Bread Baking Babes: Pain Francese

It has been awhile since I joined in to become a Bread Baking Buddy, and I almost passed up this month. I'd glanced over a few blog posts, but kept hearing about a levian and a chef, and did not feel I really had the time to deal with either right now. Some encouragement, and "education" from my bread baking guru Breadchick, however, cleared up my misconceptions, which is why I'm here now, trying out the Pain Francese, this months BBB choice, chosen by fellow Canuck and DB'er, Sara.

Before I could start, I had to bring out my sour dough starter, Marvin, and give him a wake up. Poor Marvin almost lost it during our recent move, he was nearly thrown out at one point by someone unaware of who and what he was, and then was nearly abandoned in our old home when no one knew what to do with him, and I was not available. (Truth be told, I got some very funny looks from some family members when, with everything else coming and going and the stresses, I went into near panic mode, ripping containers apart, trying to find what had happened to Marvin. Unless you've put the time into making and nurturing your starter, how can you understand?) Fortunately he was found, safe and still dormant, but had been sitting quietly in my fridge since the move.

Using some of Marvin instead of the chef, I set out to work. I had forgotten what I both loved and hated about making bread. I love the feel of the dough, the way things come together, the destressing that comes with kneading, and of course, the final outcome, warm, fresh bread. What I dislike is the mess, on my hands, my clothes, my counter. And waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

This bread involved alot of mess and alot of waiting.

And when all is said and done, I can't tell you if I like this bread or not. Yet.

See, my "new" oven works on convection, and while I've figured out the adjustments I have needed to make for most baking, it didn't work for this one. The picture you see of the bread I made looks lovely, golden with a very hard crust. What it doesn't show is the burnt bottom and the almost raw, doughie inside. I was able to cut off a bit of the bread to share with the family, since they were starving and could not resist, but not enough for me to really have an opinion about this bread.

Another consultation with Mary has resulted in another batch rising on the counter right now. So I haven't given up on this yet, I just won't have a finished, cut, product ready in time for joining in.

Thanks for the "kick in the butt" Mary, and encouraging me to get back into bread. Now go see the other BBB's bread, and be a budy yourself. (And if you will excuse me, I need to go see a starter about some bread.)


Sara said...

Poor Marvin! Glad to hear he survived. Hope the next batch tastes better.

Megan said...

Thank goodness Marvin wasn't lost - that would have been tragic!

Astrid said...

I understand what you mean. I had some issues with this one too. I have yet to bake it again. 3 times lucky they say :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh happy day you've joined us again!
When we first moved into this house I used the convection setting on everything. I think at some point I saw something that made me think I'd be better off baking the breads without but now I can't call it back really. I'll have to try the convection again soon.
Your comment on my rising dough, I need to tell you Jenny that was the time it over rose. Saying that I must also tell you this chef was really an active dough even though my kitchen was not into Dallas heat yet. Everyone of my bakings of this really rose fast.
I'm so glad to see you doing bread again!

breadchick said...

EXCELLENT! I love your story about Marvin and I'm glad you are giving him a workout.

Making the switch to convection can be trying in the first stages BUT you will have much closer to bakery breads in the long run.

I'm going to link to your post over on the Babe Blog so expect to see the gaggle of us over here soon to cheer you on!

Monique said...

Great adventures with Marvin !
Your bread looks great.Just don't tell the trues about the inside..haha
But a great BBbudie you are. Thanks for baking with us.
Hugs for Marvin.

Karen Baking Soda said...

I was just going to comment that your breads look fabulous! So sad the beauty was only skin deep...
I bake all on convection, not because I'm a believer but because I don't know how to do otherwise! Naa, I'm just lazy. I will try and figure out the differences next time I bake bread ok?

NKP said...

How heartbreaking to have it doughy inside! It does look perfect from the outside - I am sure your oven will behave for the next batch. Good thing you have Mary around!

Lien said...

Love you Marvin story, glad he made it through the move safe and sound, we baker/bloggers do the strangest things in the eyes of other people.
A shame your bread is just looking good, but it's a start right!. I think Mary should have a special tel. number for emergencies, you know like B911 or something (Baking911).

Jude said...

Haha nice name for a starter. I wonder what I shoud call mine :)