Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade French Bread

There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread! 

Homemade French Bread

3 1/2 C. warm water
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 C. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
8-9 C. unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 C. warm water.

Place remaining 2 C. water, sugar, salt and 3 C. flour into mixer.  Stir to combine.  Add in yeast mixture.  Add remaining lour 1 C. at a time until smooth dough is formed. Knead 5 minutes. 

Place dough into greased bowl, turning once to coat, cover bowl.

Let rise in warm spot until doubled in size (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).

Divide dough and shape into 4 loaves and place on greased cookie sheets (or in french bread pans).  As you can see, I am not real exact with shaping my loaves, close enough works for me.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 min.  Make diagonal slashes on bread and brush with one egg mixed with 1 Tbsp. water. 

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

-This is my family's favorite bread for garlic bread.  I am lucky if it last more than 2 days when I make it!

*To make this whole wheat --replace 2-3 C. of the unbleached flour with whole wheat flour and add 2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil.  If you have too much whole wheat flour it just doesn't bake up as light and seems to heavy for french bread.

(Tomorrow I will be posting my recipe for Bruschetta which is a great way to use your homemade french bread and mozzarella!)


Kristen Barrett said...

This is a great recipe. I've been using it this week. So happy to have found it...thank you thank you. I would like to ask though, where you got your square bowl? I've searched the internet and cannot find anything similar. :(

Heart-hands-home said...

Kristen, sorry it took me so long to reply, for some reason this comment got moved to the spam folder.  The bowl is from Sam's Club, although you can find similar containers at most restaurant supply or wholesale stores.  They are food prep storage containers.  I love it because of the lines, it is easy to tell from across the room when your bread has risen enough.

Christina said...

This was just what I was looking for. It is beautiful! I posted it on Facebook and linked your blog in the recipe. Thanks...yum

Paul said...

I'm Paul in NC. Former NYC Chef and current IT guy, I really have enjoyed your blog. I'm going to hit your recipe for Mozzarella this week since I'm an Italian guy in NC it's incredibly hard to find fresh Mozzarella here. And a pound for the price of a gallon of milk can't be beat with a stick! I also need to learn how to can food, I'm not sure where things are going but I don't like what I'm seeing these days. Well Thank You for taking the time to do this blog and God Bless.

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