In 1993-1994, my family and I lived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We traded living places with a local family...we went to their two bedroom apartment and they took our house...I slept on the couch the whole year. Anyway, my dad was the supervisor for 3 college students from MC. They did have local families take care of them; however, they spend a lot of time at our apartment. We spent a lot of time playing cards...a LOT. We also ate together a good bit. One of our favorite things to get was ekmek. Daddy would get two loaves on his was home from university. When he got home, they would still be warm...and the attack would begin, especially with the college students there! Basim, the lone male, would probably eat half a loaf alone! Toppings included butter, homemade raspberry jam, nutella, and even Milky Way topping. Soooo good! Why do I tell you all of this? The February challenge for Daring Bakers was to make Julia Child's French bread. When I tasted the bread, fresh out of the oven (no, I did NOT wait the two hours you were supposed to wait) I went on a time machine journey back to Bishkek! It tasted so much like Ekmek! I don't really know how to rate this recipe. First of all, it takes just about all day to make...this is why I made it the FIRST Saturday it was available, a first! Next, the bread really doesn't hold for many days. For a large gathering, it would be great. For just a few people, it might not be worth it...even though we ate all of it and enjoyed it. Oh...just a thought...once this bread sits for a few days, it would be a GREAT soup sopper....kind of crusty and soaks up liquid just deliciously! So, maybe it's not so bad for just a few people. Thanks to Mary at The Sour Dough & Sara at I Like to Cook for this wonderful challenge. Once again, a recipe that I wouldn't have done had I not been part of this group! Check out the other great posts here. Because this is such a long recipe, I'm not posting it here. If you'd like it, check out Sara's posting here.