That's my excuse anyways.
Yes, it's passe, yes it's been done over and over and ad nauseum again and agin. Blogged about, talked about, and updated. We've heard about the positive impact on the purchase of Le Creuset pots, the negative impact on the theft of handles and how this bread has changed the way people bake, make and eat bread. I'm boring myself now.
I now have time on my hands and made it. It was awful.
I was sincerely hoping that this would be IT. The one thing I could actually bake that wouldn't turn out absolutely horrible. I was wrong. Very wrong.
My first mistake? Not consulting my astrologist, sorry, I mean my expert friends. I thought, there is no bleeping way I could mess this up.
Second mistake? Not doing the research in the links above and finding the multitude of revisions and amendments.
So let me start. I mixed the dough, stuck it next to the radiator with beautiful results. You see those bubbles dotting the surface? Gorgeous, right? Also, the plastic wrap turned out to have completely expanded into a dome shape.
I then let it rest a bit longer than I intended, about 24 hours. However, as I frantically did a search, I found that that length of rise is still ok.
So I continued with the next step but it was so so so SO sticky that it leaked all over the place, spreading out bigger than a pizza so I added "enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers". Which turned out to be a LOT. I had to keep scooping it up to ensure it didn't spill over the sides of the table. So I think I over handled it.
I finally stuck it in the oven, scraping what I could after the second rise. I left it a little longer because the top looked barely browned but when I took it out, the flour I had coated it in, was stuck the bottom of my Staub cocotte and burned, smelling up my tiny apartment.
It looked gorgeous but tasted....awful. Gummy insides and too hard a crust, the boy came back late from a company event to find the entire kitchen covered with dust, reeking of burnt flour and yeast and me curled up in bed in tears at my failure, once again, to bake something worth eating.
That is not to say I won't try again... the lovely Susan sent me a new recipe to try. Surely I can't fail, can I?