Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fabulous French Bread

Here it is...the famous French Bread recipe! No oils or fats (except the glaze), just a few pantry staple ingredients, and you're good to go. Turn spaghetti or soup night into a special event...without running to the store. As a matter of fact, with my convection oven, I can make, raise, and bake this faster from scratch than I can run to the store with my kids and get some from the bakery! Here you go...

Delicious French Bread
Kathy Summers and Avalie Muhlestein

3 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
7-8 cups bread flour
Optional Ingredients for Baking:
cornmeal for greased pan
1 egg white, beaten, with 1 Tbsp. water for glaze

Put warm water in mixing bowl, add yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let rise for 5 minutes (make sure it gets bubbly). Add salt to yeast mixture and stir. Add 5 cups flour (make sure to stir flour in its container to fluff so it is not too dense). Stir vigorously until well blended. Add 1-2 cups flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. Knead dough on floured work surface until dough is smooth and elastic (or use KitchenAid Mixer to knead). Shape into 2 loaves.

To Freeze: Freeze each loaf separately in Ziploc Gallon freezer bag (put in freezer immediately and check after a few hours).

Baking Directions
Remove loaf from freezer. Thaw on baking sheet (we prefer stoneware) (you can put cornmeal on the pan if you like). Let rise until double in size. Slash the top of the loaf with four diagonal slashes, ¼ inch deep. Brush the loaf with egg white glaze, if desired (this gives a nice glossy finish to the bread). For a harder crust, place a pot of boiling water on the lowest rack of the oven (make sure to use an ovenproof pot). Preheat oven to 400. Bake 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes on wire rack. Enjoy!

(Handmade Breads pg. 52)


Chasing Izzy said...

This french bread recipe really IS fabulous. Unless of course, you let it rise too much & then drop it on the floor...
Yep, I'm THAT good of a cook.
But it still tasted really good! (Yes, I still served it to my family. :) )

JessieC said...

Hey Avalie, do you have to use bread flour with this recipe? ; )