I love bread. I know, it's totally un-cool to like any bread that's not fancy schmancy, made with all whole organic grains, but I just love a good loaf of french bread. Unfortunately, I can't make a loaf of it to save my life. Truly, if I was kidnapped by French bakers and had to make a loaf as a ransom or be cast into the Seine, I'd end up at the bottom of the river.
So, I've been trying to get better. For the past week, I've been making a loaf of french-ish bread every other day, trying to figure out how to make it taste good. A couple loaves were so bad they went from stove to counter to garbage can in short order. I just can't let it go - I have to figure it out.
Yesterday I made the dough and put it in the fridge to age (?) overnight. I took it out this morning and went through the 3 1/2 hour rising process, then baked it at 400 for about 35 minutes. It was better, but still not great. I just can't seem to get an open crumb, no matter how much or little I knead it, or what my hydration level is. Yargh!
In other news, I'm working on a cardigan for my niece - Hearts, by Tora Froseth. I'm about halfway through the yoke, and it seems like it'll be cute. The directions I have seem to have incorrect marker placement for the 4 year size, but I think I'm making it work.