Traditional French bread is by nature, dairy-free.* Essentially nothing more than yeast, flour, water, and maybe a touch of salt, it should be perfect for nearly every special diet short of gluten-free. Yet mastering that loaf can be tricky. Professional bakers have a one up, with special ovens to maximize the texture of each baguette. But…. this month the Daring Bakers took on the recipe for Pain Francais (French Bread) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume Two by Julia Child and Simone Beck. Intimidating to look at, this recipe spans numerous pages. Yet, it is more a guide of tips and techniques, with the recipe at its core being really, quite simple …
If you follow many food blogs, you will likely see numerous pictures of the completed recipe, since the Daring Baker's blogroll contains several hundred home bakers up for a challenge. But there is no reason to simply sit back and watch. Head over to The Sour Dough Blog, where the Pain Francais recipe in its entirety (plus notes!) is posted, and try it for yourself. Or perhaps you may just learn a thing or two from the wonderful tips!
* Use caution with store bought brands. Many will add dough conditioners containing whey, milk, or other milk ingredients … unnecessarily I might add!
Photo Credit: Hannah Kaminsky, Bittersweet Blog