Sunday, September 28, 2014
BBB: Robert Mays French Bread from 1660
Ilva (Lucullian Delights), the host kitchen this month, challenged everyone to make Robert May’s ‘French Bread the best way’ from The Accomplisht Cook, Or the Art and Mystery of Cooking (1665-85). (The adapted version is found in English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David.)
In addition, because she thought this recipe would be too easy, we were tasked to be creative and add some kind of design to the top of each loaf.
I was in a whimsical mood the day I baked the bread, so I created faces. Were they aliens, or replicas of Mr. Bill? Who knows.
For ingredients, I used slightly more whole wheat flour than all-purpose flour, and because I rarely have liquid milk in the house anymore, I substituted powdered milk. By chance, I also happened to have 2 egg whites in the fridge.
All my dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, and milk) were mixed together; the egg whites were beaten with some of the water, then added, along with the remaining water, to the dry mixture. The resulting dough was allowed to rest for about 15 minutes, followed by the kneading-rising-shaping-rising process.
This is a tasty, simple bread, that isn't particularly time-consuming and serves well as an 'everyday' bread.
To check out the Babes' results and versions and see which Buddies joined the challenge, head over to Ilva's website. You'll find the recipe there as well.