabi said...

I love the baguettes! Nice job! Boy wou wouldn't have to force any on me :)
x x x

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Cakelaw said...

Fantastic bread Stephanie! I found understanding the instructions on this one harder than actually doing them once I got it.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Mer said...

I agree. The basics of this are easy. It is just the extra explanations and hints that make it lengthy.

Well done. :0)

 
At 9:57 PM, Blogger breadchick said...

Stephanie, your bread looks so good I can smell it through the screen. I hope Alex's teacher enjoyed it too!!

As usual, it is always a pleasure baking with you and thanks for joining Sara and I this month!!

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Beth G. said...

Beautiful job, your bread looks awesome!!

 
At 5:55 AM, Blogger Gretchen Noelle said...

Beautiful breads! The instructions were a bit overwhelming but the actually making wasn't as complicated and the eating was sure the easiest part! Great job!

 
At 7:51 AM, Blogger Y said...

I loved the smell and flavour of this bread too. Like you, was actually planning to eat it the next day, but once I tasted a bit of it, I knew it would be a crying shame to not eat the rest of it straight away.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger SweetDesigns said...

awesome looking Bread!!!

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Joy said...

Your bread looks delicious - such a great colour. I'm definitely going to be checking back in your blog as I really want to get involved with your next blogging by mail event!

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Alice Q. said...

Those look great - you've been a busy bee lately between your roundup and the bread! - Cheers!

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Quellia said...

Okay, for my own research purposes, what kind of salt did you use? I still have to make this bread and don't want salty bread!
PS Your bread looks great - bet the teacher loved it!

 
At 1:07 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

good job! glad you were able to participate this month! this was my first month :)

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, l vanel!

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Mary...thank you! I was rather pleased with them, myself.

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Katie...oh, yes. It's a rough life we lead. Especially Matt: he 'has' to eat cake and cookies and fresh bread, all the time!

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Gabi! I just wish it didn't take quite so long, so I could do it more often.

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Cakelaw; I'm with you. It wasn't a complicated recipe, just over-explained, perhaps?

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Mer! Despite all that, it was darn good bread.

 
At 5:24 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey, breadchick...excellent choice! Again, you made completely my challenge a more timely affair than usual: Thanks!

 
At 5:24 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Beth!

 
At 5:25 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Gretchen...thanks! And yes, there certainly was a lack of problem when it came to eating. Yum!

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

V...that's the one 'downside' to making bread, isn't it? I try to double any recipe I make, so I can stick a loaf or two into the freezer for later!

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Sweetdesigns!

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks so much, Joy!

Do check back...it'll be a few months, as there's no guarantee or schedule once it's begun, but it's just so much fun we'll definitely do another!

 
At 5:33 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh, Alice...you have no idea! It's always something around here.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Quellia, first...I have a very sensitive palette. What's salty to me could very well be normal for most people.
Second, I'm pretty sure it was just Morton's; nothing special. Good luck!

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Jaime; I've been lucky...I've only missed one since I joined. And March will be easy, as I have my own copy of the book!

 

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