I baked my second loaf of French Bread yesterday. My first was Thursday of last week.
On Thursday I saved half the dough for my second loaf and I think I over baked it. I really need to get an instant read thermometer – they are only 10 bucks! The bread was still yummy and really tasted like French Bread, much to my surprise. Zach’s only complaint was that it wasn’t “big” enough. It was more of a baugette size.
Yesterday, I followed the same recipe, but this time I didn’t save some, so it was twice the size. The recipe says to cut the dough in thirds and make three loafs, but I wanted a big one, so I left it all together. And it turned out good. Crispy crust and nice and chewy.
This time around was so much easier. The first time I felt like it took ALL-DAY-LONG, which it did, but just a few minutes here and there. But I was so busy reading and re-reading recipes and such, it felt like making bread was ALL I was doing. This second time around was much smoother. I didn’t have to keep reading and double checking myself. I just went with it and it worked out.
The crumb wasn’t as big and irregular as I’d like in my French Bread, but I hear that is something that can take a while to get right and it can change with hydration level, type of flour, rise time, kneading, etc. So, as I’m new to this whole bread making thing, and the bread was edible, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. It was yummy, and we will be eating it again tonight with dinner.