Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pin Attempt: 30 minute french bread

Remember Pinterest?

I found this recipe today, and couldn't resist the allure of the quick, crunchy possible result.

The first attempt was promising, but not a success.  Not a total fail, but not a total *aha* kinda recipe.

First off - the recipe calls for 2 c water to 3-4 c flour.  I used about 6, and I think it probably could have used more.

Second, the rise.  The recipe says you don't really need one.  I did, for about 20 min.  It could have used more.  Traditional breads usually have two rises - one proof, one in the final shape of loaf.  Part of the attraction of this recipe is the allure of a nearly no-rise yeast bread, just as easy as a quick bread, right?

Third, the baking technique.  It calls for tossing 3-4 c ice in the bottom of the oven just as you put the loaves in, shutting the door, and not opening it for at least 15 minutes.  I'm down with that, I understand the steam will create a deliciously crisp crust.  However the logistics were a nightmare.  Trying to toss in that much ice, into a 425F oven?  Yikes.  Half the ice got wedged in the hinge of the oven door.  One reader commented it might short out the coils, and another suggested heating a rimmed baking sheet in a lower rack and putting the ice cubes there.  Will try that next time.

The fun part was letting the kids work with a hunk of the dough and making their own mini loaves.  Erin made a heart (bottom left on this picture), Robin made some lumps.

The taste:  Somewhere in-between a quick bread and a yeasted bread.  I will try tweaking this a bit and see if I can get it working for us.

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