Saturday, September 11, 2010

French Bread

I'm going to keep this post simple just like this bread is.

I love it for three simple reasons,
  1. As bread recipes go, it is easy to make
  2. It is flavorful with a light texture (Heavenly with butter or olive oil and balsalmic vinegar)
  3. I can make many other recipes from this french bread (baked french toast, crostinis, and bread pudding to name a few.)
French Bread
Recipe Source:The Sisters Cafe  

2¼ c. warm water

2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

First dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well  Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead it 2 or 3 times to coat with flour. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part into a 9x13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal (just like Cinnamon Rolls.)
Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each.
Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seads. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Cool on racks

NOTE: For a crustier loaf, a pan of hot water may be set on bottom of oven while bread is baking. Or throw ice cubes into the bottom of your oven periodically to create steam.
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